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Skill-at-Arms Display

As an histiorical re-enactment troop we endeaviour to keep alive the traditions and activities of the Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, providing an opportunity to see the uniforms and equipment of the light horse as it was used.


During the two world wars, Lighthorse militia regiments were maintained and regularly attended rural agricultural shows around Tasmania, demonstrating the various skills required to train soldier and horse for effective military service. Troops were located at various centres, and these often used to compete with each other in the various skill-at-arms activities. Although the 3rd Light Horse regiment was not issued with sabre or lance during WW1, skill at arms was historically part of the training of the Mounted Infantry prior to and following the war. They provide the horse and rider with necessary basic skills for mounted combat. Below are a few of the exercises used for training these cavalry skills. Like our forebears, we display some of these skills at various agricultural shows as we are invited. In recent years these have included the Hobart, Huon, Burnie, Wynyard, Bream Creek and Devonport shows, as well as the Kempton Summer Festival.

Gallows (Tilting the Ring)

Training a horse to run straight and steadily is a fundamental requirement for a stable platform from which to fight. This exercise trains the discipline required to drive a sabre or lance with sufficient accuracy and force through a mounted enemy’s heart. A 10cm diameter rope ring is suspended at the height of a mounted enemy's heart, and taken away by lance or sabre at a loose-rein gallop.

Shown at 1:30 into this old "WWI Reunions" video below.

Tent Pegging

Perhaps the best known of the exercises, it is based on the cavalry tactic of galloping through an enemy camp at dawn, removing the pegs of the tents to create confusion, prior to an infantry assault. The exercise is done with sabre, lance, or bayonette. Tent pegging competitions are not uncommon: The rider scores 2 points for a strike, 4 points if the peg is removed and 6 points if the peg is carried away. Shown at 2:11 into this old "WWI Reunions" video below.

Turk's Heads

Taking its name from the type of knot used, this exercise simulates a frontal assault against two lines of infantry, with an enemy officer mounted at the rear. The rider attacks through the lines, taking the knot from the pole on his right (front rank), the knot on his left (second rank), and running the sabre through the ring at the rear. 

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