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Napoleonic horses

I have been looking at a lot of pictures of French cavalry lately and I see a lot have horses tails tied up. Does anyone know if this was normal practice all the time, or just in battle, or only some regiments etc?

Thanks for any insight you can give.

Re: Napoleonic horses

Hi Jon,I was wondering if thats part of the reason there is a connection with french terms such as dressage etc.I think that one reason is the tails and mane often get caught in hedges and riders equipment etc if let to fly.If that happen the horse gets bit mad.

Re: Re: Napoleonic horses

In the memoires of Lieutenant Parquin he describes a parade in around 1807.

Usually French horses had long tails, while the British shortened it (Revell Lifeguards).

On this parade his commanding officer had a horse with a shortened tail and now he tried to lengthen it with some other hair to give it the right length.

As Napoleon mustered the unit, the wrong hairs nearly felt down and only hang on a small part on the original one. Must have looked terrible and Parquin could not help himself from grinning. This brought him a not so friendly response from his CO and later some extra shifts

So I would say the French horses had long tails.

In contemporary sources (El Gil for example) the french horses are shown in long tails too, so there is no reason to think they bound it up.

cheers
Uwe

Re: Re: Re: Napoleonic horses

Thanks Uwe

I do have prints showing French horses with bound tails, so perhaps that was just when on the battlefield, or maybe just a mistake by the artist. I guess unfettered but well groomed tails look better on parade.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Napoleonic horses

Hi Jon,

that is an interesting info, is this a contemporary painting or a later one?

cheers
Uwe

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Napoleonic horses

Hi Uwe

I dont really know when these images were made, but tied tails seem to be fairly common. For example see http://www.directart.co.uk/mall/more.php?ProdID=6437.

In the common Osprey books look at
"Napoleons Carabiniers" page 14
"Napoleons Dragoons and Lancers" page 11
"Napoleons Cuirassiers and Carabiniers" page 6

I just wondered if there was any regulation about this.