United States. Adjutant-General's Office. Military.

Target practice and remount systems abroad online

. (page 23 of 29)
Online LibraryUnited States. Adjutant-General's Office. MilitaryTarget practice and remount systems abroad → online text (page 23 of 29)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Instruction 1. — The easiest and safest method of seizing, lifting, and
holding the horses' front and hind feet, as in the operation of shoeing.

Note. — This instruction should be carried out on old steady horses, and
particular care should be observed in showing how the shoer is to manage
a restless or vicious horse, and the precautions to be adopted to guard
himself from injury. Patient and gentle treatment should be inculcated.

How to shoe troublesome horses with the side line on the hind leg is
also to be taught.

Instruction 2. — The best and most expeditioiis way to take off fore and
hind shoes.

Note. — Completely cut off all the clinches, insert pincers between shoe
and hoof, toward the extremity of inside heel, pry steadily and firmly
dowaiward and across the foot to start heel nails, and withdraw these;
then apply pincers to outside heel in the same manner, withdrawing nails,
and so on until the shoe is off.

Show how to remove broken nails from the hoof when the shoe is off ;
and also how to take off shoe from a painful foot, by driving the nails
downward from the front of the hoof and withdrawing them one by one.

Instruction 3. — How to handle the rasp, and reduce the wall of the
hoof properly to its normal dimensions.

Note. — The proper length and natural slope of the wall are to be shown,
and the method of obtaining these in an overgrown hoof demonstrated.
This is important. Hoof to be made quite level on the ground surface,
which should have a wide and solid bearing for the shoe to rest upon.
The sides of the hoof should be eqvial in height, so as to keep leg and foot
in a straight direction. Toe of hoof well shortened ; heels not too much
lowered. Sole and frog to remain strong and unpared, loose fragments
only being removed. Edge of the wall to be rounded.

Instruction 4. — How to fit a shoe projierly and quickly.

A off.— As it is not possible to provide shoes to fit all hoofs exactly —
these varying greatly in size and form — the number of the size required
should be explained, and if alteration in length or shape is needed how
this should be effected — making the shoe narrower or wider, more elon-
gated or more circular, as the shape of the hoof may demand. The shoe
should fit the full outline of the hoof. A small portion of the horn must
be removed at the toe of the fore foot, sides of toe of hind foot, to effect
this and to lodge the clip. If the alteration is made on the anvil, it should
be by a series of firm, steady, and not too heavy blows of the hammer.
When altered to the proper shape, the shoe should be made perfectly level
by hammering it lightly on the svirface ; this also makes it wear better.

Instruct how to alter shoes without an anvil, as on the tire or nave of a
cart wheel, stone, etc.

Nail holes to be easy for the neck of nails ; if too tight widen from the
fuller surface, not the back of the shoe. With holes too tight, the nails
break at the neck. Show how to narrow or close fuller, so as to allow
smaller nails to be used in case of necessity.

There shoiald be solid and close coadaptation between the surface of
Tioof and shoe, to insure the latter being well retained. Shoe to rest on



the entire width of the wall and margin of sole. All but the heavy hind
shoes with calks can be altered in a cold state, as a rule ; and these can be
also altered to some extent without heating them, when alteration is

Instruction 5. — How to nail on a shoe safely and securely.

Note. — The shape of the nail is to be explained and the reasons for the
bevel at the point insisted upon, in order to prevent the nail from entering
the sensitive parts of the foot. The mode of driving the nails ; height to
which they should be driven in the horn ; their direction — toe nails lightly
forward, so as to include more of the fibers of the wall ; when all are
inserted, how they should be driven home and drawn up at ends (with
the fore feet toe nails first, and firmly; heel nails last, and lightly).

Instruction 6. — How to finish shoeing.

Note. — Laying down and embedding the ends of the nails, or ' ' clinching, "
to be taught ; and the necessity for the clinches being strong, and pro-
jecting as little as possible beyond the wall, especially on the inside of the

The surface of the wall not to be rasped except round the edges between
it and the shoe.

It is desirable, if possible, to acquaint the men under instruction with
the structure of the horse's foot, even should the instruction be very
elementary, the hoof being the chief subject for consideration.

