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FWD: Report on the 16th C Cavalry Class (long)

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  • tlwhyte17
    Saturday Marguerite, Henrik, and I attended the (non-SCA) 16th C Cavalry Seminar taught by Gordon Frye and his able crew. Guys, you gotta try this! There are
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2004
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      Saturday Marguerite, Henrik, and I attended the (non-SCA) 16th C
      Cavalry Seminar taught by Gordon Frye and his able crew. Guys, you
      gotta try this! There are more such seminars in the works, so there
      will be opportunites to do this in the future. I'm also happy to
      report that Gordon has us penciled-in to teach manuevors at our
      October 2nd eq event in Livermore.

      The following is Gordon's report on the event (re-posted here with
      Gordon's permission):

      Greetings;

      I wanted to send this out today to let everyone know just how pleased
      I was
      with how things went in our "First Annual Academy of St. Adrian's
      School of
      Cavalry" yesterday. First and foremost, no one got hurt. That is
      always a
      big plus for any event involving horses, especially when most of the
      horses
      and riders are unfamiliar with not only each other, but with
      virtually all
      of the other horses and riders involved. Secondly, I think that
      everyone
      had a good time, which is almost as important to me (but not quite!)
      Third,
      I think that all of our students, taking part both mounted and
      dismounted,
      were able to go away with some new knowledge under their belt, and
      will be
      able to use that knowledge to their benefit, whether it be in the
      realm of
      living history, writing, or just being able to say "Heck, I was
      there, and
      this is how we did it!"

      We were able to engage in a classroom session in the morning in which
      we

      discussed much of the history of Cavalry in the Sixteenth Century,
      and why
      the weapons and tactics changed so much during that century. Then we
      were
      off to mount up and do some basic drills for a few hours prior to
      lunch just
      to get both our minds, as well as (and perhaps more importantly the
      horses'
      minds!) used to the ideas that we were going to implement in the
      afternoon.

      After a nice lunch provided by the site owner Bob Kirtlan, we again
      mounted
      up and proceeded to learn and practice the maneuvers required to
      tactically
      implement the Lance by riding in line-abreast. We were issued
      out "lances"
      to carry, practiced "wheels" and other drills, and generally worked on
      keeping straight lines. Harder to keep formation than it looks!
      Then we
      graduated to the rather difficult maneuver of the "Caracole". We
      formed a
      column, Pistols were issued out, and we learned (me too, I had only
      read
      about how this was done... we made some discoveries!) how to go about
      the

      task of "firing" and then removing our front rank to the rear in
      order to
      reload and try again. And then we tried "firing" and continuing our
      "charge". Of course we didn't fire, the "lances" were for the most
      part
      blunt (not all, though!) and our charges were at the walk, but we
      made a lot
      of progress. Next year, we can spend the needed time in equitation
      classes
      to have us up to a trot and (at least some of us) perhaps even a light
      canter for some REAL charges!

      I wish to thank each and every one of our participants and staff for
      making
      this happen. We had participation from about as broad an area of
      historical
      interest in horse cavalry as you can get. We had Hennessy Knoop join
      us,
      who's main area of interest is in Roman and Persian heavy Cataphract
      cavalry; Henrik Olsgaard, definitely one of the "old hands" at this,
      who's
      interest lies in the era of the Norman Conquest(and who kindly
      supplied us
      with the use of his quintain, as well as bringing out a variety of
      lances to

      show to the class. His wearing of the breastplate for drill with the
      lance
      rest on it was a great touch!); on up to Ann Dutson, who's interest
      is in
      the American Civil War, Fred Klink wearing his Indian Wars uniform and
      accoutrements, and Gerry Bowen in his US Army ca. 1942 rig (complete
      with
      Patton Sabre and M1911 Pistol!) The participants ranged from members
      of the
      Society for Creative Anachronism, to the National Civil War
      Association, the
      California Historical Group (WWII) and of course the numerous members
      of the
      Renaissance Military Society.

      I also want to thank Michael Neeley for joining us, as he has some
      thousands
      of Mounted Combats under his belt (as he said, they weren't
      necessarily GOOD
      fights or jousts, but he DID get paid for them!) in the course of his
      work
      with the New York Renaissance Festival and Medieval Times. He was
      able to
      give us a perspective that was practical in scope, helping to bring
      us down

      from the airy heights of theory and literature to the more mundane
      subjects
      of the feel of the impact of lances, swords and how many stitches it
      takes.
      I wish to thank Dale Shinn as well for his generosity in loaning me
      his
      brace of snaphaunce pistols and buff coat for demonstration purposes:
      hopefully next year we won't double book him! My wife Nancy (aka
      Neb) did a
      wonderful job of providing us with breakfast, snacks and drinks (and
      undertook the call of duty by joining us on horseback in the
      afternoon, as
      well!), and Tim Dugger did a great job as "The Varlet", being a
      general
      go-for, helping set things up, handing out lances and pistols, and so
      on. I
      also wish to thank the other folks who participated on foot for
      helping out
      too, in passing out water and weapons. Only someone "stuck" on
      horseback
      knows just how nice it is for someone on foot to help them by handing
      them a
      bottle of water, or some item that is just a royal pain to otherwise
      have to

      obtain from the ground. So thank you all.

      Finally, thanks go to those who were able to bring, and especially
      those who
      were able to provide, horses. Jerry Bestpictch brought out his
      string of
      horses who are quite used to the sound of the quintain being hit by a
      lance,
      while Ann Dutson's ponies are more used to the sound of artillery.
      And
      finally, of course, to the horses themselves, who without their
      patient and
      willing participation, none of this would have been possible.

      For those of you who weren't able to join us yesterday for the event,
      I want
      to welcome you to plan in the future to be with us to learn, ride,
      and enjoy
      the intoxicating realm of Cavalry.

      Thank you,

      Sincerely,

      Gordon Frye, Rittmeister
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