The Caisson horse.

The Caisson horse.


I’ve written a few stories on the Caisson horses.  You can read the most popular ones here (Black Jack) and here.

A Caisson horse is one of the horses who works at Arlington with the Old Guard…  They graciously and elegantly pull the official vehicles and gently work all the special duties.

The official site of the Old Guard... click to enter

The official site of the Old Guard… click to enter

Here is the official description from the Army website:

The Caisson Horses of The Old Guard participate in all Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps Full Honors Funerals performed in Arlington National Cemetery. These magnificent animals serve with the men of the Caisson Platoon daily to ensure final honors are given in a dignified, professional, and respectful manner; and they love their job. Each Caisson Horse offered for adoption has served on average for over a decade. During the course of their service they participate in thousands of funerals for our nations heroes. Because of the long and distinguished service of each and every horse in our stables, The Old Guard has introduced the Caisson Horse Adoption Program to ensure each horse is rewarded with a great home following its well earned retirement.

Occasionally, one of these wonderful horses comes up for adoption…

And today is that lucky day!

Black Jack.

Black Jack.  This is not the horse up for adoption… Black Jack is no longer with us.  But he could be the most famous horse to be part of a Caisson.


Mack is adoptable and living in Arlington, Virginia!

OMG.  He has Morgan  (I love the Morgans…) and Percheron (Bodhi is Percheron)!
What a lovely cross!

How wonderful would it be to have a horse who has had military training for 9  years of his life?!  He has been spit-shined more than I have ever been spit-shined, that’s for sure!  And, I bet he truly does have excellent manners.

What an opportunity to go visit him, eh?!!

If you go to Arlington, you could see all of the Caisson horses and the incredible barns!!  Such a treat.  Of course, if I went, I’d fall in love and try to squeeze Mack into my Beetle.

Anyone need a wonderful horse like Mack??

Here is his description:

Mack the Caisson horse is available for adoption!

Mack is a 13 year old black Percheron Morgan Cross gelding. He stands 17 hands tall and weighs approximately 1,453 lbs. Mack has served our nation for 11 years as a Caisson Platoon horse. He has served predominately as a swing position horse both off and near sides. Mack is being retired from active duty due to intermittent lameness in his right hip. When it comes from confirmation he is relatively average for his breed and doesn’t have any distinct deficiencies. He has good ground manners for beginner to average handlers. He is not pushy and respects his handlers very well. It’s recommended that Mack be used for light trail rides and he would be a great companion horse.


Program Overview (lifted from the website)

The primary goal of the Caisson Horse Adoption Program is to select a home for a retiring Caisson Horse. The program publishes Horses ready for retirement to a Website, identifies potential adopters, and selects the best candidate from a pool of applicants seeking to adopt a retired Caisson Horse. The specifics of the Caisson Horse Adoption Program is governed by The Old Guard Regimental Policy Letter #14 – Horse Adoption.

Adoption Process:

  1. Horses identified by Caisson for adoption and evaluated by the Fort Myer veterinarian to assess any medical requirements potential adopters may need to be aware of when considering whether to adopt a Caisson Horse. The Fort Myer veterinarian will write a memorandum which will provide medical details to those interested in adopting the given horse.
  2. Horse adoption details published to Website. People interested in adopting a Caisson Horse will have 60 days to submit an application to adopt a horse from the first day information about a retiring horse is published.
  3. After the 60 day period, a board will be convened by The Old Guard to match each Horse to an applicant. In some cases, more than one horse may go to a single applicant. In other cases, the board may find that no applicants are appropriate for a given horse.
  4. Each applicant will be notified of the board’s decision and arrangements will be made to transfer the Horse to its new home.

If you have decided to begin the adoption process:

  1. Contact the Caisson Platoon to schedule a visit to see the horses in person. Though it is not required, it is highly encouraged that you come to see the horses prior to submitting an application. Not only will this help you decide which horse may be right for you, but it also gives the Caisson Platoon an opportunity to put a face to the name on the application and may increase your chance of getting exactly the horse you wish to adopt.
  2. Download the Caisson Horse Adoption Application and fill it out providing as much detail as possible. If you have additional remarks/paperwork you wish to submit with your application, feel free to include those remarks with the submission of your application. Any information submitted to the board will be considered.

Mack’s right side.

Caisson Contact Information

Platoon Leader Platoon Sergeant Operations Sergeant
CW3 Brian Benner
Phone: 703-696-3018
Send an E-mail
SFC Eric Hayman
Phone: 703-696-3018
Send an E-mail
SSG TJ Goodman
Phone: 703-696-3018
Send an E-mail

Download Caisson Adoption Application

Mack’s left side..




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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

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