How to fasten a loose shoe ; how to make a hind shoe fit a front foot,
and vice versa, on an emergency ; how to remedy too fine or too coarse
nail holes ; and how to act when a nail has been accidently driven into or
too near the quick, should also be taught.

1, 1899, AND MAY 31, 1901.


Horses. Cobs. Total. Mules

Great Britain



United States of America.







35, 197

10, 647
6, 945

25, 872

38, 346
25, 872
10, 201
12, 345

56, 987


15, 229


The official returns give the number of remounts purchased
abroad for the South- African campaign as 67,958 for 1900 and
91,983 for 1901. The total number of horses sent to South
Africa from the British Isles, India, the colonies, and from
abroad, in 1900 and 1901, is 242,311.


[From " Zuchtund Remontirungder Militjir-Pferde aller Staaten," by Dr. Paul Goldbeck, Berlin, 1901.]


It is natural to suppose that England would take energetic
measures to promote raising in this, her most important
colony, but horse raising, as well as agriculture, in India


depends in a great measure on the timely arrival of the mon-
soon, and, as droughts are prevalent, horse breeding suffers
as a consequence. Until 1876 the government kept its own
studs, but the results were so poor that this method was
abandoned and an entirely new system introduced. At pres-
ent rural studs and government stallions are maintained, the
latter being sent to depots. The purpose of these measures
was to obtain good cavalry remounts. The mares are inspected
and if declared fit for breeding are branded "V I" (veteri-
nary inspection) on one shoulder and are served by the
government stallions free of charge. Not all parts of India
are by any means adapted to horse breeding, the famine
districts being in this respect absolutely excluded. Breeding
flourishes most in the northwestern provinces of Punjab,
Beluchistan, and Sind, and in Deccan, of the Bombay presi-

Table showing number of stallions kept by the govern-
ment, together with the number of mares served by them in
1898-99 :

Full-sized types :

Thoroughbreds and three-fourth breds. _ 103

English half -breds and Norf oiks 58

Hackney. - : 44

Roadster 2

Australian 47

Arabs 131

Local breeds 5

Total stallions 390

Ponies :

Arab 17

Local breeds -. 1

Total pony stallions 18

Total stallions, including pony stallions 408

Jacks 406

Number of mares 15,694

The English thoroughbred has done good work in the im-
provement of the races in India wherever good specimens
were employed, but it has become unpopular owing to the
poor specimens, so that Australian thoroughbreds are now
preferred. Hackneys have been utilized to increase the size
of the native breeds, but the products soon become too bulky


for cavalry purposes. Arab stock is very popular, as it per-
petuates its traits and eliminates many weak points inherent
in the native mares.

Besides the government stallions mentioned, numerous pro-
vincial governments and private parties keep breeding stal-
lions, these amounting in 1898-99 to 198 animals, among
which the Arab blood predominated.

The best known of the native races of nearer India are the
Punjabs. In general the horse bred here is a small animal
l-li hands high, resembling the Afghan ; there are, however,
also larger horses called "Turki" or "Irani."

In Bengal the native horse is a pony 12 to 13 hands high.

In farther India an excellent pony is found in Burma, but
neither mares nor stallions of this race are exported.

Mule breeding is given, in India, considerable attention,
the number of jacks used for this service in 1899 having been

There were in India in 1897 a total of 1,120,194 horses,
1,110,072 mules and asses, and 233,477 camels. These were
distributed as follows : Northwest i^rovinces and Oudh, 493,000
horses and 309,000 mules and asses; Punjab, 271,000 horses
and 557,000 mules and asses; Bombay, 152,000 horses and
67,000 mules and asses.

It is the aim of the Indian government to supply the troops
exclusively with horses bred at home. This plan, however,
is not yet entirely feasible, although energetic measures have
been taken to promote horse breeding.

