The Military Horseman's Essential Library

Reviews and commentary on books, films, etc.
Dick A.
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My first question would be-How much time do you have to learn this information?
Speaking from experience-What you want has taken many of us a lifetime to learn. (For example my first enlistment was in 1956 and my retirement was in 1999)
If you have the time to spend try reading some of these books:
HORSES, SADDLES AND BRIDLES, William H. Carter,Lord Baltimore Press, The Friedenwald Company, Batimore, MD. 1906
ROTC MANUEL, BASIC CAVALRY, Vol I & II, Military Service Publishing Co, Harrisburg, PA, 1940.
CAVALRY DRILL REGULATIONS, United States Army, 1916 ( Various dates)
US ARMY FIELD MANUEL, 22-100, GPA, Washington, DC, 1940,(Various dates)
These might serve as a starting place and posibly lead to hundreds of other references.
Good Luck

Dick A.


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Pat Holscher
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If you were to put together a lits of must have books that no library of the well rounded military horseman would omit, what would they be? Give us your list, and why you included the book.

Should be interesting, and useful as well!


Pat
Last edited by Pat Holscher on Wed May 07, 2008 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jim Bewley
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The ones I refer to the most:

Riding & Schooling Horses - LTC Chamberlin

The Cavalry Manual of Horsemanship and Horse Mastership - G. Wright

Pain-Free Back & Saddle Fitting Book - Joyce Harmon

Hunter Seat Equitation - G. Morris

Jim
taldozer
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Hello,
Has anyone read or have info on this book. A MANUAL OF HORSEMASTERSHIP" by Captain R. Elderkin. I just ordered. It is said to have information on Rhodesain Greys Scouts.

Cheers,
Troy
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Coydog
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Welcome to the board, taldozer. Roy Elderkin posts frequently here.

I would add <i>On Horsemanship</i> by Xenophon, from the oldies-but-goodies category.

Also <i>The Caprilli Papers</i> by Federico Caprili.

Monique MacNaughton

<i>Stories that begin with "Last seen in a bar" generally don't end well!</i>
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Pat Holscher
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by taldozer</i>
<br />Hello,
Has anyone read or have info on this book. A MANUAL OF HORSEMASTERSHIP" by Captain R. Elderkin. I just ordered. It is said to have information on Rhodesain Greys Scouts.

Cheers,
Troy



<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Troy, the book is still in the pre production stage, and I think it would likely come as a surprise to Cpt. Elderkin that any of the early pre production edit variants are available. It must be the case that some of these are still available from the then anticipated publisher, who has since indicated that they will not be publishing the finished variant. I've checked with Roy on this, and he's confirmed that.

When a final variant of his book is available, it will contain information that would be difficult to find in one single text. Moreover, it's information from an accomplished military horseman. I have read the book, and the manual portion of it will be an excellent vital resource for any back country horseman, let alone any horseman of any kind. The memoir portion of the text is a unique and valuable text on the Grey's.

Suffice to say, when the book is offered to the general public in its final form, it will be an excellent work that will be highly valued. I hope you are able to obtain a copy of the final version when it becomes available. We will, of course, announce its availability here.

Pat
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Here's my sophomore's 12 essential. A few obvious ones like Chamberlin I couldn't leave behind but I hope there's one or two everyone hasn't read. All are inexpensive and readily found.

'The Principles of Horseshoeing' by Doug Butler
Not everyone wants to do their own shoeing but everyone should have an idea of the principles involved. This is a good conservative book on the subject. Another is Canfield:' Elements of Farrier Science'

'A History of Horsemanship' by Col Charles Chenevix- Trench. There are scores of general reviews of horsemanship from different cultures and through the ages. This one is as good as any and better than most. Littauer's 'Horseman's Progress' is good too but not as broad nor as entertaining. Trench is witty, an accomplished writer, and very even handed in his treatment of all the styles he covers.

'The Cavalry Horse and His Pack' by 1st Lt Jonathan Boniface. One of the best nuts and bolts books ever written. Everyone with an interest in the outdoor horse should have this one- how much, how far, how often, where, when, and why; backed up by data and the authors vast practical experience. This baby appears to have been thrown out with the bath water by the iconoclasts at the turn of the century, which is a shame because it deserves higher standing in the literature than it has enjoyed. It is available again from The Long Rider's Guild and it's cheap so there's no excuse not to have a copy. Geoffry Brooke is good too if you prefer your practical horsemanship with a little of the old jumping style thrown in.

