For the first time in the history of Indian army, eleven of its horses are going to trek through the inhospitable terrains of the Thar Desert. Eleven soldiers belonging to the Sixty First Cavalry at Jaipur began the unique expedition on January 24 called Thar Centaurs. The expedition is part of Army’s adventure activities to hone their riding and combat skills.
According to army officials, “All the horses participating in the expedition have undergone a two-month orientation programme during which the horses have been conditioned to walk on sand.”
The expedition team is relying on scientific horse training techniques and state-of-the-art health and performance monitoring aids. A veterinary doctor will be part of the team undertaking the expedition. The expedition will cover a distance of 1,600 km through the Thar desert and will pass through 42 nominated check posts.
It will pass through remote areas covering a route from Jaipur to Bikaner, Nachna, Tanot, Kishangarh, Barmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer and will return to Jaipur by the third week of March.
“Management of horses will be paramount and at no point will the riders tax the horse. In case it is difficult for the horse in the desert terrain, the rider will dismount and run or walk along with the horse in this terrain,” officials said. To avoid fatigue to the horses the distance covered per day will be around 20 to 100 km per day.
The Army riders would also do an extensive survey of unknown monuments, cultures and even flaura and fauna gracing the Thar.
The team will also carry out a detailed and scientific study of the daily performance of the horses based on the pace, diet, terrain and weather conditions, army officials add.