Training Remounts (1922)

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John Ruf
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Training Remounts (1922)

Post by John Ruf » Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:11 pm

From “Training Remounts” TR 360-10 (1922)

Guidance to remount officers:

(1)Be systematic. - Before beginning work, fix in mind a little program of exercises for the day. Be sure that the exercises for the day are in proper relation to the work of previous days.

(2)Be patient. - Do not destroy the tranquility of horses by demanding a performance that is too difficult or by demanding it too suddenly.

(3)Be tactful and resourceful. - Take advantage of the most favorable conditions for teaching a horse a new lesson. Never try to train a fresh horse. Undertake nothing new when the horse is excited or frightened. Do not try to train the horse when his attention is distracted elsewhere. Do not give a new lesson to a resisting horse. Do not send the horse to the stable in the midst of resistances or with a lesson incomplete. Finish the lesson first and then send the horse away calm and tractable.

(4)Be moderate. - begin with the simplest movements and exercises. These understood, proceed to the next, less simple. In the early training introduce nothing complex or difficult. Use continuously the same means to bring about the same results, thus aiding the horses’ memory. Ask but little and ask it often; it is by repetition that a horse progresses. Nevertheless, do not let a horse continuously execute a movement incorrectly or in a dull, lifeless manner. Demand attention, correctness, and a carriage and action gradually increasing in style and manner, then accord a few moments of complete relaxation. Never strain the attention or tax the strength of the horse. Require no position, attitude, or movement which in itself causes the horse apprehension, discomfort, or pain. Do not let training have for its principal result restiveness or unsoundness.

(5)Be observant.- Do not attribute every resistance or failure of the horse to inattention or stubbornness. These are often due to ill-fitting bits or saddlery, to a poor rider, to a lack of condition or approaching unsoundness, to noises, unaccustomed surroundings, or even the weather.

(6)Be exacting.- Do not be content with the simple tracing of the riding-hall exercises and figures. Every such exercise or riding-hall figure has for its object to teach the horse obedience to the aids and to know how to handle himself in doing so. Accordingly, before taking the first step of a movement the horse should be placed in a position which renders the execution of the movement simple and natural. The movement will then be executed more easily and correctly.

(7)Be logical.- Do not confuse the means by which an end is obtained with the end itself. Practically all the exercises and riding-hall figures are the means by which the horse is rendered easy to manage during ordinary riding. Accordingly, do not use riding-hall exercises as a proof of training nor routine drill movements as a means of training. The first are the means by which the horse is trained. The second constitute the test and the proof of training.

(8)Be liberal.- Permit the riders to ride the greater part of the time at will, or, if on the track, without regard to distances, they then have a greater opportunity really to control and to correct the attitudes, positions, and movements of their horses. As training progresses they should, in periodic tests, be able to ride more and more accurately with fixed distances on the track, by threes in the hall, or in military formations out of doors.

(9)Be tenacious.- Never provoke a struggle that can be properly avoided. If however, a serious resistance is encountered, the rider must not evade the issue; he must emerge from the contest in entire control of the situation.

(10)Be consistent.- Throughout the course of the training, keep in mind the
fundamental requirements of ordinary marches and maneuvers and of the actual
field service. Rigidly exclude from the program every exercise that does not bear
directly upon the proper preparation of the horses for such duty. At the same time,
take care to include in the program every exercise that renders the animals more
easily managed or that actually increases their strength and powers of endurance.


Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936

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Post by Gunny Gibby » Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:40 am

If anyone is interested in viewing a remount station, there is one still standing in Front Royal, VA. It is currently occupied by the Smithsonian's Conservation and Research Center.

It was first occupied in 1912 for breeding and training of horses and mules for the Army. During WW2 it served as a K-9 training facility and housed 600 German and Italian POWs. In 1948 it became a beef cattle research station for the USDA. Additionally, the State Department equipped several buildings for use in case of national emergency. The USDA functions ceased in 1973 and was occupied by the Smithsonian in 1974.

