a day after the great feast of Thanksgiving calls for something special in the history of horse art and war horse, so perhaps the grand work by master François Gérard who witnessed the Age of Napoleon would give us this 'grandeur.' (notwithstanding the fact that the Emperor was one of the great destroyers of war horses in history).
The French victory at Austerlitz was painted by many an artist, but the rendering of this moment of cavalry glorious return from their victorious charge as depicted by monsieur Gerard allows us to do a little viewing of the period tack and horse, and horse soldiers of the Imperial Guard, Their their famous charge that 'let the ladies of Saint Petersburg weep ' left for the other artists to paint.
Naturally the Emperor of the French first :)
Jean Rapp reporting the victory to the Emperor and his staff (nota bene Marechal Jean-Baptiste Bessieres also charged in this cavalry action)
Napoleon on his splendid stallion:
heroic Jean Rapp is a bit wounded, hatless and rides a splendid grey that could make many a stable proud
but there is this anecdote about the artist and the general's horse -
Chasseur a cheval - including the chasseur who mortally wounded still brought the captured flag to his commander - (The Memoirs of Baron de Marbot, vol I p. 199)
Mamelukes - famous Mustapha (Mustafa) who wanted to catch Archduke Constantine, who escaped by shooting mameluke's horse. Baron de Marbot, p 198-99
Grenadiers a cheval - famous bearskins - perhaps a little about their horse tack - their horse tack consisted of a natural leather saddle with a white leather seat (over a blue saddle cloth with wide stripe of 'gold' lace). Gold grenades were embroidered in the rear corners of the the saddle cloth. The bridle with reins, breastplate, and crupper were of black leather with the metal buckles et al of brass where required. Cinch was of a grey cloth. Pistol holders were of brown leather, blackened iron stirrups hung on the Hungarian leather straps. The horse head harness consisted of the cavalry bridle (curb-bit of steel with a brass boss stamped with a grenade and snaffle etc) and double reins and scarlet rosettes and ribbons.
Patrice Courcelle painted several Osprey's titles where very detailed plates with uniforms, horse tack etc can be studied and enjoyed along with the text. Two plates in the 'Mounted Chasseurs of the Guard' depict the Rapp & Guard's charge at Austerlitz in monsier Courcelle' fine style.
2014 reenactment - at Slavkov u Brna, in Czech Republic, of course.