Roman Cavalry



A Short Canter Through Early Historical Riding Styles Part 7

The modern era
Military manuals and saddles survive from the modern period. Re-enactors have access to an excellent range of reconstructed equipment and written instructions on how it show be used. The British Universal Pattern (UP) and American McClellan are both readily available military designs from the 19th century. Consisting basically of four components, two cantles and two side boards, their design can be traced all the way back to the steppe saddle.

Indeed 19th century American Indian saddles strongly correspond to steppe saddles of the early medieval period. I do not wish to reproduce those manuals here but this is a good example. Taken from Congdon's Cavalry Compendium, pages 101-103, published in 1864, it shows modern re-enactors how to saddle, bridle and pack effects using an1859 McClellan Saddle. James A. Congdon was a Major in the 12th PA Cavalry when he compiled and published his Cavalry Compendium in 1864. Re-enacting the American Civil War they are probably more 19th century cavalry re-enactors in America than anywhere else.

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