'Hints on Horsemanship' Lt Col M.F.McTaggart. This has all the elements of the forward seat and more to boot. Caprilli never wrote much before he died and what few inchoate notes we have are pretty much aimed at training raw recruits, interesting reading but hardly a bible to take to your desert island. His gospel was left to be spread by others like Santini and Littauer, but with reluctance I leave them out. McTaggart is less doctrinaire than they are and his books are filled with his own aphorisms-'When in doubt, treat your horse as you would yourself'- and there is much practical advice drawn from his own experience; things like: give your leathers a twist every time you let them down.

'Horsemanship' by Waldemar Seunig. (Seunig was military too but I don't recall his rank) There are many other great classical books that I haven't included because they would quickly use up my dozen, and Seunig had the benefit of standing on their shoulders. Podhajsky is good too and just as modern but Seunig's book is fatter. If you enjoy things that make your head spin, like an abstruse German theological treatise, try 'Give Your Horse A Chance' by De' Endrody. This will make everything else seem concise and straight forward by comparison.

'Points of the Horse' Capt M. Horace Hayes. Anatomy, breeds, gaits, conformation, etcetera. Written by one who knew them all but makes no bones about preferring ones that were close to the blood, a fox hunter at heart.Nonetheless this book has been in print for over a 100 years, much revised and up to date, a classic and a good place to begin one's study of the horse.

'Schooling for Young Riders' by John Richard Young. Young was a contributor to Western horseman for many years. To my knowledge he was more responsible than almost anyone for bringing classical aids west of the Mississippi. His honest and tireless criticisms of poor horsemanship wherever he found it provoked 'western' and 'english' riders for years but he was a friend of good riding of any style. This was his last book. It's not so well known as 'Schooling of the Western Horse' nor as detailed. But don't let the title fool you. All the essentials of riding and schooling are here in this 'children's' book. It is his last advice to the riders of the future and as usual he pulls no punches, making sport of the know-it-alls east and west. It's a very funny read too. Whenever I read Young I'm reminded of James Joyce's quip: 'a friend for a phrase'. Nor does he cut his own family any more slack than he does the rest of the riding world. This is a blow by blow account of him training a spoiled uncut colt and teaching his young daughter to ride him. By the way, in 'Schooling of the Western Horse' there is a photo of the paper reins given him by M.F.McTaggart.

'Training Hunters Jumpers and Hacks' by Lt Col Harry D Chamberlin. I suppose there is nothing in Chamberlin's classic that can't be found elsewhere. But, it is so well written, beautifully bound, and timely in it's publication, that I couldn't leave it out. I want this one near me always. By the way, it is worth having a later copy that contains John Tupper Cole's excellent forward. For something not mentioned elsewhere try ''The de Nemothy Method', Bill Steinkraus' favorite.

'Ground Work' by Buck Brannaman. I know that Brannaman rubs some people the wrong way, (who doesn't?) but I like him. He's many notches above your average self promoting, 30 day wonder clinician. For one thing he doesn't have an equimercial on TV. And he's good friends with George Morris. (sorry George I wanted to fit you in but that category was filled) 'Ground work' is a straight forward step by step description of Brannaman's method of getting them saddled the first time, without a lot of superfluous horse psychology which anyone who's starting young ones should already have; and would be meaningless to those who don't. That's the problem with BOOKS by his great teachers Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt: long on vague prose, short on method. Brannaman has good tips on safe practices too.

'Hunting Reminiscences' by Nimrod. This is a great insight into the mad preoccupation of the Meltonians: lots of inebriation, dead horses, broken necks, and wasted fortunes. You can't read Nimrod without feeling you were born 200 years too late- not for the faint of heart and a far cry from what the sport has become. Of course the best and truest 'unting books are boring and belong in the canine section.

'Last of the Saddle Tramps' by Messanie Wilkins. There are hundreds of horseback travel books out there and I've only read a handful but this is my favorite. An aging spinster (60+, if I recall) Miss Wilkins, who's never been on a horse and doesn't know a thing about them decides to ride across the United States. She plants a cash crop on her farm, takes the proceeds and buys a 22 year old saddle horse and a slightly younger packer and takes off without map or itinerary. And she and her saddle horse make it all the way from the coast of Maine to Pasadena California (and Art Linkletter's House Party) Her pack horse would have made it too but for a puncture wound in his foot just short of journeys end. It's really not such a great book if you're looking for thrills and chills or helpful hints on taking a trek yourself but it certainly best exemplifies the essential requirements of taking such a journey: the determination to do so and taking the first step.

