#TBT: If We Still Had to Use the Horse Today

What if horses weren’t a hobby but our actual transportation?

“Bits are cruel! How would you like metal jammed in your mouth?”
William T. Trego, public domain.

I saw this post from the popular Tamarack Hill Farm Facebook page:

The text in full:

Seriously, how did they do it?

I mean, like, how did people ride back in the old days before they had drugs and calming supplements for their horses?

It is a great mystery. Surely, it can not be that those poor people were expected to, like, you know, learn how to ride.

God forbid such an imposition.

“Hey, Trail Boss—This yere bronc is scaring the holy livin snot outter me. Can’t you give him suthin to sort of take the edge off from him?

“Certainly, Tex. Them critters is set to stampede, and you don’t want to be out thar on some crazy ass critter. Hand me that syringe, and I’ll just pull up a little happy juice.”


“Hey, Chief Thunder Cloud. It’s going to be bad enough to jump those Cheyenne tonight, without me having to worry about how my horse is going to behave.

“Don’t you let it trouble your little head, Fast Hawk. Once he gets his 2 cc dose, you can scalp away in total safety.”

This post is mostly discussing sedation and calming supplements, but it got me thinking. What if the horse was still our primary mode of transportation today, in the world we’ve created for horses? Enjoy this tongue-in-cheek list.

1. “Colonel, I can’t let my horse graze on that grass, he might founder. He hasn’t been introduced to this pasture yet.”

2. “Chief, you can’t ride your horse into battle with THAT bit, you don’t want the US Army to think you’re barbaric, do you?”

3. “Yes, I’d like to ride him into battle, but my horse spooks at the smell of blood.”

4. “Ethel, go unhook the mule from that wagon, he lost a hoof boot and we can’t continue.”

5. “I can’t join the charge tomorrow, I left Buck’s supplements back at base.”

6. “There is no way Snickers is going to drink out of that watering hole; she only will drink water from home and I didn’t bring any of her special flavoring mix.”

7. “Lieutenant, my trainer says I’m not ready for that. I still haven’t gotten my leads down.”

8. “Soldiers, before we charge, make sure everyone has their helmets and breakaway stirrups on their saddles. We don’t want any injuries and I can’t afford to get sued.”

9. “Soft hands! Soft hands! You’re leaning too far forward! You’re going to be the reason we lose the war with that horrendous riding.”

10. ” The last time I used that war paint, Chief, my horse broke out in hives.”

Go riding.

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