The cavalry-horse is of a somewhat different type, and one at present too rare in Canada, owing to the preference shown by many light horse breeders for the American trotting sire, an animal possessing but few of the qualities and characteristics of the riding horse.
Colonel Ravenhill, in his report, says: - "A malformation in the Canadian horses which might advantageously be brought to the notice of breeders is that their quarters are short and very drooping, a serious defect in a military horse. Indeed, we had to reject as unsuitable a considerable proportion on this account} this is not only a great dissight, but where a mounted soldier has to carry a kit on his horse's back it amounts to an insuperable objection; it has arisen from the too extensive use of the American trotter for stud purposes, this defect being very apparent in that horse. This is an additional reason for the more continuous introduction of the English thoroughbred, or such horses as are very straight in their backs and quarters, with tail set high."
To get good cavalry-horses the thoroughbred sire is almost indispensable, as in no other way can the lengthy rein, sloping shoulder, deep chest, strong loin and long quarter, so necessary in this class, be obtained with any certainty or regularity. Freedom of movement is essential, but high action and great trotting speed are neither required nor wanted. Horses of this class should stand not less than 15.1 nor more than 15.3, and should measure at least 8 inches below the knee and 70 inches in girth.
The first prize at Toronto was taken by a brown gelding named "General," said to be by a thoroughbred horse. He was a remarkable well-proportioned weight carrier of considerable length and great substance. His measurements were as follows: Height 15.3, cannon bone 8 inches, arm 21 inches, crest to withers 37 inches, withers to croup 33 inches, croup to tail 15 inches, girth 74 inches.
Horses of this stamp can best be procured by the use of selected thoroughbred sires on strong half-bred mares, on the better class of roadster mares, or on mares from hackney or coach sires, provided they show some blood and quality. On mares having a preponderance of warm blood or those showing any inclination to weediness, a good hackney horse might be advantageously used.