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''Tent Pegging''

  • General History
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Although a Modern Equestrian Sport today in Europe and other parts of The World, the “Horse Skill” known as “Tent Pegging”, is actually Centuries old (perhaps dating back as far as the 4th Century BC). The tactic was debated with regards to it’s “origin” Country, but  most Historians agree as India being the first known to develop the Cavalry skill would be copied and adapted by The Macedonian Armies of Alexander during his Campaigns in The Hindu-Kush.


As we have seen, in Ancient and Medieval India, The War Elephant was a dominate form” of Heavy Cavalry, often used as a firing platform for Archers and Spear Throwers. As such was the height of The Elephant, this created a type of natural “Tank” of sorts. The hulking beasts could be “turned” and caused to sun amok, but this was a difficult tactic for the Attacker. Also, it was known that while The Elephant had “soft spots” which could be attacked, all in all – they were very tough to strike down, that is save one spot – the Foot Pad. The Pad (or sole of the Animal) was very soft. Protected by a thick circular covering of Hide. Given the size of the Animal, the Pad was quite small. In this the tactic of “Tent Pegging” developed.


Ancient Cavalry practiced Spearmanship and Archery from a gallop, often aiming at very small targets placed on wooden Tent Pegs in the ground striking the small target was practice for doing the same to the soft Pad of the Foot of The Elephant. Once struck (by causing them to rear up), the Animal felt intense pain and would run amok into it’s own “friendly” lines.

 
By The Middle Ages, this “Cavalry Craft” was adopted into The Tournaments and Jousts (Games). Taking great skill, this variation involved a Knight or Rider at a fast gallop trying to Lance a small (5-inch in diameter) ring. Often, Gold or other treasure was given for the Victor. However, the “game” was still taught to the much later “Lancer”, who had to achieve the same goal of striking a small target with the downward flourish of his Lance at Fast Gallop. Often Company Awards were presented to the best “Pegger”. In later Centuries, in addition to The Lance and Spear, Saber and Sword Drills were adapted to Tent Pegging. Tent Pegging has grown into an established Sport today, recognized and governed by International Authorities. Many participants often don Historically accurate Uniforms and Weapons to enhance the “feel” of a skilled “Pegging” Cavalryman.