How Much Did Horses Get Shot in Real Life?

marshall trimble ask the marshall true west magazine

Horses rarely get shot in the Westerns, although they often go down when the rider is hit. What about in real life?

Robert Lucas
Carson City, Nevada

Horses suffered heavy casualties in warfare of any kind. They presented large targets and bullets were flying in all directions. Also, shooters would fire at horses to get the rider on the ground and more vulnerable. With the advent of machine guns and barbed wire in the 20th century, armored vehicles soon replaced the horse cavalry.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.