Caisson Horse Adoption
Adopt a Caisson Horse
The Caisson Horses of the Fort Sam Houston Funeral Honors Platoon participate in Full Honor Funerals with escort in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. These magnificent animals serve with the Soldiers of the Caisson Section daily to ensure final honors are given in a dignified, professional, and respectful manner; and they love their job. Because of the long and distinguished service of every horse in our stables, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) takes great care to ensure each horse is rewarded with a great home for its well-earned retirement.
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 are governed by Command Policy Letter “Adoption of Caisson Horses.”
Adoption Policy Letter
1. Horses identified by the Caisson Section for adoption are evaluated by the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston veterinarian to assess any medical requirements potential adopters need to be aware of when considering whether to adopt a Caisson Horse. The JBSA-Fort Sam Houston veterinarian provides medical details to this website for those interested in adopting the given horse. The horse’s medical records are transferred to the adopter upon retrieval of the horse.
2. Horse adoption details published to this website. People interested in adopting a Caisson horse will have 30 days to apply from the first day information about a retiring horse is published, using the adoption application packet (linked above/found here).
3. After 30 days, a board will convene to match each horse to an applicant. The Board consists of veterinary officers, the Chain of Command, and Soldier teammates of the retiring horse. All applications are reviewed by the board, with the intent to identify the best possible home for our retiring horses. When able, a representative of the Caisson Section or Command Team may visit prospective adopters to assess the proposed living spaces for our horses. A strong adoption packet contains a wealth of information on the living conditions and care that will be provided by the prospective adopters and includes references from a veterinarian and farrier who will care for the animal on the adopter’s behalf. Applicants are ordered by merit by vote of the board members.
4. Every applicant, regardless of selection, is notified of the board’s decision and arrangements are made to transfer the horse to its new home. Applicants who wish to appeal the board’s decision may do so through the process outlined in the policy letter. If the selected applicant is unable to receive the horse, the next applicant by merit is notified and arrangements are made to transfer the horse to its new home. If there are no acceptable applications, the horse remains in the care of the Caisson Section and may be transferred to another government agency or placed back in the adoption process at a later date.
Horses available for adoption
Veterinarian Evaluation for Elia
Elia is a 9-year-old dark bay Percheron gelding who is 16.3hh and weighs 1790 lbs. He was acquired in May 2021 for use as a wheel horse.
Elia is diagnosed with overriding dorsal spinous processes, or “kissing spine,” in his thoracic vertebrae. While it is a mild case, the weight of riders and training saddles at times causes his dorsal spinous process to touch or nearly touch the adjacent dorsal spinous process and causes sharp, unexpected pain which causes him to bolt or buck.
Elia has also been diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye causing him to have sight issues. Horses manifest varying degrees of blindness as cataracts mature.
Elia was able to perform as the riderless (caparisoned) horse under an empty saddle for the funeral service of his namesake, Brigadier General (retired) Charles Elia. He is calm, inquisitive, and very sweet.
Elia could be a great pasture mate or in a situation where he would have limited exposure to a herd of horses. With time, and possibly treatment, he could be a comfortable horse under modern light saddles and with a smaller rider to train and ride. He is current for all vaccinations and Coggins test.
Veterinarian Evaluation for Hasemoto
Hasemoto is a 9-year-old black Percheron gelding who is 17.2hh and weighs 1845 lbs. He was acquired in 2020 for use as a wheel horse.
Hasemoto grass foundered in August 2021, causing hoof wall separation, rotation of the coffin bone and extreme pain. In his case, the coffin bone rotated through the sole of the hoof where it became infected. During his long period of rehabilitation, his training was interrupted, and he requires special consideration and monitoring when horses rotate pastures. He foundered again in October of 2023 to a lesser degree and is currently receiving treatment.
Hasemoto was diagnosed with anhidrosis after his arrival to the Platoon, which is “a compromised ability to sweat in the face of exercise or high ambient temperature” according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). He receives a supplement in his feed containing potassium chloride, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and other ingredients to help him with this condition.
Hasemoto was diagnosed and treated for Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) and is currently taking Vitamin E to protect and aid neurologic function.
Hasemoto should be a pasture horse that should not be ridden due to his thin soles and history of foundering. If he is ridden, the rider should be extremely light weight, ridden for short periods and monitored closely for re-foundering.
While he is a handsome animal, he requires a level of care and additional considerations that are not conducive to the limited manpower and mission of the Caisson Section. Hasemoto must be adopted to an experienced trainer and/or rider because of his size, age, and lack of training. It would be best to adopt him to a more temperate climate, or to a home with climate controlled and professionally managed stable facilities, but an adopter willing to continue supplementing his feed for the anhidrosis would be acceptable.
Hasemoto could be a great stable mate or in a situation where he would have limited exposure to a herd of horses. He should not be ridden due to his thin soles and history of foundering. He is current for all vaccinations and Coggins test.
For more information or questions about the adoption process, please contact email@example.com.