The native cavalry consists of 19 regiments of Bengal lan-
cers, 5 of Punjab cavalry, 1 queen's own corps of guides in
Mardan, 1 detachment of police in the Northwest Province
and Oudh, 2 in Punjab, 1 detachment imperial service corps
troops, 2 regiments central India horse, and 1 remount depot.
The number of horses in a native regiment is about 600. Of
the English imperial troops only three regiments obtain their
remounts in India, all the artillery and the remainder of the
cavalry purchasing Australian horses. The native cavalry
troops, on the contrary, are supplied almost entirely with
home-bred horses. The remounts for native troops are pur-
chased full-grown, and the number bought in 1899 was 1,763.
There were also purchased 1,571 mules for the English troops
and 1,281 for the natives, mainly for purposes of transpor-
tation. Special committees are sent to Australia for the


purchase of remounts for the artillery and part of the cavalry.
The Indian cavalry received a valuable addition in 1890 in
the shape of a camel corps which by 1893 had 500 camels.
The animals are bred in a government establishment.


In Canada hardly any beginning has been made in system-
atic horse breeding. Manitoba, however, has a stallion
register in which some 250 stallions have been entered, and a
studbook is also kept for the foals produced. The eastern
provinces have little or no importance as horse-breeding dis-
tricts, while the western territories in some localities produce
a considerable number of horses. The province of Alberta,
especially, may be regarded as the center of the horse-breed-
ing industry, the winters there being short and the pastures
suited for the purposes. The breeding of heavy horses is
scarcely sufficient for the needs of the mining districts. The
number of saddle horses produced is, on the contrary, quite
large, being estimated at 30,000 head. In 1892 a number of
breeders in the region of Alberta sent a petition to the gov-
ernor general of Canada, stating that a large percentage of the
thousands of light saddle horses raised at Alberta would be
very suitable for remounts for the English army; that much
English thoroughbred blood had been introduced of late, and
that, as a consequence, the breed had been materially
improved. The only thing stated to be lacking was a market.
Furthermore it was claimed that the Canadian Pacific Rail-
road facilitated transportation and warranted the establish-
ment of a remount depot at Calgary. Finally, it was asserted
that the price of the horses was very low. The plan, although
at first regarded favorably, was never carried out. A tour of
inspection of the horses was made by two remount officers,
who decided that the majority of the horses were unsuited
for military use. This opinion was coincided in by the
inspector general of remounts. A German horseman by the
name of Hofaker, on the other hand, gave, after a visit to a
ranch at Calgary, a much more favorable opinion of these

In the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba there were in
1897, 613,670 and 100,274 horses, respectively. For the other
provinces statistics are lacking.



The number of horses in 1897 was 357,960.

In Cape Colony and Natal together there were, before the
Boer war, four cavalry detachments with about 1,200 horses,
all from Cape Colony.


The total number of horses in Australia (including New
Zealand and Fiji) in 1897 was about 1,935,000, distributed as
follows: New South Wales, 498,034; Queensland, 479,280;
South Australia, 164,820; Victoria, 431,547 (in 1895); West
Australia, 62,222; Tasmania, 29,898; New Zealand, 252,834.

In the most important colony, New South Wales, there
were in 1898 :

Heavy draft horses.
Light draft liorses -
Saddle horses


13, 758
26, 338


108, 308
174, 702

The prices are very low. Heavy draft horses bring only
$47.60 at auction in New South Wales; in West Australia
from $4.75 to $9.50 more. Saddle horses cost about $28.60,
only the best (the Indian remounts) coming to $71.40. The
exports are inconsiderable, amounting to 1,865 horses in 1897,
of which 1,189 went to India. As England has been pur-
chasing a great number of remounts every year in Australia,
interest has been awakened in the breeding of a stronger sad-
dle horse than formerly.

As there is no standing army there is no remount service.
Each colony, however, has a few batteries of permanent
artillery, for which the necessary horses are bought in open
market. There are also a few regiments of volunteer cavalry,
partly lancers and partly mounted infantry — a sort of militia.
Each volunteer has to secure his own remount. Australia is
an important source for remounts, not only for the British
colonial forces, but also, to an extent not yet appreciable, for
mounted troops of other powers, particularly those in East
Asia, Good thoroughbreds are imported to a great extent
from England to improve the Australian breeds. An excel-
lent half-bred saddle horse is raised in New South Wales and





