Like many soldiers who retire from their time in active duty, two caisson horses working with the Old Guard at Arlington National Park are now looking for new homes. “Quincy,” as one horse is known, suffers from navicular disease, which prevents the 11-year-old Quarter Horse from comfortably spending his days in service. “Kennedy,” a 15-year-old Standardbred, acted up too many times to remain in service.
The two caisson horses are being offered for adoption to the general public. Caisson horses walk with the coffins of those killed in action to burial ceremonies in Arlington National Park. These horses can be ridden (like those that pull the coffin) or can be lead as a rider-less horse, with an empty saddle memorializing the service member who will never ride again. The solemn ritual is performed about eight times a day, every other week, in every sort of weather
The horses are free to a good home, but that home will be heavily screened, with Army members traveling to prospective adopter's farms to be sure the horses will be cared for properly.
Those interested in adopting Quincy or Kennedy can visit the horses at Fort Myer, the Army installation next to Arlington National Cemetery. There is also an extensive six-page application, available here, that asks questions dealing with the horse's health and welfare.
Learn more at the Washington Post.
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