Some of the WW2 era buildings are still there and you can also view the animal cemetary by the old race track. Notables include two of General Pershings horses, Kidron and Jeff.

Kidron became famous as General of the Armies John J. ("Black Jack") Pershing's horse. Historic photographs show Pershing riding Kidron triumphantly through the Victory Arch in New York City at the end of World War I.

The horse died October 10, 1942, in Front Royal, Virginia. Hoping to have the horse mounted, the War Department, Front Royal Quartermaster Depot, Remount of Front Royal, Virginia, turned over the remains to the U.S. National Museum. However, because of Kidron's age at the time of his death and because the body had decomposed rapidly due to hot weather, taxidermists were unable to mount the skin.

On March 31, 1943, the Office of the Registrar at the Smithsonian accepted as a transfer from the War Department, the skin and skull of Kidron. These remains are now part of the research collection of the Division of Mammals in the National Museum of Natural History.

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/activitiesand ... tions/acf/

Phil Gibbons

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Post by Tom Sullivan » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:38 am

In the early 1990's the US Customs Service used the old remount station HQ area as their K9 training facility. Is that still there? What about the nice little trout stream that runs right thru the middle of the whole facility?

My father told me that up until the early-1950's the US Army officers stationed in the Washington DC area kept their polo strings and other personal mounts at Front Royal. They had their horses sent by train to Ft. Meyer, and then ponied them across the Memorial Bridge into the Lincoln Mall polo field to play. Gen. Patton had a watering trough built for them that is still there on the river side of the field.

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Post by throwback » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:06 pm

john, those are great standards for us to TRY to remember...

as far as old remount stations, "war horses" has a recap of where they are now.

the two former remount stations i've visited, ft. robinson, ne (now a MODEL state park showing what can be done with historic military facilities) and ft. reno, ok, (a small volunteer-run museum amidst the successors- a federal prison and department of agriculture experimental station), make it clear that being beautiful horse country was part of the selection criteria.

of course, the government being what it is, economy was important too. both fts. rob and reno were surplus military property (or had space available as they continued their missions) when they became remount stations, and so were many of the rest. others were donated or lent.

location also played a role-- the qm tried to have relatively even geographical distribution too.

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Post by John Ruf » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:55 pm

Phil:

I am not 40 miles away from Front Royal, from my home in Culpeper.

I am embaressed to say I have not visited the remount station there.

The Zoo does an open house in October, I think I'll make a point of driving over.

Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936

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Post by John Ruf » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:58 pm

Kurly:

Yup, these rules even apply to teaching my students!

Actually, I was so inspired by them that I took the time to transcribe them into the post.

My 1916 QM manual has a list of all posts, including the remount stations. There are also maps showing the zones covered by each station, etc.

Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936

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Post by Gunny Gibby » Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:17 am

Tom,

The U.S. Customs has a new K-9 facility just down the road from the old remount station. But you are correct, they did use the remount station at one time. Some of the officer housing is used today as local family homes and the road leading to the station is named remount road. Not sure if you can still pull trout out of the stream, but its there. The local heritage society has a couple of nice maps that show the original facility with all the different pastures and buildings labeled. Really worth the trip out there if you get a chance to visit the area.

Phil Gibbons

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Post by John Ruf » Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:48 am

Tom:

My grandfather was a veterinarian Colonel in the Cuban army. He served from 1922 to 1959. His last ten years in uniform he was the C.O. for the veterinary corps. He was U.S. trained (both medically and militarily), and an avid polo player. He would spend part of the season playing in the U.S., and his strings consisted of American ponies.

He lived into his 90's, and worked a second career with the Department of Agriculture as a research veterinarian. He remained passionate about horses and polo to the end.

The family has several photos of his polo matches; I will post them.

Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936

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Post by Pat Holscher » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:59 pm

Bumped up due to all the other Remount threads recently bumped up.
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Post by Pat Holscher » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:56 am

Pat Holscher wrote:Bumped up due to all the other Remount threads recently bumped up.
Bump.
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