Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Usarz in training ...

     Hussaria or our winged hussar  ( польский гусар)  had to train their horses a lot, until their horses were so well trained and  fiery that,  as one of our  Polish poets from the 17th (XVII) century Waclaw Potocki wrote in one of  his poems,   when trumpets called hussars to battle such  horse  would beat the ground with his hooves, would raise his head high and neighing announced his readiness to serve his rider.  I use masculine  gender when talking about their horses for according to the sources usually stallions  ('drygant'/'ogier') or   geldings ('walach') were used exclusively as war horses.  Mares were used for breeding and non-military transportation.
      After all, according to another Polish poet of the mid-17th century Wespazyan Kochowski , a winged hussar was a giant of martial prowess when had a brave horse, strong breastplate,  saddle (presumably hussar saddle or 'husarskie siodlo')  with a 'koncerz' (tuck, estock).

In my sketch our noble towarzysz (companion), mid 1640s, is dressed in his undershirt, loose pants of steppe Turkish-Tatar style, yellow leather boots with hussar spurs and Hungarian-style magierka (hat).  Let's say he is in his  'majdan' (another Persian via Turco-Tatar word in our language) paddock gentling his future warhorse.
     His saddle is of that already mentioned  hussar type, as exemplified by surviving  winged hussar saddles in Moscow and Stockholm, with Polish-Tatar iron stirrups, and with a simple 'potnik'(sweat pad) or 'mituk' (blanket) under the saddle. He has his 'kopia' (lance) in the 'tok' (leather container) hung from the saddle's 'kula' (horn) - nota bene  similar to the Mexican and Western saddles' horn.  And he is training his young horse ('munsztuk' or curb bit in his mouth) to turn while distracted by the presence of his kopia. Most likely he has his 'szabla' (saber) on his left side and a 'koncerz' under his left thigh.

Imci Wespazjan Kochowski poems can be read via google books:

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