Topic: Canadian Militia
The Horse Memorial, dedicated to the horses killed during the South African War (1899-1902).
This statue is reputed to be one of only three memorials in the world dedicated to horses. Source
General Order 17
Care of Troop Horses
As published in General Orders; The Canada Gazette, 1st February, 1902
The following digest of a Special Army Order dated 23rd Deceutber, 1901, is published for the information and guidance of the Militia:…
Commander-in-Chief desires to draw attention of all officers of mounted troops to the vital importance of taking proper care of their horses.
The efficiency of units during war is dependent upon the proper training of iudividuals during peace and all officers of mounted branches must regard horse management as one of the most important of their regimental dutius.
The abnormal losses in horses during the campaign in South Africa has been due partially to military necessity, partially to difficulties of transport and supply, scarcity of water, extremes of heat, and the influence of a long sea voyage and change of climate, but also a good deal to the inexperience of a large proportion of the men in the care of their mounts, and to injudicious managenent.
The following instructions should be impressed upon all:…
1. Men should never be kept mounted when they can equally perform a duty on foot, and if officers insist upon their men dismountiug whenever possible when under their supervision, they will from force of habit, do the same when on detached or orderly duty. When halting even for a few minutes, dismounting affonds relief to both man and horse.
2. Vadettes will on occasions be able to keep a better look-out on foot than on horseback, whilst at the same time they would ease their horse and be less visible to the enemy.
3. On the line of march, when moving at a foot-pace, men should be frequently made to dismount and lead their horses.
4. Whenever the ground admits of it, troops should move on a wide front, and files should be opened out, to avoid dust, and allow of fresh air passing between them.
5. Officers commanding columns should regulate the pace to suit the slowest horse, or the slowest arm, with the column, and should study the ground to suit each branch. On a hard level road or down hill, draught horses will travel with less fatigue than cavalry whereas a soft surface, eepecially sand, or a long up-hill incline, tries gun horses far more than cavalry. If horses have been kept going a little beyond their pace at a trot, they canot effectually respond to the call on them for a gallop when speed is required.
6. The importance of frequent watering and feeding should be intpressed on all. A horse's stomach is small, and he cannot digest large quantities of food at a time. If necessarily kept for long without food, or after exhausting work, the first feed should be small, and a larger feed given after a few hours' rest (Army Order No. 3 of 1902)