February 26, 2009

More info on Horse Forage

I received a follow-up message from Dean West, pictured here as Captain West,
B Troop, 9th KY Cavalry. (He no longer wishes to remain anonymous.) I must say he looks dashing on his steed. The picture shows him on his Morgan.

According to Dean," the Morgan was a popular pulling horse during the Civil War. The horse Sheridan rode from Washington to the battle of Cedar Creek was a Morgan named Reinzi. Sheridan changed its name to Winchester at some point after he came east to command the AoP cav."

That horse would have come in handy when he, John Hill and I did a day of exploring the Cedar Creek Battlefield in preparation for a Johnny Reb game we once ran. Those were fun times. But I digresss.

This photo shows a scene from a typical Johnny Reb game that John Hill, Dean West and I hosted. John spent many years developing portable terrain pieces for his Johnny Reb games.

Dean provides some additional information about horse related forage statistics. Since this data shows that it is possible that a large animal might need more than 25 pounds of feed, perhaps the confusion comes from the use of the terms "grain and hay" used in the Encyclopedia citation. Hay is less nutritious than grain and thus more would be needed.

"I reviewed The Whole Horse Catalog, which says that a horse has the following grain ration daily in order to work at various levels. Also, there are some types of hay, such as Alfalfa, that is so rich in protein that grain rations need to be scaled down, and I know a couple guys who feed their draft animals all the Alfalfa they want, but just a a pound or two of grain per day. This issue can be unbelievably and unnecessarily complicated, unless the horse in question is a $1,000,000 Thoroughbred, and even those guys are fretted over too much.
Anyway, here's what Whole Horse Catalog says:

Light Work (1-3 hours per day: half pound of grain per hundred pounds + 1 1/2# hay per pound (1000 pound ridiing or show horse: 5# Grain 15# hay)

Medium Work (3+ to 5 hours per day: 1 pound of grain, one and a half pounds hay per 100 pounds (10 pounds grain per day)

Heavy Work (5+ to 8 hours per day: one and a quarter to one and a 1/2 pounds of grain per day (12.5 to 15 pounds per day)

Notice that a 3000 pound Clydesdale could need as much as 45 pounds of grain per day if working very hard.

Six-horse teams were the prescribed number for pulling full size army wagons. I have a funny General N.B. Forrest story of what happened in late 1864 when some official from Gen Hood's HQ handed him an order demanding he turn over two mules from each of his six-horse supply wagon teams in order to augment the tranportation of an infantry corps. The closing salvo from Forrest was for him to "git", and that Hood's officers should not come back to his camp unless they wished for beating or death. The mules remained with Forrests wagon train."

1 comment:

  1. Bernie,
    If you want to learn about American Morgans, my wife & kids used to work at a local farm in Fredericksburg that raises them... check out: http://www.radiancemorgans.com/. If you call or e-mail, ask for Amanda or Barbara Hewitt... they are a wealth of knowledge for the Morgan breed here...