featured_Caisson_Horses_US_Army

Free to good home: Horses who have served their country

Kennedy and Quincy, highly trained horses who have served in the Army’s Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, have finished their tours of duty. And both are up for adoption, free to a good home.

By JULIE ZAUZMER
The Washington Post

HE RECEIVED received good marks in his early days in the military: “quite impressive,” his supervisor once wrote. But after he kicked a few soldiers, he swiftly found himself unwelcome in the Army.

Meanwhile, his buddy started out with similarly good reviews — “a big morale booster” — but found his military service cut short by a painful foot condition.

1st Lt. Daniel Nicolosi escorts Kennedy -- one of two horses available for adoption -- in the Caisson barn at Ft Myer in Arlington, VA, on Feb.17, 2016.
1st Lt. Daniel Nicolosi escorts Kennedy — one of two horses available for adoption — in the Caisson barn at Ft Myer in Arlington, VA, on Feb.17, 2016.
CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Bonnie Jo Mount

Now, the two retirees are, like so many veterans leaving the service, looking for their next homes.

“These guys did their service,” Staff Sgt. David Smith said. “It’s their time to be a horse.”

Kennedy and Quincy, highly trained horses who have served in the Army’s Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, have finished their tours of duty. And both are up for adoption, free to a good home.

They have served in a role almost unique in the U.S. military, that of the caisson horse.

Caisson horses, Arlington National Cemetary.
Caisson horses, Arlington National Cemetary.

Caisson horses pull coffins to burials at Arlington, bringing former officers and service members killed in action in America’s wars to their grave sites with haunting uniformity and precision.

Riderless Horse.
Riderless Horse.

The choreographed procession, led by a riderless horse, is one of the most solemn and stylized rituals in the nation. Continue reading »

COMMENTS LEFT ON FREE TO A GOOD HOME

gam47 writes:
2/23/2016 12:42 AM EST

The British Army who maintains a substantial number of horses in its Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and its mounted band; The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, maintains a retirement home for this animals at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Centre at Melton Mowbray. Which is a popular attraction for tourists. The animals are extremely well care for, do no work unless they want to, it amazing to see them quietly queue up to get saddled up for rides. Many live another ten-15 years in those green fields, where they die a humane death.

Laurie E Knight writes:
2/22/2016 11:20 PM EST

I have 2 horses with Navicular, both managed well. 1 is still rideable and has a job. He does not realize he has “a disease”. The other is 28 and is retired from riding but is extremely happy and healthy. Send Quincy to California. We’ll take him and honor him for his service.

Nicole Birkholzer writes:
2/22/2016 1:25 PM EST

“…free to a lucky owner …” makes me cringe. Sounds a lot like what happens to veterans “Thanks for the service, now we no longer care for you.” They should offer the horses to a veterans program and pay hay and maintenance (hoof and vet care) until death…that would be meaningful.

RELATED READING FROM THE POST ARCHIVES

• 1986: A Tradition Rides On

• 1992: Healing Horses — Arlington’s caisson horses do double duty in riding program

MORE ON CAISSON HORSES
The Horses of the Caisson Stable . . . Honoring Those Who Served; by Susan Seligman; February 25, 2010; Equitrekking.com


SOURCES

Featured Image Source: Free Public Domain Photo/Wikimedia.org
Content Image Source: Caisson Horses via Equitrekking.com
Content Image Source: Riderless Horse via Pininterest/Isabela Silva

6 thoughts on “Free to good home: Horses who have served their country”

  1. Spirit Acres farm will gladly help if forever homes are not available?.
    God Bless and Keep them and Thank you for caring so. We have spoken here about a future plan to get into effect for these powerful service horses that need a place to retire often, especially when they are nor sound and that is too often a fact of life. They are representatives of Mankind and the Horse what a powerful statement.
    Warm regards.

    Kat Matrician

    Like

  2. Please make sure they go to a forever home and not end up in slaughter. I cringed when you posted free. To kill buyers those horses would bring 600.00 so I ask please check the barn they will go too.

    Like

    1. I second Belinda’s post here. These (and all horses) should be free from the threat of commercial horse slaughter. By any standard, this practice is horrific, inhumane, and imparts great suffering on this herd-based species …. and not to ignore the toxic/carcinogenic hazards via their consumption by humans.
      As a nation, this industry colors all our crops and manufactured goods very badly, as we act unethically, and wholly without responsible practices, even failing to inform consumers of N.American-origin horse meat of the hazards to humans who consume the meat after its butchering in other countries.
      The US is failing terribly by allowing US horses to ship live to slaughter in other countries.
      As to the horses retired from this Old Guard unit, who screens prospective adopters of these retiring horses? Is their any follow-up on these horses, to confirm that they are not shipped to slaughter?
      There should be some effort for each and every one of these Guard horses, so that they are not added to this slaughter tally to Mexico, where as of 2/20/16 some 11,511 US horses have shipped to slaughter in Mexican plants as of 1/1/16, and a similar number of US horses shipped to Canadian plants, as well as to Japan:
      http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/ams/AL_LS635.txt
      Please actively support the current federal bills banning horse slaughter for human consumption: S.1214/ HR.1942.

      Like

  3. I am a SFC retired with 220 acres which these horses could roam on. If they would like to come live with another retiree that would take very good care of them then they could come live me me and my family.

    Like

Comments are closed.