Introduction of us
Different standards
Rules of Engagement for Mounted Troops
The Challenge

Standing Orders

3rd Texas Cavalry
By Denny G. Hair, Commanding

Each of us have taken up the challenge to educate and engage ourselves in the age-old practice of mounted combat. Mounted combat is a much honored and revered undertaking and it's purposes, in practice, has many levels of skills associated with them. The skills necessary to conduct a mounted attack have as much to do with the mental, spiritual and physical development of the practitioner as it does with the development of rudimentary skills the execution of mounted combat on the field of battle. Therefore, our practice of it today can and has achieved for us the same results that the practice of it achieved some 130 years ago or even a thousand years ago.

We have chosen to learn the mounted skills of the American Cavalry Soldier during the Civil War. We strive to practice as he practiced, drill as he drilled and participate in mock combat drills as he did. In doing this, we too can achieve some of the ancient benefits that are associated with this practice. Though the terminology has changed, the mental prowess and skills necessary to maneuver on the field must be developed in much the same way as they were historically. Therefore the resulting benefits remain just as consistent and constant today as they were then.

Lets us be resolved, unto ourselves, to undertake this most magnificent journey into equitation and in the competitive combat of the past, for the betterment of ourselves as individuals and as a collective body of practitioners. "Unto ourselves" is to say that it is not done to impress others or even to compete with others. It is for the inward benefit as a group and as individuals that we engage in this age old practice. It is ironic that as we proceed into our future, knowing not what it has in store, we are doing so by our study of the past. There is much to be learned from history.

As cavalrymen, we have chosen a field that can and will challenge each of us. Each will meet his own challenges as this hobby will test your metal in unique and different ways. As a collective body, we all benefit from the special skills that we each have and bring to the hobby. Individually, we each have special challenges that, once met, can be used to bring us all toward the special reward of collective achievement.

There is a lot to be said for collective and personal achievement. There is a certain inner thrill that comes from doing something that is not easy and takes both work and practice. We should do it for the sake of doing it and not so others can know we have. We do not strive to reach a pentacle of perfection for the acknowledgment of our peers but rather to achieve it for the betterment of ourselves. We climb the mountain because we are resolved to climb it simple because it is there.

To gain our goals is not easy. We must be committed to rehearsing it over and over, each time a little better than the time before. To what purpose is this constant repetition? The answer is better answered with a question. Why climb a mountain that has already been climbed? Why do musicians practice meticulously until they can play a composition, in perfect harmony, that will never be heard in concert? Why enter a horse show knowing that there are better horses competing and winning the winners circle is a long shot, at best?Why labor long hours to put together a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, or work complicated game to its conclusion? Being challenged to triumph over adversity is part of the very fiber that separates the warrior spirit from that of mediocrity and being satisfied with the status quo. It is, for us, what makes our lives more enjoyable and gives us either a feeling of accomplishment or a yearning to try it again until we get it right.

Our hobby is no different to us than the mountain is to the mountain climber. The true challenge and great fun we get from our hobby is when we achieve a personal goal or achieve one that we as a group set out to do. Occasionally and briefly for a few fleeting moments does it all come together. It is for that feeling of oneness that only comes but a few times in the many many tries that gives our efforts purpose. It is in that moment when our adrenaline flows, and the oneness of total commitment and the adulation of accomplishment over takes us, that we truly know why we worked so hard to achieve our goals.

A challenge to achieve can take many forms. We are challenged each time we engage in mock combat on the field to come together as one entity working in harmony. This takes team work and practice and combined with growing numbers, becomes no small undertaking. Drill is like an array of building blocks that depends on the individual being where and when required. Each block needs the other and all need the whole in order to accomplish the objective as one. Re-enactments today are no different than that of mock battles and drills of the last century. It is just as hard today to form 40 men on the field and maneuver them in a precise way and in good order as it was then. They must be where needed at the precise time and both mentally and physically prepared to hit the enemy while the enemy strives to do the same. A reenactment then becomes a contest of mind, body and spirit and has a very real element of danger that must be considered. I have heard reenactment referred to a Simi-pro sport and do not disagree.


Continue...Part 2