18th Century Military Equitation

A Brief Context Mounted warfare played a critical role in European affairs of state from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Essentially all English works on horsemanship in that period applied directly or indirectly to the military, particularly the many works focused on the British light cavalry, or “light horse,” prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries. These […]

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Citizens and Countrymen: A Glimpse of American Spirit

In preparation for a new school program debuting this fall, I have had the opportunity to get to know two fascinating sources from the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room. Markham’s Masterpiece (1656), and Citizen and Countryman’s Experienced Farrier (1764). Both contain 17th and 18th century medical treatments for horses at a time when horses were necessary for farming, […]

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The Generous Sportsman, c. 1725

We have many things in the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room, including many beautifully-decorated books. Often, though, fascinating things don’t have gilt, engravings, or woodblock prints. A tiny (five inches by three inches), leather-bound tome came to hand last week, and it turned into today’s highlight. The book is in the manuscripts collection, and is entirely hand […]

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An Academy for Grown Horsemen, 1796

Today we have something on the lighter side: An Academy for Grown Horsemen; Containing the Completest Instructions for Walking, Trotting, Cantering, Galloping, Stumbling, and Tumbling. The book was written and illustrated by English caricaturist Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811), under the guise of alter ego Geoffrey Gambado, Esq., Riding Master, Master of the Horse, and Grand Equerry […]

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