And last:Professor Beery's (mail order) 8 vol. 'Horsemanship Course' This is my tip of the hat to all the good hands I've known who've not owned (nor read) any other book than one tattered, treasured, xerox copy of Prof Beery. I'm not joking though, here you'll find all the pat restraints (Rarey strap, scotch hobble, flying w); circus tricks (counting, firing a gun, laying his ears back and chasing you out of the ring); disposition based on type and phrenology; how to drive your horse and buggy through town without lines to the amazement of your friends and neighbors (my favorite for beginners); and of course, of supreme importance "The Confidence Lesson" to which one should always refer in the event things don't go as planned. One idle day, I finally screwed up the courage to see what the 'confidence lesson' actually contained: no 2x4's or anything of that sort, as I'd feared ( I should have known better): just an antique description of simple round penning 101 (in a SQUARE pen!). I suppose one could turn to Parrelli et al for this stuff but Prof Beery was there touring the country and peddling his course many years before them.

Just to fill out a bakers dozen I guess I should include one of the many books on veterinary medicine for the layman. Every library should have at least one. Of course there is 'Merck's Veterinary Manual' and 'Veterinary Notes for Horse Owners'-useful in their way- I have both and a few others besides. But there's only one book that should be referred to when diagnosing and treating ailments that you're not already completely familiar with: 'Checkbook'. Pricey but good. All others can be thrown in the trash along with 'How to be Your Own Attorney'.

Sandy
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Jim Bewley
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">'Hunting Reminiscences' by Nimrod. This is a great insight into the mad preoccupation of the Meltonians: lots of inebriation, dead horses, broken necks, and wasted fortunes. You can't read Nimrod without feeling you were born 200 years too late- not for the faint of heart and a far cry from what the sport has become. Of course the best and truest 'unting books are boring and belong in the canine section.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Actually your comment is true in some respects. "Hunting" has nothing to do with the riders in the "field" and everything to do with hounds. The huntsman and staff are working the pack and the others are there "only to watch" as they serve no other purpose. Thus the old saying that a person either "Rides to hunt or hunts to ride".

Today most "hunt to ride" and think that the hounds are just in the way of their frolicing.

Jim
taldozer
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Hello,

Here is a copy of my order from Lulu Publishing.

Order Number: 1530568
Order Date: 2007-08-17 00:00:00
Order Status: SHIPPED

View Order Receipt



USPS Media Mail #9102805213907496580029

1 of A MANUAL OF HORSEMASTERSHIP by Captain R. Elderkin (Hardcover Print) $37.90

The company does not list the book any more, they say it shipped. But if this is not the final version I would realy be interested in that edition.

Cheers,
Troy
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Pat Holscher
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by taldozer</i>
<br />Hello,

Here is a copy of my order from Lulu Publishing.

Order Number: 1530568
Order Date: 2007-08-17 00:00:00
Order Status: SHIPPED

View Order Receipt



USPS Media Mail #9102805213907496580029

1 of A MANUAL OF HORSEMASTERSHIP by Captain R. Elderkin (Hardcover Print) $37.90

The company does not list the book any more, they say it shipped. But if this is not the final version I would realy be interested in that edition.

Cheers,
Troy
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Editing and reorganization was ongoing at that stage, and the later version, still pre production, shows that.

The edition you will receive will have valuable content, but it is not the final version, and the final version has additional work that went in to it, which will show. I'd suggests, therefore, that you may want a more updated and refined version, when that becomes available.

Pat
selewis
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jim Bewley</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">'Hunting Reminiscences' by Nimrod. This is a great insight into the mad preoccupation of the Meltonians: lots of inebriation, dead horses, broken necks, and wasted fortunes. You can't read Nimrod without feeling you were born 200 years too late- not for the faint of heart and a far cry from what the sport has become. Of course the best and truest 'unting books are boring and belong in the canine section.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Actually your comment is true in some respects. "Hunting" has nothing to do with the riders in the "field" and everything to do with hounds. The huntsman and staff are working the pack and the others are there "only to watch" as they serve no other purpose. Thus the old saying that a person either "Rides to hunt or hunts to ride".

Today most "hunt to ride" and think that the hounds are just in the way of their frolicing.