In New Zealand the method of breeding is in general the
same as in Australia, but the industry has reached a higher
stage than in the latter country. The number of horses in
1898-99 was 258,649, having increased by 5,412 since 1897-98.
The breeding stallions in service in 1898-99 were as follows:
Thoroughbreds, 509; hunters and hackneys, 134; trotters,
237; light draft stallions, 409; pack horses, 780; ponies, 169;
asses, 26. The total number of mares used for breeding pur-
poses in the same year was 17,835. No government aid is
afforded to the horse-breeding industrj\ Draft horses cost
$18 to $30 each, saddle horses and coach horses, $7 to $25 each.
In 1898 there were exported 3,210 horses, of which 2,639 went
to New South Wales and 116 to Bengal.


[Reported by Capt. T. Bentlcy Mott, Artillery Ccjrps, Uinte<] States Military Attache at Paris.]

What follows applies to horses in Italy. The few that are
required for service in the Italian-African colonies are bought
in Africa.


The latest figures are the following ;

Total in Italy

Total in the army, including officers' horses

Total in the cavalry, including officers' horses

Total in the artillery and engineers, including officers' horses

Other services

Additional number required in case of mobilization for war, to
be brought or requisitioned in Italy



750,000 330,000

Horses and

14, 74(>



These duties are so insignificant that it may be said that
practically there are no import or export duties on horses in


The average number of horses bought each year by the
remount depots is 3,680. About 600 more are bought directly
by the regiments. The cavalry takes about 2,600, the artil-
lery about 1,200.


Cavalry, from S96.oO to $193 for troop horses; artillery,
$193 for wheel and $164.05 for lead horses; mules an average
of $173.70. These jDrices include the cost of transportation
to the destination


In the artillerj^ this loss is estimated at 10 per cent; in the
cavalry it is somewhat greater. In the cavalry, horses ad-
judged unfit for active service, but still capable of doing less



exacting work, are transferred to the train or sold to infantry
officers at low rates.

The average number of years that horses are retained in
service is: cavalry, 12; artillery, 13; mules and draft horses,
15 years.


All animals are bought in the market, none are raised on
government farms.


Horses are bought for the remount service of the cavalry
by boards sent out in the spring from the different remount
depots. The regiments are also authorized to buy horses
between 4 and 8 years directly, provided it is established
that they are raised in Italy.

The cavalry remount depots are under the direction of a
colonel in the cabinet of the minister of war.

In the matter of getting suitable horses much is left to the
judgment of the horse board, and the specifications are very
general in their nature. Horses bought for the cavalry may
be mares or geldings, of any color, between 2 and 3 years
old, showing the requisite breeding and conformation. Lan-
cers' horses should be from 15^ to 16 hands high; light-
cavalry horses from 14^ to 15^ hands and weigh about 880

These horses as soon as bought are sent to the raising-
depots, where they are kept until -i^ years old, when they
are sent to the regiments. At these depots they are not
seriously trained, but only handled and given sufficient exer-
cise to keep them in good health. The training is all done
in the regiments. There are six of these raising depots, four
on the peninsula and two in the islands.

A good number of English thoroughbred stock is bought.
In the islands they get a strain of Arabian blood that has
come down from ancient times.


Horses and mules for the artillery must be mares or geld-
ings, of any color except gray, between 4| and 8 years old,
must weigh about 1,100 pounds, and must have a good dis-
position, and the breeding and conformation necessary for the
service in view. Horses for field batteries and horse batteries



slioiild all have generally the same qualities as those demanded
of wheelers. Mules must be good for the pack service of
mountain artillery.

Horses of any blood are procured by purchase, the chief
foreign races being American, French, or German; some
French mules are also bought. The proportion of males and
females should be about equal. Horses should be from 14f
to 16^ hands high; mules from 14:p to 15f.

Boards of artillery officers with a veterinarian buy all the
horses and mules for the artillery and engineers.


Horses and mules are branded with hot iron on the left hip.
The mark is a cross and the number of the regiment.


Rarely practiced ; against anthrax the Pasteur virus is
occasio lally used.


The method known as hot-shoeing is practiced, the hot shoe
being apx)lied to the hoof before being quenched and set. The
Italian model of hand-forged shoe is used exclusively.


