Equipment Waler horses

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Dan Morton, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Yes, I recognize that horses are not properly equipment, also not weapons or uniforms...but I thought the Waler horses and their use by the Light Horse should be mentioned somewhere.

    Wikipedia
    The Waler is an Australian breed of riding horses that developed from the horses that were brought to the Australian colonies in the 19th century. The name comes from their early breeding origins in New South Wales; they were originally known as New South Walers.
    The Waler combined a variety of breeds; particularly the Thoroughbred, Arab, the Cape horse (from the Cape of Good Hope), Timor Pony and perhaps a little Clydesdale or Percheron. It was originally considered only a "type" of horse and not a distinct breed. However, as a landrace bred under the extreme climate and challenging working conditions of Australia, the Waler developed into a hardy horse with great endurance even when under extreme stress from lack of food and water. It was used as a stockman's horse and prized as a military remount. Walers were also used by bushrangers, troopers and exploration expeditions that traversed inland Australia.[1]
    The preferred Walers for cavalry duties were 15 to 16 hands high (60 to 64 inches (152 to 163 cm)). Those over 16 hands were rejected for use in the South Australian Bushmen Corps. Unbroken horses, as well as those with grey and broken (spotted) coat colours were also rejected. The selected horses had to be of a good type that could carry sixteen or seventeen stone (102 to 108 kg (224 to 238 lbs)) day after day.
    The Walers carried the rider, saddle, saddle cloth, bridle, head collar, lead rope, a horseshoe case with one front and one hind shoe, nails, rations for the horse and rider, a bedroll, change of clothing, a rifle and about 90 rounds of .303 rifle ammunition.[1]
    The gaits of the Waler were considered ideal for a cavalry mount; it could maintain a fast walk and could progress directly to a steady, level canter without resorting to a trot which was noisy, liable to dislodge gear and resulted in soreness in the horse's back.[2] The cavalry horse required docility, courage, speed, and athletic ability, as it carried the rider into battle. The infantryman’s horse was used as a means of transport from one point to another, for example, from camp to a battle ground, where the horses were kept back from the fighting.[1]
    In the First World War, 121,324 Walers were sent overseas to the allied armies in Africa, Europe, India and Palestine.[4] Of these, 39,348 served with the First Australian Imperial Force, mainly in the Middle East, while 81,976 were sent to India.[2] Due to quarantine restrictions, only one Waler is known to have been returned to Australia; "Sandy", the mount of Major-General W.T. Bridges, an officer who died at Gallipoli in May 1915.[2]

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  2. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States

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