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

Standing Orders

The Horse Comes First...

It takes a lot of training for both the horse and rider to do what 3rd Texas Cavalry Sgt. Darrell K. McAlexander is doing with his horse. In fact it takes years of training. Do you have to be able to do that to be a member? Of course not. Very few of us can. In fact we have had members join us with little training and they have done just fine. Its important to know that " the horse comes first."

Just what does that mean? One thing it means is that in order to become an accomplished rider you must understand the horse. You must be willing to care for the horse before you care for yourself. You must be able and willing to care for your horse needs nutritionally, physically and emotionally. You must be willing to become your horses friend and bond with your horse. You must understand that your horse will, if he trust you, give its life for you. You must also understand that if you mistreat your horse he can and will hurt you or even take your life.

A bond between horse and rider is one of the wonderful gifts God gave to us. Its not one that can be taken for granted and its not one that comes easy. It takes lots of hard work on both of your parts.

We have a motto in the 3rd Texas Cavalry. It goes thus, "We may reenact in the 19th century but our horses live in this one." This means to us that we seek out the very best care and instruction. If our horse is injured or ill we do not take to the field on it.

Sometime ago we searched for a good all around manual on Horsemanship. There are literally thousands available. We settled on "The Manual of Horsemanship" the Official Manual of the Pony Club . Why, because its one of the most comprehensive manuals available and can be easily be understood. In fact, it parallels the manuals on Cavalry service. We have in our library, Patton's Cavalry Manual, Wheelers revised System of Cavalry Tactics CSA 1863 manual, Cook's Cavalry Manual, Davis' 1862 CSA Cavalry Manual, Poinsetts Cavalry Manual and several US Cavalry Manuals dating from 1850 though 1943. It seems that the great Cavalry manuals are almost all consistent in that "The Manual of Horsemanship" is comparable with these great cavalry manuals. It doesn't have the drill, the tactics or the orders but it does tell you how and why to take care of your horse. It does have good basic horsemanship in it. Remember, your horse comes first!


If you are joining us as a new mounted member, you are required to have a current negative coggins and must present it before you can participate with us. At events, its required to be drawn and be negative with in a year in Texas. When traveling out of state its only good for six months. In addition you must have a horse in good condition and well cared for. There is no excuse for poor horse care and we'll not listen to excuses either.

One of the most frequently ask question is, I am not an accomplished rider. Can I still join? Yes, we don't care if your not an accomplished horseman. We do not care if you are new to re-enacting and know little about the cavalry. We all started out with few cavalry skills and it took time for us all to learn how to become cavalrymen. You are welcome just as you are. You will be allowed to progress at your own pace. We believe that safety is foremost and our horses come first. Once you and your horse are comfortable then the learning process takes place. You will be assigned to an experienced trooper who will work with you and see to your questions and needs. It is perfectly all right to say you don't understand or feel you want to be taken at a slow pace. We all started that way. We believe in old fashion principals like honesty, friendship and courtesy. If we wish to be treated well then we believe we must treat others the same way. This applies to our horse as well. If we ask our horse to work and learn then we must treat him with respect and kindness. To do otherwise is to court disaster and injury.

Part 2: DRILL & Picket line procedure