Any history of the war in Vietnam undoubtedly conjures images in the minds of its audience of the type that are so abundant in popular collective memory of that time and place in history that they have become clichés. Much of this cliché imagery encompasses means of military transport.
Helicopters, jeeps, and patrol boats of various models feature prominently in nearly every account of the Vietnam War from classroom textbooks and veteran memoirs to Hollywood films and the iconography of monuments. However, the most historically prolific means of military transport – the horse – is absent in virtually all these accounts.
A quick answer many people would have as to the question of why the horse is absent in narratives of the war would be that horses were not utilized as advancements in military technology made them redundant by the 1960s. The image of mounted soldiers riding horses on patrol through the jungles and highlands of Vietnam appears antiquated compared to squadrons of Hueys delivering and extracting troops as a quick reaction force. When horses are referenced in accounts of the war they are almost always relegated to the personal mounts of small bands of hill tribesmen, haphazard and sporadic application during the French period, or other anecdotal instances. For this reason, it surprises most people to learn that there were indeed uniformed contingents of soldiers who rode horses and engaged in battle in Vietnam in the 1960s.
More @ MuseumRVN