I was having a conversation with some friends about our favorite figure poses, so the topic naturally turned to cavalry poses. The consensus seemed to be that light cavalry should be charging and waving their swords while the heavy dragoons and cuirassiers should be on trotting horses, swords shouldered, getting ready to prepare for the charge.
Warnery describes the Prussian charge thusly:
“The troopers of the front rank raise their swords to the height of their faces, the arm extended in tierce, the point against the eyes of his enemy, and the hand a little turned, that the branch or guard of the sword may cover his own; they must raise themselves a little in the stirrups, the body forward, and aim to place a thrust with the point against the man or the horse opposed to him; in a word, he must do his best, either by thrusting or cutting, to disable his enemy; thus the shock or charge is soon finished.” (Warnery E von. Remarks on Cavalry. Constable London 1997)
The Kronoskaf SYW Project describes a similar drill for the French cavalry
Aligned, ready for the charge, cavalrymen carried their sabre to the shoulder, sword knot at the wrist. When the charge was sounded, cavalrymen set off, starting at the walk, Then a second bugle call made them pass to trot; a third at the canter. At 90 paces from the point of impact, cavalrymen pointed their sabre (arm raised at eye level, almost fully extended, wrist in tierce) with the point slightly inclined downward and they raised themselves on their stirrups, crouching forward. They passed at full gallop at 20 or 30 paces from the enemy. Finally, it was the shock.
Also from Kronoskaf:
To conclude, here is Frederick II's conception of the cavalry charge. The young Comte de Gisors, son of the Maréchal de Belle Isle, went to Silesia in September 1754, at the invitation of the King of Prussia. During one of their conversation, Frederick exposed to him his vision of a cavalry charge:
- “I put my officers in front, out of the rank, because being in the rank they are simple cavalrymen and obliged to let themselves be carried away by the torrent of the squadron. I put others behind to fall on those who would like to flee. I do not let any interval between my squadrons, because squadrons separated from each others present as many flanks to the enemy. I make them charge at full gallop because fear lead poltroons froward, certain as they are, inasmuch as they stop in the middle of the charge, to be crushed by the next squadron. I want that the impetuosity of their charge forces the enemy to give way before they could melee with him…”
So am giving thought to adding a heavy cavalry pose to the Minden range, one that would have the trooper raised slightly in his stirrups, leaning forward, with his sword at eye level pointing straight ahead to simulate the final charge. This might require several additional heavy charging horse poses as well.
This would enable the collector of Minden figures to pose his cavalry either at a standing position with swords drawn, at the trot with swords shouldered, and finally at the charge with swords on point.
So, I'm wondering what everyone thinks about this idea? Are these poses that would interest you enough to buy, or do you prefer the existing (and somewhat standard) shouldered sword at the trot pose?
Please feel free to state your opinion in the comment section of this post. There is no right or wrong answer, so anything is on the table for consideration.