How did Native Americans ride off the sides of their horses in battle? - Page 3

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How did Native Americans ride off the sides of their horses in battle?

This is a discussion on How did Native Americans ride off the sides of their horses in battle? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    07-03-2013, 12:59 AM
In the book Empire of the Summer Moon the authors claim that only the Comanches were very adept at this.
Most tribes did not fight on horseback and the comanches were very successful at displacing other tribes in such a large area because of their skills on horseback. In fact until the six shooter and repeating rifles americans and texans could not win a fight because comanches could fire more arrows before a soldier could reload a gun.
It is a very interesting book. Shalom
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    07-05-2013, 06:18 PM
I have photographed several different native American riders in different reenactment scenarios and some of them were outstanding riders. Leaning over and picking up something from the ground would not be a problem. Vaulting onto the horse from behind, not a problem. But when it comes to shooting it becomes necessary to use both hands on the bow and therefore you wouldn't have an extra hand to hold onto the horse with. What I have seen them do in reenactments (these are all Sioux and Cheyenne reenactors) is to lay down along the horses back and shoot with the left hand holding the bow and the right hand releasing the arrow from just above the horses withers. This presents a very small target for the enemy and if you were being shot at this way it could easily appear that they were under the horses neck when in fact they were on top. However, after firing it is a simple thing (for them) to then hang off of the far side of the horse for a shield and then come back up for another shot. I have seen them do it for reenactments several times. Pretty impressive. And these guys are nowhere near as fit as the Lakota warriors of the 1870s were.

Just my $.02 but I would guess they shot along the back and then ducked to the far side for cover after each shot, giving the appearance of shooting from under the neck.

tinyliny likes this.
    07-05-2013, 06:30 PM
Super Moderator
Painting by a man who lived with the Indians early in this country's days.

Yes, they did have saddles and bridles

Even though they were skillful riders, they were not known for their gentle methods.

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    07-05-2013, 06:50 PM
Super Moderator
Yeah - I've been in that position a few times - usually didn't end well!!!
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    07-05-2013, 07:12 PM
Green Broke

^ has pics from the time frame

^ /from the history channel.

Im still looking for what your talking about, but I will find it lol. Also the saddle thing is playing out more then the "romanticized" history.
    07-05-2013, 07:35 PM
Green Broke

This is all I could find. I have ridden somewhat like that ('trail' riding and we are going under a tree lol)
boots likes this.
    07-13-2013, 07:06 PM
Horses in Battle

Originally Posted by AuthorDanaReynolds    
I hope someone can help me, I've looked all over the internet and cannot find a description of how Native Americans dropped over the side of their horse in battle to use it as a shield. I need this for a novel I'm writing.

I have read descriptions of how they could shoot from under or over their pony's neck as they hung from its side.

I only know they tied a loop in the mane to hang from and kept one heel over the spine of the horse. But where is the other leg? Is there a stirrup of some kind? Did they brace it against the stifle of the back leg as a kind of foot-hold?

If you have any resource on this at all, please let me know!

Dana Reynolds

You can still see for yourself ho this is done; Go and watch the Horse Civilization; PUTZA of Hungary; Kazakhs; Kirghiz; Cossack. You can see them now
boots likes this.
    07-13-2013, 07:18 PM
Well I did this when my horse though it would be a cool trick to do a huge jump over a little dip, then explode into a canter- and I can barely sit the trot bareback! What I did was hook my foot into his spine, and after holding myself there for a second (During the leap. The landing started me sliding) I put my hand on his neck and slid myself back into position.

historic, native american, shield, trick riding

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