Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Horseback fighting manuals Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jaroslav Kravcak




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 22 Apr 2006

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 1:31 pm    Post subject: Horseback fighting manuals         Reply with quote

Good day Happy

Id like to ask if there are any instructions or illustrations in surviving documents that show how a horseman should deal with opponents armed with various weapons one on one maybe even against a group, how to avoid injury to him and his horse.

Maybe even what to do when surrounded.

Id also like to ask if horseback vaulting in some form was considered an essential skill of a knight or man at arms, more specifically french sometimes in period from 1420-1600 roughly.

And from the opposite perspective, fighting as individual or in little groups, are there any instructions at how to deal with single horseman or two with various weapons?

Have someone in modern times tryed to replicate similar situations in any reasonable manner to get some practical insights?

Would the difference of fighting from horseback, one on one against for example an ordinary halberdier with basic drill and a dismounted knight armed with poleaxe be significant or only marginal. (in case horseman have to rely only on his secondary weapon- mace preferably)
If anyone reproducing horseback fighting would care to answer: What would you do in a situation above if your intention was to kill/disable/submit opponent. (so simply running away wasnt valid option Laughing Out Loud )

So to sum it up: What skills should a contemporary person acquire if he wanted to reproduce skill of an ordinary man at arms of 15th or 16th century in any form resembling it? And maybe what would be the most optimal succesion of acquiring them for a person in training?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The answer is yes and no. There are a variety of sources and techniques available, but as far as I am aware, there isn't a whole lot on multiple opponents with a variety of weapons or completely surrounded as you suggest.

There are some people working on and practicing what we do have though.

See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PQHR_SOPuw

"Theresa Wendland and Julia Thut of the International Mounted Combat Alliance demonstrate various wrestling techniques on horseback from Fiore, Kal, and Talhoffer."


And: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzbCZxdT-_k&feature=related

"Mounted Combat training with my trainee Sofia Jubskaas. We are playing with some Talhoffer Techniques 1467 (ringen and sword taking). Then the Taschenhau we found in Von Danzing (Lichtenauer)."


Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baC6iWFxDwY&feature=related

"Mounted combat demonstration by Kristina Charron and Theresa Wendland at WMAW 2009"




In addition to that, you ask about vaulting over horses. Some general mention of such things can be found here in an article by John Clements on the ARMA website: http://www.thearma.org/essays/fit/RennFit.htm

Basically it seems that being able to vault onto and over a horse if needed was considered an important skill and is mentioned as being practiced in at least a couple points throughout history, with one of the references Clements quotes being a French Marshal of the 1300s.

I am rather fond of this article. It gives us a general overview of what was expected of different knights and men-at-arms throughout history, and dispells any myths that knights mostly lay around drinking mead and feasting on the backs of the poor. They worked hard at being all they could be, and that should be an inspiration to any who choose to emulate them.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd also say that Bem Cavalgar is in a similar vein.
Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
View user's profile Send private message
Harry J. Fletcher




Location: Lost in Texas
Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Likes: 9 pages
Reading list: 44 books

Posts: 260

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 5:23 pm    Post subject: Fighting On Horseback         Reply with quote

Fighting on horseback is really a matter of common sense. I would suggest to get some horse riding experience to get the idea of what it is like sitting on a horse in motion. There are 19th cavalary manuals that show the use of the sabre and lance from horseback. One is quite interesting which shows a large beam with a saddle seat at the end and the cavalryman is going in a circle at the end of the beam. He comes by a target and slashes at the target as he goes by or targets are pushed out at him.

'Sigmund Ringeck has an excellent book on foot combat in armor with the use of poleaxes, spears, longswords.

Knights were always admonished not to get surrounded by infantry because while dealing with one side the knight was hauled off his horse and finished off from the other. No, the horse offered mobility and was used in conjunction with other knights and serjeants together. This was its value. Poleaxes were a foot combat weapon while the halberd had reach and could either snag a knight off his horse or stab him with its spike. A knight on a horse had height and needed a longer sword to reach down to the opponent on the ground for a slash or thrust.Knights fighting on horseback had shorter weapons with the exception of the sword such as hand axes, maces although morning stars and ball and chains were more for foot combat they could be used if the chain were short. Sometimes one knights would just wrestle another knight off his horse and finish him on the ground.

Again, get some horse riding experience and you will know why and how knights did the things they did.

