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Review of 18th Century Equitation: Pembroke & Tyndale edited by Charles Caramello


Charles Caramello (ed.), A Method of Breaking Horses and Teaching Soldiers to Ride, by Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke; and A Treatise on Military Equitation by William Tyndale (Xenophon Press, Franktown, Virginia, 2018)

Military historians, students of 18th century history in general, military reenactors, and practitioners and participants in living history events are indebted to Dr. Charles Caramello for editing and publishing (thanks to Xenophon Press) two seminal works on horsemanship during the Enlightenment years.  By bringing together under one cover Pembroke’s A Method of Breaking Horses and Teaching Soldiers to Ride (1761; 4th edition, used in this volume, 1793) and Tyndale’s A Treatise on Military Equitation (1797), the ardent community dedicated to understanding and then recreating practices of military armies for current public display and study is now gifted with two important manuals on 18th century military equitation.  Enthusiasts who enjoy the horseback experience can now study, learn, and then teach others how their forebears studied, learned, and then taught their students the skills needed for mounted military combat in the pre-Napoleonic era.  Those lessons would remain pertinent for military operations throughout the 19th century.  Mounted aficionados can now turn to Caramello’s edition of Pembroke and Tyndale in the same way that 21st century devotees of 18th century infantry drill turn to similar facsimile reprints like Timothy Pickering’s An Easy Plan of Discipline for a Militia (1775) and Frederick Baron von Steuben’s Regulations for the order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States (1794).  The Xenophon edition offers excellent reproductions of plates from the originals (two of which are featured on the elegant front and back covers of the book); these add further depth and realism to an outstanding volume. 

Dr. John J. Yurechko

Locust Grove, Virginia

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