The composition of the forage allowance is as follows :

Ordinary ration

In cantonments

On the march

While traveling by rail

1 1 . U-A

Compressed hay is very rarely used.


The army has at Persamo one small breeding establishment
intended to distribute among raisers brood mares of good
blood. This has been established very recently.

However, separate from the army, seven stallion depots are
kept by the state for the purpose of encouraging, throughout


tlie country, the raising of well-bred horses. These estah-
lishnaents have GOO stallions. Private stallions, before they
are permitted to serve, have to be submitted to inspection and
approval of a government board. The services of the govern-
ment stallions cost generally from $2.31 to $7.72 per mare
served, thougli there are a few unusually fine animals for
whose services $38.00 to $115.80 or more is 23aid. Thus the
Italian government bought Melton, the winner of the Epsom
Derby of 1885, and his services cost $193 per mare.

The majority of these state stallions are full or half blood
English or Arabian and some hackneys, Clydesdales, and

officers' HORSES.

In order to assist mounted officers in the acquisition of good
service horses, a certain number of mounts are distributed
each year, or advances of money made for the purchase of
mounts. Such horses are denominated "cavalli de agevo-
lezza." They are divided into the following categories:


Category A. — Horses for general officers.

Category B. — Horses for general officers, for general staff
officers, for cavalry officers, and for artillery officers entitled
to the horse allowance of $54.60.


Category 1. — Horses for general staff officers; cavalry
officers; artillery officers; colonels and lieutenant colonels
commanding corps; and chiefs of service of infantry, engi-
neers, the sanitary corps, the commissariat, and the military
veterinary ; but not for infantry staff officers.

Categories 2 and 3. — Horses for officers of any grade in
the infantry, engineers, the sanitary corps, the commissariat,
and the military veterinary service.

The greatest debt which an officer may incur for a horse
furnished by the state, or for advances made, may not exceed
$390 for a general officer or a colonel holding the post of a
major general, $292.50 for an officer entitled to a horse allow-
ance of $78 and more, $224 for an officer entitled to a horse
allowance of $6^.30, $195 for an officer entitled to a horse
allowance of $54.60.

ITALY. 307

In special cases tlio minister may authorize an officer to
exceed the maximum limits mentioned above. In such a case
an officer, in addition to the horse allowance, must have
deducted from his pay each month 61. 04 for each $48.75 or
fraction thereof until the debt has come within the limits
mentioned. These horses, to whatever category they may
belong, must be paid for within three years. After the last
payment the horse becomes the property of the officer. When
such a horse becomes unfit for service on account of physical
defects, infirmities, or vices, the permanent council of admin-
istration, as well as that of the regiment to which the officer
belongs, assisted by a veterinarian, examines the horse and
gives authorization for its sale, the proceeds to be paid to the
remount service if the debt has not yet been liquidated.

Horses belonging to the special category A are drawn from
those of the cavalry school, recognized to be in sound condi-
tion, of good disposition, well broken, and from 7 to 12 years
old, and are selected by a commission composed of two
general officers, and one superior veterinary officer. This
commission fixes the prices, which must not exceed $307.50
per horse.

Special category B horses are between 4^ and 7 years old,
and are acquired either abroad or from the studs. In the
former case their price does not exceed $307.50 each. In
the latter case they have, according to the price established
by the depot council of administration, a value of from $224
to $202.50 each.

Horses of the ordinary categories are selected in the cav-
alry regiments by commissions nominated and presided over
by the commander of the brigade and composed of one field
officer, two subaltern officers, and one veterinary officer for
each regiment.

The horses are classed as follows :

First category, those from 5 to years of age.

Second category, those from to 12 years of age.

Third category, those of 12 years of age and more.
The minimum height of the horses is :

For the first category, 14f hands.

For the second and third categories, 14| hands.
The cost is as follows :

First category, between $224 and $175.50.

Second category, between $165.75 and $00.50.

Third category, $87.75 and lower.


Online LibraryUnited States. Adjutant-General's Office. MilitaryTarget practice and remount systems abroad → online text (page 23 of 29)