Reply To: What’s the difference between British heavy and light cavalry

Home Forums Historical Black Powder What’s the difference between British heavy and light cavalry Reply To: What’s the difference between British heavy and light cavalry

invisible officer

Oats and barley are both similar enough in horse nutrition to make no difference in 19th century tests done by all armies. And both got produced in Spain themselves. Oats have 640 TDN and Barley even 725.
The oat imported to Portugal played a big role in feeding the static army in the lines but not inside Spain later.

An often forgotten extra for cavalry is salt. Especially in hot climates the sweating horse needs a lot.

There is a good 1992 work written by one of the best 20th century Military horse experts under pseudonym Max Hubert. From Hradec Kralove.
Fütterung und Leistungsfähigkeit des Militärpferdes – Leitfaden für Historiker und Wargamer. (The last being the reason for the scientist to write under the Name of one of his horses. No, its not me but I rode that horse on visits)

The Irish hunter was a good officer’s horse but no trooper one in Napoleonic time. Wellington often complained about the British horses that needed more care than Continental.
It was not the special thing that the British Hussars rode “big” horses but the British heavies that often had medium ones around 15 Hands too instead of 16 Hands ones.

An often stated example is the 2nd Dragoons that in 1813 even had 340 of 14.2 hands and 55 of 14 hands . Ponies.

Apart from the heigt the breast is important. Like humans one that reach the sky may be slim. A good racing horse but not carrying much weight. Like the Thouroughbred compared to the classic Hannoveraner. (Please remember that modern horses of these types changed a lot compared to 1800 ones)

It’s nice to read officer’s diaries. Harry Smith for example had in Spain a moving “stable” of nearly everything. From a small Spanish one called Tiny to a heavy one from Portugal. His wife Juana got a captured French one that is said to have belonged to a Mameluck.
Many officers lost so many horses that they had to borrow a horse from artillery.
And many cavalry regiment had more men than horses.