Tuesday, December 27, 2011

War Horse Hoofcare: The Way It Was

It's War Horse week on The Hoof Blog. We'll start off with a short and not very sweet video of the British Army farrier encampment somewhere in India.You can see the forges and the horses lined up, and you can also notice the division of labor between the Indians and the British. 

Who's pumping the bellows?

The second part of the clip demonstrates what they are calling the Lightwark Tackle System. I haven't found any other reference to this. It is similar to other systems used to desensitize a green horse and get shoes on it.

They didn't have much time, and this is how they got it done. I don't know how many horses broke their legs or necks or how many young Indians were seriously injured in the making of this film, but I know that the American Humane Association--the organization that watched over the making of War Horse and gave the film its highest rating for the welfare of the horses on the set--wouldn't have been pleased that the British even made this film, much less actually used that system.

It's just the way things were.

I hope you will enjoy the posts planned for this week and that you will go see War Horse, if you live in the United States or Australia. Go see it on a big screen and watch what's going on in the background as well as where the camera is pointed.

This film is from the archives of the War Horse: Fact or Fiction exhibit at the National Army Museum in London.

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