The Riderless Horse
On November 25, 1963, during President Kennedy’s funeral procession, a magnificent black gelding, with an empty saddle, saber, and boots reversed in the stirrups, followed the caisson bearing the President’s coffin. The riderless horse is one of the highest military honors bestowed upon the fallen. Black Jack, the horse used during JFK’s funeral procession, was from the Army’s oldest active infantry unit, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard. He alone defied the strict military discipline of the day with his rowdy behavior: prancing, throwing his head, and dancing around his walker.
After the funeral, Mrs. Kennedy, an avid horsewoman, expressed an interest in Black Jack. Within hours, the horse’s saddle and blanket, and the boots and saber were delivered to her at the White House.
-from the JFK Library