Harry

To Study The Edge of History
View user's profile Send private message
Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wow, i`m really impressed by the skills these two girls show.
imho the combination of horse and combat is all what knightship is about.
its interesting, horses were expensive to keep 1000 years ago and still are quite luxurious today (at least here in central europe, maybe different in e.g. texas).
i think theres still a great part of knightship dealing with mounted combat (and me humble footman should better stay with a halberd or pike Worried )
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fiore has a section on mounted combat. It even shows how to throw an opponents horse! His system is consistent from unarmed, through dagger, long sword, pole axe, spear, and mounted combat.
View user's profile Send private message
Jaroslav Kravcak




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 22 Apr 2006

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the clips i really admire both equestrian and martial skill presented in them. Happy The last one showed why Im asking about a man on a horse vs someone on foot specifically. It shows spearmen running around virtually stationary horse to show disadvantages of being on horseback. How would it look like if he fought against toreador for example?

Just for clarification: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eznO7RcI-RI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQgTiqhPbw

This is above anything Id ever be able to learn on horseback. So I dont find what I myself could or coulndt do with weapon from horseback based solely on my own experience too credible. Being singled out by such a horseman I dont think anyone would last long.

Or these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_Kiy_qQurY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq--HTYuKkc&feature=related

Simply not giving him opportunity to dance around your horse at his will, being agile. Once again astonishing performance at least for me. Surprised

Which also brings me to the question about skills expected from a late medieval/rennaisance warhorse. Are there any sources summarizing or mentioning expected qualities or what such an animal should be capable of? My basic idea right now is that if it was as calm and slow as in the video I mentioned above it was hardly fit for combat - that at its best it wouldnt matter where a man can or cannot reach as his horse was also his ultimate weapon. (Or in another words it wouldnt be a horseman that had to watch for an opponent and his horses safety at the same time but rather a man on the ground that was fighting two opponents at once)

Right now I learn more or less only basics of horse riding and dream of having enough time and finances to purchase and maintain a horse. My idea about its training right now is something similar to a training that police horses receive. Id like to ask if accustoming horse to different objects (like weapons) or agressive people is something one can do himself.

There is for example an episode from the battle of Borodino I recall where a horse bit, grabbed and dragged a russian officer. Would this be just natural agression on its part or could this be taught? Is there any indication a horse can be trained to react to and dodge attacks aimed at him or to read intentions of the opponent to some extent and intentionally attack him? (Either from existing experiments in horse training, from surviving literature concerning this topic if any exists or just sources documenting such a behaviour on the battlefield)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ahmad Tabari





Joined: 15 Jun 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: Horseback fighting manuals         Reply with quote

Jaroslav Kravcak wrote:
Id like to ask if there are any instructions or illustrations in surviving documents that show how a horseman should deal with opponents armed with various weapons one on one maybe even against a group, how to avoid injury to him and his horse.

Yes there most definitely is. Your best bet would be the 12th century Ayyubid scholar al-Tarsusi. He wrote a military manual for Saladin which includes a lot of advice for horsemen on how to deal with other horsemen as well as infantry. Asides from al-Tarsusi, there were several military manuals made during the Mamluk Sultanate which deal with similar issues.

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/articles/medi...ng_manual/
View user's profile Send private message
José-Manuel Benito




Location: Medina del Campo, Spain
Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although one couldn't say that it is a book written for historical reenactment, neither for martial artists, I will recommend the book by Noel Fallows "Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia" because it refers to a direct source of the sixteenth century (Doctrina del arte de la cauallería by Don Juan Quijada de Reayo, 1548) and because it is the most ancient treaty known in Spain about the horseback fighting. And…, the book of Don Juan Quijada was originally published in the town where I live. ;-)

http://www.boydellandbrewer.com/store/viewite...duct=13447

Regards
José-Manuel

Ecce, iam meum patrem video
Ecce, iam meam matrem video
Ecce, iam meas sorores ac meos fratres video
Ecce, iam meam gentem totam ab initio video
Ecce illi me iam vocant
Et illi me rogant meum locum inter se accipere
Apud Averni portas sunt
Ubi viri fortes æterne vivant
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Jon Pellett




Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you can read Latin, Paulus Hector Mair has a great deal of information on fighting on horseback. Beginning here:

http://dfg-viewer.de/show/?set[image]=337&...4_mets.xml

with horse vs foot, but later it goes on to horse vs horse.
View user's profile Send private message
Rex Metcalf




Location: Western N.C.
Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Right now I learn more or less only basics of horse riding and dream of having enough time and finances to purchase and maintain a horse. My idea about its training right now is something similar to a training that police horses receive. Id like to ask if accustoming horse to different objects (like weapons) or agressive people is something one can do himself."