Jim
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Didn't really mean the boring part Jim. Just being flippant. "An art museum is a dull place for a blind man." Actually I learned your point the hard way. About ten years ago I payed a pretty penny for Higginson's(?) memoirs without really looking through them first. As you may gather, they weren't what I'd hoped for, but I did find them interesting. Friends of mine , who don't ride at all, hunt dogs and hounds and I appreciate their passion.

By the way I purchased the l'Hotte translation you referred me to. Thanks. I'm expecting it any day now.

Sandy
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Jim Bewley
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Sandy: There is a series of fictional hunting stories by Robert Smith Surites written in the 1800's in which he discribes the adventures of such fine gentlemen as "Mr. Jorrocks", "Sopey Spounge" and "Percy Rumsted". They are very funny and well worth the read. Most good fox hunters have these as well as Beckford's "Thoughts on Fox Hunting" on the shelf.

I will warn you that Beckford is very deep into the serious part of the sport, but the others are just plain fun.

Jim
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Jim; What a coincidence. On my way to Kalispell last month I picked up a copy of 'Handley Cross' in a small bookstore in Alberton. I'm only a few chapters into it now but I'm enjoying it. I was familiar with Lucy Glitters and Jorrocks through second hand quotes but had not read Surtees before now. Usually when you run across his novels the seller is asking a pretty good price for them and they're a little out of the line of stuff I collect, but this copy had been rebound at some point and was pretty reasonable so I grabbed it. It's been a long time since I've read a novel.

Sandy

By the way the L'Hotte came today, nicely bound, J.A. Allen. I've only just leafed through it a few minutes ago. The first half is commentary and outline of his life and times, and the second is the translation: 222 pages including bibliography and index.
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Jim Bewley
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Jim; What a coincidence. On my way to Kalispell last month I picked up a copy of 'Handley Cross' in a small bookstore in Alberton. I'm only a few chapters into it now but I'm enjoying it. I was familiar with Lucy Glitters and Jorrocks through second hand quotes but had not read Surtees before now. Usually when you run across his novels the seller is asking a pretty good price for them and they're a little out of the line of stuff I collect, but this copy had been rebound at some point and was pretty reasonable so I grabbed it. It's been a long time since I've read a novel.

Sandy <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

They are fun books. I believe the one you have makes mention of a toll road called "Bewley Highway". Blew me away when I saw that. [8D]

Jim
CRB
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I think there is the beginings of a great library here.

I would add only 3
With Scouts and Cavalry by , Harold B. Wharfield
Chasing Villa, by Col. Frank Tompkins
Saddles, by Russel H. Beatie

I incude With Scouts and Cavalry, as it is a good book dealing with the beginning of the modern era, Warfield I believe self published his books, so they can be a bit dificult to find. But, contain great discriptions of the men of his comand and the duties they preformed.

Chasing Villa, one of my favorite books, I think Col. Tomkins insights in the appendix is worth having the book.

Saddles.....I just love all the photos
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Pat Holscher
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by CRB</i>
<br />I think there is the beginings of a great library here.

I would add only 3
With Scouts and Cavalry by , Harold B. Wharfield
Chasing Villa, by Col. Frank Tompkins
Saddles, by Russel H. Beatie

I incude With Scouts and Cavalry, as it is a good book dealing with the beginning of the modern era, Warfield I believe self published his books, so they can be a bit dificult to find. But, contain great discriptions of the men of his comand and the duties they preformed.

Chasing Villa, one of my favorite books, I think Col. Tomkins insights in the appendix is worth having the book.

Saddles.....I just love all the photos
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Tompkin's book is a classic, to be sure!

I haven't read Wharfield's book, but I'll have to look for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Beattie's book has received sort of a mixed review here in the past. It's lushly illustrated, which makes it pleasurably to view. However, at least some of the illustrations have outside sources that might be better references. There are some errors or omissions in the book. Like Steffen's Horse Soldier series, Beattie died before the book was completed. In Steffen's case that seems to really have only impacted the last volume, which seems sort of incomplete. It's more noticeable, however, in Beattie's book, which seems to have remained a bit of a draft in a way.

Pat
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I can't see a reason not to add the CD-ROM mentioned in the current "E-bay" thread. While some of the titles might already be listed here, there seems to be a lot of good information on that disc.


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taldozer
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Hello All!

I have in my collection the “Manual of horsemanship” I was wondering if anyone knows what edition I have and if he is going to be selling an updated edition. I believe I got this book in error from LuLu publishing and I am not sure how many people have copies of this hardcover book. I have to say it is very good with a lot of good practical and historical data. Any background information would be of help.

Cheers,
Troy
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