Saturday, September 5, 2009

Horses learn to keep their heads

Turns out a re-enactment horse just wants to be one of the guys.

“They get into it as much as people do,” says Brandon Lentz, 19, who serves with the Confederate 3rd Texas Cavalry.

The 3rd is taking part in this weekend’s Battle of Atlanta re-enactments at Nash Farm in Henry County. Federal and Confederate participants brought about 75 horses between them.

Hobbyists who serve in cavalry units train a new horse for about a year, getting him accustomed to gunfire and the sounds of battle.

Re-enactor Dyson Nickle says horses “get to where they like the drills.”

Not all horses have the temperament for such duty.

But those who do make the cut enjoy running with the other horses because of the herd instinct.

Riding a horse in battle is not a cheap endeavor.

Cavalry re-enactors spend about $2,000 for a steed. But that's just part of the cost. A trailer, food and leather gear can add up to a significant investment.

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