Halter Chain use 1940

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Sam Cox
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I always thought that the halter chain was obsoloete by WW2

But here is one in service with the Yorkshire Hussars

Image

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Pat Holscher
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Where sabers still being issued this late to British cavalrymen? This fellow is carrying one.

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Tom Ready
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Excuse my ignorance but is a curb chain the same as a halter chain? Its just the 1940 VAOS lists a Curb S.U. of 19 links but no halter chain.

ATB

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Brian P.
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Can anyone identify the saddlebag on the horse in the back?

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Sam Cox
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I think that the rear pannier is a a farriers tool bag

Anyone else?

Sam

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Larry Emrick
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Gentlemen: This is a wonderful photo, clearly showing some of the essential pieces of kit and equipment of a mounted trooper, although I do wonder about the late date. As to the halter chain, I believe they are still in use among the ceremonial mounted units of the Household Cavalry. I have one I was given by a former member of the Queen's Life Guards, who served during the 1970s. It is beautifully made in stainless steel but otherwise exactly the same as the one in the photo. One story goes that chains were adopted after hungry horses ate their hemp ropes, an example of which is attached to the trooper's 1908 pattern sword. On the matter of curb chains, it is the chain that is attached to the bit and in the photo it can be seen under the horse's lower jaw. It is intended to apply additional pressure when the trooper pulls back on the curb reins, which this one certainly seems to be doing with vigour. Note how tightly the curb is being pulled up into the jaw, the horse's tongue hanging out, the swishing tail, and the kick in progress. I'd say that's one irritated horse. The bit is the standard British military portmouth reversible, which is still in use. I use a modern version, which is almost an exact copy of a pre-Second War bit.
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I just had another look at the photo and perhaps what is going on is that the trooper is backing the horse. Also, you can see the picket pin attached to the rope and strapped to the sword.
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John Ruf
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Gentlemen:

As Larry pointed out, the Chain, Halter (DA 5291) remained in the VAOS even in the post-war era:

Image

Also please note the same model pith helmet discussed previously.

Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936
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