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Riding to Arms (Hardback)

A History of Horsemanship and Mounted Warfare

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Horses in History
Pages: 310
Illustrations: 10 b&w photos
ISBN: 9780813182308
Published: 18th January 2022
Casemate UK Academic

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From the 1500s up until the dawn of World War I, horses played an imperative role in modern warfare, contributing their share to the rise and fall of nations. The enduring quote from Shakespeare's Richard III (1593), "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!" speaks to the abiding image of cavalry embedded in the cultural memory of the West.


Riding to Arms: A History of Horsemanship and Mounted Warfare is Charles Caramello's thorough examination of the evolution of horsemanship and cavalry over the centuries. He follows how the debate between 'art and utility' in horsemanship caused a shift from the formal - equitation and manège dressage – to the practical – namely mounted warfare. He also addresses the advent of mechanized warfare that led to the end of horse cavalry. In addition to practical history, Caramello engages with selected primary and secondary texts on horsemanship, from early works like Thomas Blundeville's The Arte of Ryding and Breakinge Greate Horses (1660) to Louis A. DiMarco's War Horse: A History of the Military Horse and Rider (2008), discussing the ways these works shaped horsemanship and calvary practices both in in their own time and throughout history.


Melding together history and historiography, Riding to Arms: A History of Horsemanship and Mounted Warfare is a captivating work celebrating one of man's most constant companions in both war and peace.

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