Yes! The only drawback is you need time to do it. I have bred and trained my own mounts most of my life, and truthfully this the easiest route to well trained and courageous animal. The training begins when the horse is foaled and continues for the rest of his/her life, the first 5-6 years being the most important, preliminary groundwork and the first ride at three years.

The type of stimulus you describe begins with slowly working the animal around the more mundane frights. It should be understood that the horse can see,smell and hear better than you, he may shy from an area of the pen because of something as harmless as a bird in the bushes that he hears but cant see. In this case we need to coax horse into and past his fear...If he spins turn him about and apply some pressure....Let him have time to figure it out and then keep riding at that spot. All this might sound like it has nothing to do with war but lesson builds on lesson. We are slowly teaching the colt to control himself under, what is to him, duress. As a rider you have to remain absolutely calm not given to either fear or rage,but at the same time intolerant of any non-sense such as shying, bucking ect. Always try to end the lessons on a good note, and gradually step up the horses' exposure to loud noise, flapping banners,weaponry etc. The best advice is to take your time, enjoy your horse, and dont try to keep a schedule. It seems paradoxical but "if you act like you only have 15 minutes it will take all day, if you act like you've got all day it will only take15 minutes".

I love working with young horses and watching them become solid mounts and, in Rangers case, a trusted friend and companion. It takes work and time but nothing worth doing is easy or everyone would be doing something worthwhile...These days that aint often the case Laughing Out Loud


I hope your dream comes true for you, I'm not a rich man but I would count myself poor indeed if I hadnt been undeservedly blessed with the steadfast company and gentle loyalty of the horses I've had over the years.

~RD
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad, do you happen to have any other links to translated sources that one might be able to procure?

And I too, much like Jaroslav, would love to do it but alas due to geography and finances it is, as of the moment, not viable.

I certainly hope that this thread keeps on keeping on, as for those of us who lack "saddle time" the written word and the knowledge it brings are as close as we can get.

Historical 'European' Martial Arts is a funny martial art. Unarmoured techniques are by far and large the most popular for reasons of accessibility (e.g. money), yet we know that if they had to fight they'd do it in armour (whether judicial or sport) preferably; but that far less commonly seen in the public eye or practised. And lastly anything that involves horses, well besides the martial sport of jousting and on other rare occasions, is so specialist and rare that if one were to write a manual on it it would sell like hot-cakes... Or they'd go broke like our buddy Mair. PLUS, mounted combat is the very height, core, mind, body, and soul (well, historically anyway) of the notion of the warrior/soldier/knight.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
View user's profile Send private message
Ahmad Tabari





Joined: 15 Jun 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 10:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Ahmad, do you happen to have any other links to translated sources that one might be able to procure?

No I am afraid thats the only online source I know of
View user's profile Send private message
Jaroslav Kravcak




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 22 Apr 2006

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes horse ownage, regarding at least ones with superior training, here in central Europe, at least in location where I live is still reserved to real of relf proclaimed aristocracy. Laughing Out Loud There is no real base or tradition one can build upon, on the other hand reenactment of foot combat is highly developed by us. Happy

That manuscript by Mair is really interesting. Its astonishing that he painted each pair of combatants in different plates with different heraldry and decorated armour to such a detail. Some plates also prove my little hypothesis that unlike what most people believe lance wasnt used just couched or wasnt so huge and bulky it couldnt be used in other ways, but could have many different utiilizations. Cool

But its shame there arent some counters shown, at least to that pesky swordsmen or targeteers hitting horse or riders neck. Evil

What about some still living traditions of usage of horsemanhip for combat? Im for example aware of Systema Siberian cossack - training includes various armoured and unarmoured techniques of self defence and horsemanship training that should be authentic. (Its taugh for example on Ukraine, in Italy or Hungary)

Do some preserved traditions exist among other groups of people? (like for example people maintaing mamluk horsemanship for generations till this time, well versed not only in theory but also in many practival problems and solutions to them discovered and maintained this way) Are there maybe any people collecting such a knowledge?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 319

PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I doubt that you'd find anyone teaching / practicing *true* knightly horse combat techniques these days - where the horse itself is used as a weapon. Modern animal welfare laws would probably prohibit it. Plus, there'd be no practical reasons to teach a horse to fight under saddle, A horse can't be taught that what it is doing is just for show and not for real. I doubt you'd find many re-enactors willing to go into a display where their opponents horse really *would* try to kill them. Sad
I suspect the closest you'd find today to the old battle training would be schools that teach High School Dressage- think of the moves of places like the Vienna Riding School and their Lipperzaner stallions.. Many of the moves in that ( Airs Above Ground, Capriole, etc) were derived from battle tactics. But even then, they probably bear as much relation to *real* battle moves as today's Fencing schools do to being taught how to actually kill your oppenent with a rapier.
With, time, trust, and LOTS of training..horse's can , and are, taught to perform as riding mounts in combat-style environments- eg, Police riot horses. But even then, the most they are allowed to teach is to shoulder folks away..they are not allowed to kick, strike, bite or trample the rioters..as REAL medieval war horses would have been taught to protect their riders, and themselves in battle field melee situations
View user's profile Send private message
A. Elema





Joined: 09 Nov 2010

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon 26 Dec, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On the subject of Mamluk cavalry manuals, the following article also has a lot of information: Hassanein Rabie, "The Training of the Mamluk Faris," in War, Technology and Society in the Middle East, ed. V.J. Perry and M.E. Yapp (London: Oxford University Press, 1975), 153-162.

Someone (slightly illegally) put it online here, but seems to have left out the footnotes. Rabie mentions that vaulting into the saddle was considered part of the basic training for Mamluks and new soldiers had to practice on a vaulting horse before progressing to a real animal.

On the subject of kicking and biting, I suspect it was not so much the case that medieval warhorses were trained to do it on cue as they were simply not actively discouraged from such behaviour. Mounted combat tends to bring horses' mouths close to other riders. It doesn't take them long to realize that the aim of the game is to be aggressive. You can see some biting in this video of traditional Kazakh mounted wrestling.
View user's profile Send private message
Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 325

PostPosted: Tue 27 Dec, 2011 1:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Grinly wrote:
I doubt that you'd find anyone teaching / practicing *true* knightly horse combat techniques these days - where the horse itself is used as a weapon. Modern animal welfare laws would probably prohibit it. Plus, there'd be no practical reasons to teach a horse to fight under saddle, A horse can't be taught that what it is doing is just for show and not for real. I doubt you'd find many re-enactors willing to go into a display where their opponents horse really *would* try to kill them. Sad
I suspect the closest you'd find today to the old battle training would be schools that teach High School Dressage- think of the moves of places like the Vienna Riding School and their Lipperzaner stallions.. Many of the moves in that ( Airs Above Ground, Capriole, etc) were derived from battle tactics. But even then, they probably bear as much relation to *real* battle moves as today's Fencing schools do to being taught how to actually kill your oppenent with a rapier.
With, time, trust, and LOTS of training..horse's can , and are, taught to perform as riding mounts in combat-style environments- eg, Police riot horses. But even then, the most they are allowed to teach is to shoulder folks away..they are not allowed to kick, strike, bite or trample the rioters..as REAL medieval war horses would have been taught to protect their riders, and themselves in battle field melee situations


One link to medieval martial horse training that is still in existance is the Picadors of Spanish bullfighting. They get to practise not so much aspect of ful on charging, very much close quarter evasive manouvers.

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Samuel Bena




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jan, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings Jaroslav,

I think your best bet might be to check out/contact "equestrian reenactors" from our neighbors in either Poland or Hungary - guys like these for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8rfdTulGcM ..
Now this might not be Mameluke furusiyya nor Roszfechten of Mair but at least getting yourself inside such a group would improve your skills and horizons tremendously I believe..

Jaroslav Kravcak wrote:
Yes horse ownage, regarding at least ones with superior training, here in central Europe, at least in location where I live is still reserved to real of relf proclaimed aristocracy. Laughing Out Loud There is no real base or tradition one can build upon, on the other hand reenactment of foot combat is highly developed by us. Happy


Which is quite sad isn't it? More so as the southern fringes of what is now our state was for centuries a buffer zone with the Ottomans and horsemanship was no doubt of great importance..

Cheers,
Samuel
View user's profile Send private message ICQ Number


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Horseback fighting manuals
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum