The Canadian solders’ boots (too fine a leather, but there weren’t enough proper army boots to outfit them all) disintegrated. The horses stood in mud to the detriment of their hooves. Blankets were their only protection, blankets which were sodden most of the time, except when they froze. One Canadian officer ordered spruce branches to be cut and placed “under the horses’ bellies to keep them from sinking deeper into the mud.” For this he was charged with a criminal offence. A day or two later the charge was dropped, but he was instructed not to repeat the illegal cutting of English woods.
By December, the horses were in such poor shape that they were not permitted to haul anything, or to move any faster than at a walk.
(1) Image from www.firstworldwar.com
Source: Nicholson, G.W.L. The Gunners of Canada. The History of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. Volume 1: 1534-1919. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967. 202-203.