During World War I, cavalry units were used regularly, as they were thought to be essential to military strategy, but forces soon discovered many drawbacks to combat on horseback. Horses were mainly used as logistical vehicles, as they were better travelling rough terrain than machinery, and they transported messages and pulled artillery. Some reasons that horses became less commonly used were that they contributed to disease, required too much effort to transport, and could not match up against artillery and machine guns. Some of the diseases the horses generated were equine influenza, sand colic, sores from fly bites, ringworm, and anthrax. Many hundreds of thousands of horses died throughout the war, and while they were seen largely as a drawback rather than advantage, they did leave a legacy. The memorial St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, reads this about the horse’s legacy in war: “Most obediently and often most painfully they died- faithful until death.”
Lennox, Janette. "Horses in World War I." Expert Reviews & Knowledge Articles. Web. 13 Jan. 2012.
"Horses in World War I." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 30 Dec. 2011. Web. 13 Jan. 2012.
French Cavalry Crossing River. Digital image. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 13 Jan. 2012.