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Jared M. Olson




Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 03 Jan 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject: Two questions on horseback         Reply with quote

Hello everyone. I have two questions regarding warfare from horseback. First, what length of sword would be required to effectively fight from horseback? Does grip length matter here? Secondly, what type of shield would be used from horseback and would this affect a horseman's ability to shoot projectiles (bows/crossbows) from his horse? Thanks for your comments.
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: Two questions on horseback         Reply with quote

Jared M. Olson wrote:
Hello everyone. I have two questions regarding warfare from horseback. First, what length of sword would be required to effectively fight from horseback? Does grip length matter here? Secondly, what type of shield would be used from horseback and would this affect a horseman's ability to shoot projectiles (bows/crossbows) from his horse? Thanks for your comments.


I'd guess it depends on the size of the horse and whether you are trying to hit infantry on the ground or the horse or rider (and on the style of fighting of course). Generally I'd guess at 33 to 39inch blade length. Don't know about grip. Kite shields and their derivatives were used on horse (long tail could protect one leg without being to clumsy I suppose). I'd guess (lots of guessing here!) horse archers may go for a small round shield in the arm.

Geoff
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It also depends on when we're talking about. For example, a late 11th century Norman circa the First Crusade would probably have something like a Oakshott type X, but by the time of the third Crusade, maybe something trending to be a little longer like a type XI. One-handers would probably be most common through most of the Middle Ages, but longer hilts certainly wern't excluded.
Kite shields and later "heaters" would probably be the best bets, but again, it varies with what time (and where). Not sure about mountd archers, but my guess would be they would: a) wear a "normal" shield on their back via a guige, b) use a small shield so not to get in the way, or c) use no shield at all.
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Jeffrey Hedgecock
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Location: Ramona CA USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2004

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Two questions on horseback         Reply with quote

Jared M. Olson wrote:
Hello everyone. I have two questions regarding warfare from horseback. First, what length of sword would be required to effectively fight from horseback? Does grip length matter here? Secondly, what type of shield would be used from horseback and would this affect a horseman's ability to shoot projectiles (bows/crossbows) from his horse? Thanks for your comments.


This is a far more complex question than you may realize.

There are no rules and should be no generalizations.

Too many factors play a role, and there is no single good answer to the question. It depends on period, location, type of engagement, type of harness worn, economic station of soldier, etc, etc.

Think about narrowing it down to a decade, country and type of soldier and you have a good foundation for the question, but it's likely more info will be required to give a good answer.

Cheers,

Jeffrey Hedgecock
Historic Enterprises, Inc.
WorldJoust Tournaments™
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