Post by fjordmustang on Dec 4, 2008 23:38:09 GMT -5
Forgive me for being such a newbie and asking such pedantic questions I did want to ask all of you who are Big Horn (and other) reeanactors, how do you soldiers/braves get your horses for your events? It impresses me that you ride the right color and type and breed of horse at the events. Do you bring a special horse in with you to the event, or do you rent a horse that matches the event? All of you look amazing when you do the re-eanactments, so it would be fun to hear from you about your experiences.
I'm not a reenactor but I have 2 mustangs, a grey and a sorrel, and 2 burros adopted from the BLM. How's this for a pedantic answer. Jeez, gotta have a dictionary handy to talk on these boards anymore except I refuse to use one. I'll just suffer through my pedanticism until I can find a doctor to cure it.
The mustang is more typical of what the cav used back in the day. They rounded up wild horses on the plains and even used horses taken from the NAs. The officers who bought their own horses, had the opportunity to buy thorobreds and the like. Part of the reason Custer could ride circles around the rest of his command because of the Kentucky horses he bought.
Thought you left to go thaw out icebergs for drinking water or something like that.
Post by fjordmustang on Dec 5, 2008 12:29:19 GMT -5
Still here in the Old Line State with some unexpected work projects (the current economy has the travel industry on its toes), but will be heading to Iceland soon for a few weeks. I'll bring my computer with so I can keep in touch. It actually is warmer in Iceland in the winter than in many parts of the USA, but you are right that we get water from melted glaciers filtering through lava stones into springs.
I am jealous that you have mustangs! They are pretty amazing creatures, especially the pure Spanish ones. I had read that cavalry liked to use wild horses that were a crossbreed of mustangs and a "civilized" breed. It would be common to put a Thoroughbred stallion loose into a herd of Spanish mares and let nature take its course.
Yes, I had read that officers often used Throughbreds. I know they could go faster, but they seem like they'd have less overall endurance so some officers would switch mounts during the day.
I don't have horses now, but when I was in college I worked at a boarding stable where we had quarter horses and mixed breeds and two Tennessee Walkers and a foxtrotter. I actually wound up adopting a cavalry saddle no one was using, and it was awesome for trail riding. If I can move to Iceland permanently I would definitely want to get Icelandic horses (that is all you can get in Iceland). They are my favorites thanks to their willing nature and smooth ambling gait, but I have to admit a reenactment using a cavalry on Icelandic horses would be hilarious.
Sorry for the pedantic vocabulary. The big words come out every once in a while. My therapist is having me work through it, so hopefully I will be cured of it down the road.
Many of the reenactors who live out west will trailer their own horses to the reenactments. Others, like myself, who must fly out due to the great distance needed to travel, will either rent or borrow a horse at the event. In years past, the cost was quite reasonable. Over the past few years, a number of profiteers have infiltrated the event and the result has seen the cost of renting a horse go thru the roof. I give a lot of credit to the reenactors who have the guts to get on a rented or borrowed horse (usually not of the highest caliber, and with many of the Indian horses only semi-trained if at all). Its really a wonder there are not more serious injuries in the field. I understand that last summer at the Real Bird Pageant, at least 4 riders went into the river off their horses due to the extremely high water levels.....two of the riders coming close to being fatalities. One due to an inexperienced and overweight rider who went down in the current and had to be rescued from the river, the other being a female rider who went down and was nearly crushed and drowned by her horse when it decided to compete with her over who would be the first to exit the river via a nearby cutbank. The woman made it to the cutbank first, but the horse overtook her and won the race. She somehow managed to avoid serious injury after making a sudden underwater trip beneath the belly of her horse, who decided to climb over her back in its effort to escape the river.
Post by fjordmustang on Dec 7, 2008 12:32:29 GMT -5
That is interesting about the horse info. It's a shame that profiteers have to get involved in the horse rental. I also did not realize the quality of the horses can be really questionable, too. Some of those incidents you mention with accidents in the river and near fatalities are pretty scary!
I also did not realize there were women horseback reenactors at the event! I often wondered if women were able to get involved as part of the fighters.
Post by thehighwayman on Dec 8, 2008 11:37:23 GMT -5
"I also did not realize there were women horseback reenactors at the event!"
Sure! I've been to a couple of American Civil War reenactments, and seen women acting the role of mounted soldiers as well.
But it doesn't stop there. Melani, who posts here, is a re-enactor of artillery in Civil War events. I hear she can carry a barrel from a Napoleon 8-pounder on each shoulder, and has a girl friend that has one in her garage at home to keep the neighbors on the straight and narrow.
I'm in the Confederate artillery--Norfolk Light Artillery Blues--www.ncwa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=54 They were organized in the 1820's with blue uniforms, but found out very early in the Civil War that that was a real bad idea, and switched to Confederate gray, but retained the name. No horses involved in our reenacting unit--we use trucks for long hauls, and shove the guns around by hand on the battlefield. The one in the pictures on the above thread was trailed out to Gettysburg from California. Got a lot of attention at rest stops.
I went to a reenactment with a friend several years ago, and she introduced me to the first sergeant, an old friend of hers. Sgt. Jane recruited us both on the spot. She is fifth from the left in the top picture on the website, just behind the flag.
Some units do not allow women to cross-dress, but most of the ones in our club do. Sgt. Jane has done a lot of research on women in uniform during the Civil War--around 400 have actually been documented, including one found among the dead of Pickett's Charge. There was another named Jane Perkins who fought with a Virginia artillery unit. As a result, our Sgt. Jane has pretty much given up calling herself "Jake" at reenactments, and figures she is just being historically accurate!
Post by topkick1833 on Jan 14, 2009 20:53:14 GMT -5
To answer your original question, where do the reenactors get their horses from? Well, they come from many a clime and place. A good friend of mine is quite the expert in training horses specifically for reenactments, among other things. It really depends on the horse itself to be honest. Horse temperment and trainer patience has alot to do with it. The proponderance of horses that we use are Quarterhorse Geldings however, we use mares as well. Again it depends on the horse on how well it will take to the training. We do have a couple of draft horses and a big Hanovarian that we use at events as well.
Post by fjordmustang on Jan 18, 2009 0:51:50 GMT -5
Thanks for that great reply!
It´s interesting (and yet expected) that the versatile Quarter horses would be useful for reeanactments. I was actually amazed you have mares take part. I got the impression that reeanactor horses were a gelding only club. Nice to see mares could take part, too. I know geldings would be the most reliable battle horses in a reeanactment but nice to see mares make the cut every once in a while... go mares!
Post by topkick1833 on Jan 23, 2009 17:24:20 GMT -5
Sure, not a problem. Melbourne has a great demeaner and it a blast to ride! We used him in a Christmas parade and he did really well. A real nice horse all around, you just might need a step ladder to get up on him.