Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Get on Your High Horse

Just a quick thing I noticed one day, reading one of the many books on the Scytho-Siberian cultures: (both "Amazons" by Adrienne Mayor and "World of the Scythians" by Renate Rolle mention this)
How does one mount a horse if he's not using stirrups?
Something I didn't know - that the ancient Greeks mounted their horses by clutching at the mane and swinging, or using a lance as a pole. (this is according to Xenophon's detailed instructions)
Scythians (as we know via Herodotus) trained their horses to kneel on command.

We even have lovely depictions (probably) of horse training from the Chertomlyk mound:


Reading about this, I remembered the "Alexander" movie. See, his horse Bucephalus was said to be of a Scythian breed. And there's something interesting, if you watch two different scenes of Alexander mounting Bucephalus:
Young Alexander hops on the Greek way: (around 2:54)

While older Alexander riding to the battle of Gaugamela mounts the Scythian way: (from 0:45)

It could well be a coincidence, but I like it nonetheless.

No comments:

Post a Comment