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©2004-2024
Diane Merkel

Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written consent is prohibited.

 

The Cavalry Horse and His Pack, Embracing the Practical Details of Cavalry Service: For the Use of Officers and Non-commissioned Officers of Cavalry

by Lt. Jonathan Boniface
First Published in 1903

Review by K. E. Brown

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This is a work that includes virtually every aspect of cavalry horsemanship. Information includes horse breed types, skeletal information, conformation, teeth and hoof care, saddle types, grasses and feed, pack rigging and set-ups, diseases and medications, just to name a few.

There are a couple of surprises (to me). The text discusses the washing of cavalry horses in the Philippines by leading the horses into the water to their bellies, then splashing until clean. Then it relates..."In the treatment and cleaning of the cavalry horse, this entire washing should never be permitted." (pg. 393) The reasons given: ..."rarely warm enough to do so and carelessness in attending the horse after...would cause him to become ill."

"It is almost inconceivable and very hard to believe, but ...is a fact, that a horse in robust health, good condition, and doing hard work gives off in 24 hours through the pores of the skin an amount of refuse and effete material equal to that excreted by the bowels....grooming and cleaning keep the pores open and free...." (pg.382-383)

This book is rather technical and very precise and is rather dated, but it gave me a decent understanding of the do's and don'ts and pit falls faced by cavalrymen. It's a book to be read and re-read.