The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Memorial Day Tribute to the Equines…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 28, 2010

A Memorial Day Tribute to the Equines from Sandra… 

I would like to say, as we pay tribute to the many soldiers who have served this country and died to preserve our right to speak out… We take a moment to reflect as well, on how many “Native” American horses made that sacrifice as well. Over 1 million American horses were killed just in World War 1. At the end of that war, our Army considered it more serious when a horse died than a seviceman, because they could be replaced and the horses couldn’t. And yes, many of those horses came from Mustang stock. The smaller horses did better with less food and could go 3 days without water. The Thoroughbred horses were found to be too high strung to tolerate the cannons and shots firing over there heads. Many Mustangs suffered shell shock, were wounded and died of disease. Veterinarians patched them back up and sent them to the front lines. And yes, those soldiers took comfort from those horses. Only 200 horses returned to the US after the war. 8 million horses in total died during that war. In the United Kingdom they have a memorial statue dedicated to those horses… WHAT do we have? The last mustang standing. 

(Posted by T. on behalf of Sandra. Thank you Sandra. This is truly a forgotten Equine Holiday.) 

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

 (Added on May 30, 2010…) 

I’ve always loved this… While re-reading it a month or so ago, I was struck by how much it related to the American Wild Mustang… The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (pdf by T.) 


The Charge of the Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson



Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade! “Charge for the guns!” he said:

Into the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred.



“Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismay’d?

Not tho’ the soldier knew Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred.



Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them
 Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell,

 Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of Hell, Rode the six hundred.



Flash’d all their sabres bare, Flash’d as they turn’d in air,

Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder’d:

Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro’ the line they broke; Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke, Shatter’d and sunder’d.

Then they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred.



Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them
 Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell,

 While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well,

Came thro’ the jaws of Death Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.



When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,

Honor the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred.



10 Responses to “Memorial Day Tribute to the Equines…”

  1. Suzanne said

    It certainly is! I wonder how many younger people these days even KNOW how much horses used to help us wage war – and how many of them didn’t come back. Now people want to EAT them! GEEZ!

  2. betty said

    My grandfather had a small band of mustangs on his land. Like many people in his time the horses roamed free and had a blooded stallion turned out with them from time to time. Just before the war most of his horses were sold to the army for remounts. My grandfather served in France where hed suffered from a mustard gas attack. His horses did the same. I remember them all this memorial day.

    • sandra longley said

      When I was researching this, I saw a picture of a soldier with his gas mask on and they had masks made for the horses as well-however many horses thought they were feed bags and destroyed them..I learned alot I didn’t know about horses in war time…and an interesting point was that when the Germans started running out of horses the war started turning in favor of the allies… trailers were invented to transport wounded horses behind the lines to be treated..didn’t know that..
      Also there was such an outcry from the British children that their ponies would be conscripted for the army, that they left the ponies for the children. The clevland bay draft horse became the horse of choice to pull the heavy equipment because they were smaller and lighter than the other breeds that they virtually became extinct because of the war.

      • sandra longley said

        It was amazing to me in this age of high tech everything..That our only success in this war in Afganistan, was in the begining when our special forces were mounted on little afgan mountain ponies riding with the afgan, they routed Al Queda..they were saturating the mountains with bombs as well..but mechinized vehicles could not move in that terrain-I thought those were awsome pictures..i was kinda hoping it would bring back the westerns!

  3. Barb3000 said

    Stories like this need to be taught in our schools today instead of rewriting history to make it more PC.



  5. I live just south of Gettysburg where over 5000 horses and mules died in the battle. Remembering all the horses that died by the hands of man and war on Memorial Day.

  6. The horses and burros that have been lost to this country’s seemingly never ending quest for freedoms strikes me as somewhat ironic… As Louie has stated on many occasions before and stated above, we are in a “war” right now for the same thing on behalf of the Equines. The numbers on the casualty lists from the past two hundred years will never be tallied correctly. These horses and burros who served alongside their human counterparts fought just as hard and just as bravely – most without ever receiving any recognition for their efforts.
    TMP, along with you all, seeks to remedy that injustice by bringing to light the very darkness that has shrouded their valiant efforts.



  8. R. Thompson said

    Some horses still serve in the Army.

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