Esprit de corps: The Horse and Soldier
Kelly R. Moore
Dr. Charlie Apter, Faculty Mentor
Throughout American history, horses have carried soldiers into battle and scouts into enemy territory. Horses have pulled cannons and supplies through the line of fire, carried the wounded and dead from bloodied battlefields, and pulled hospital wagons through decrepit streets. The animal was vital not only for its strong back, powerful legs and alert senses, but also for its fierce will in battle and playful demeanor in camp. The parallels drawn between horse and soldier, such as group cohesion, hierarchy and the need for play, are of extreme significance and have been depicted in art and written works throughout time. The natural behavior of the horse coupled with its brave performances drew soldiers into a profound relationship with the animal, one that provided a boost in morale and a link to the soldiers’ lives outside of war.
Keywords: horse, soldier, morale, war, art, literature, ethology, psychology
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1408