Monthly Archives: December 2016

Pride of the Marines



We continue the story of Reckless, a native Korean mare who became a United States Marine. This episode goes to the core of this extraordinary mare’s life with her “herd” of Marines. The first part of the story is told in Episode 2, Flame of the Morning.

How is it possible that a horse would so selflessly sacrifice her own safety and comfort, often working alone (and astoundingly hard) under enemy fire and out of sheer bondedness with her fellow Marines? Unlike them, she couldn’t grasp the ideology of anti-communism, the belief in American freedom, or the struggle for territorial control, and yet you have to wonder if it isn’t the same bond that fuels bravery and heroism among humans in battle as well.

It is a horse’s nature to act to save the herd, because there is safety in numbers. Like the men, she knew she was part of a team, and she did what she could to save her buddies’ skin.

Follow our story about this little red mare, the size of a pony, with a heart as deep as the ones of national legends like Man o’ War or Secretariat. Like them, she gave it her all.

Listen as Abby tells the story of how this young horse became a centerpiece of the Marines’ efforts to prevail in the midst of a brutal war.

Sources for this episode

Books:

Barrett, J. (2013). They Called Her Reckless — A True Story of War, Love And One Extraordinary Horse. Tall Cedar Books, Chester, CT.
Available in print and Kindle versions from amazon.com

Clavin, T. (2015). Reckless: The Racehorse Who Became a Marine Corps Hero. Penguin, New York, NY.
Available in print and Kindle versions from amazon.com

Geer, A. (1955). Reckless, Pride of the Marines. E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., N.Y.
Available in print and Kindle versions from amazon.com, as well as a free pdf download from archive.com

Hutton, R. (2014) Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse. Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C.
Available from amazon.com to read in print or Kindle format, or as an audiobook in Audible format

Documents retrieved from the Internet:

Walt, L. (1953). Korean War Project Record: USMC-2249 CD: 22 (United States Marine Corps Unit Name: 1st Marine Division Records Group: RG 127) United States Marine Corps History Division, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland. Retrieved through Korean War Project (Hal Barker, Ed.) Dallas, TX on 17 November 2016
http://www.koreanwar.org

General link to the Marine Corps command diaries:
(n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2016, from
http://koreanwar.org/html/usmc_korean_war_records.html

More specifically, Reckless is mentioned in the Command Diaries of March 1953:
Barker, H. (n.d.). Command Diaries March 1953. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from
http://www.koreanwar2.org/kwp2/usmc/081/m081_cd22_1953_03_2249.pdf

On the effect of weight carrying in riding horses:
Powell, D.M., et al (2008). Evaluation of indicators of weight carrying ability of light riding horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 28(1): 28-33 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2007.11.008

Contributors:

Ricky Bloxsom, Visual Design and Website Development
Lanin’s Southern Serenaders, “Shake It and Break It”, Antique Phonograph Recording
Christian Gundermann, Show Notes
Beth Linnetz, Quality Review
Janet Barrett, Historical Details
Content Critique Team:
Ali Bloxsom
Anna Bloxsom
Amanda Winer


Flame of the Morning



This episode explores the bond between humans and horses through an unusual story from the middle of the twentieth century. In this first episode of a three-part story, we introduce you to a little horse whom the U.S. Marines acquired, named, trained, employed, and lived with, during the last months of the Korean War.

We trace the last wave of global decolonization; the effort of the United States to step into the void left by the collapsing colonial powers and assert global dominance; and millennia of human cohabitation with equines: breeding, selection, training, and the rise of human civilizations based on what their horses enabled them to do.

In this story, we also get a sense of how much has changed in U.S. culture over the last 60 years since the Marines chose this horse as their comrade-in-arms. In the 1950s, it was still common to find experienced horsemen in the U.S. military, and they played an important role in the events as they happened.

We can speculate about the horse’s genetics and breeding, which by themselves draw a map of world history. This little red native Korean mare, the size of a pony, had a heart as big as the one of national legends like Man o’ War or Secretariat. Listen as Abby tells the story of how this young horse met some young Marines, and formed a bond that would not be broken.

Sources for this episode

Books:

Barrett, J. (2013). They Called Her Reckless — A True Story of War, Love And One Extraordinary Horse. Tall Cedar Books, Chester, CT.
Available in print and Kindle versions from amazon.com

Clavin, T. (2015). Reckless: The Racehorse Who Became a Marine Corps Hero. Penguin, New York, NY.
Available in print and Kindle versions from amazon.com

Geer, A. (1955). Reckless, Pride of the Marines. E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., N.Y.
Available in print and Kindle versions from amazon.com, as well as a free pdf download from archive.com

Hutton, R. (2014) Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse. Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C.
Available from amazon.com to read in print or Kindle format, or as an audiobook in Audible format

Documents retrieved from the Internet:

Walt, L. (1953). Korean War Project Record: USMC-2249 CD: 22 (United States Marine Corps Unit Name: 1st Marine Division Records Group: RG 127) United States Marine Corps History Division, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland. Retrieved through Korean War Project (Hal Barker, Ed.) Dallas, TX on 17 November 2016
http://www.koreanwar.org

General link to the Marine Corps command diaries:
(n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2016, from
http://koreanwar.org/html/usmc_korean_war_records.html

More specifically, Reckless is mentioned in the Command Diaries of March 1953:
Barker, H. (n.d.). Command Diaries March 1953. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from
http://www.koreanwar2.org/kwp2/usmc/081/m081_cd22_1953_03_2249.pdf

On horse racing in Korea:
(n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2016, from
As the Invasion began, Racegoers kept on Punting

On the history of the Ferghana horse in East Asia:
(n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2016, from
http://www.ollisandoostermeijer.com/publications/the_importance_of_the_horse.html

On the genetic evidence of the Ferghana importation from Mongolia:
Kim, K.-1I., Yang, Y.-H., Lee, S.-S., Park, C., Ma, R., Bouzat, J. L. and Lewin, H. A. (1999), Phylogenetic relationships of Cheju horses to other horse breeds as determined by mtDNA D-loop sequence polymorphism. Animal Genetics, 30: 102–108. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2052.1999.00419.x

Contributors:

Ricky Bloxsom, Visual Design and Website Development