by Cullin Lumpkins

I have been doing cavalry reenacting for a number of years now, most all of it 19th century impressions including Tex Rev(Mexican Presidial), ACW (Terry's Texas Rangers & 5th Texas Mounted Vols), and Indian Wars IW (4th US Cavalry). So, armed with the experience of what reenacting is all about, I began with adapting modern horsemanship to the ancient situation. Firstly, stirrups may have been invented in the east at this point but were very rare in Europe and the Mediterranean areas.

A challenge for me was to become proficient at riding and using ancient style weapons while bareback. I started with 19th century training techniques and obstacle courses. Convinced I and my horse are up to the task, I have begun putting together my kit and researching the mounted services throughout the region in the beginning of the Late Roman period. My hope is to assemble a small cavalry detachment for demos, parades, and living histories. Horses always draw the crowd!

Practicing Riding without Stirrups

Adapting modern horsemanship to the ancient riding style...oh yea, in a tunic no less!
Building procificency with ancient weapons & horses using a 19th century model


My Roman Saddle




I chose to use onhand items for my first attempt at building a Roman Saddle.

This is a McClellen military saddle tree which served the US Army from pre-Civil War to WWII.

I left the structural integrity of the pommel intact but rebuilt the cantle.

Presently I continue to experiment with homemade Roman influenced saddles.

For the moment I train while riding in a McClellen tree covered in blankets until I have constructed or purchase the final version I like.

The seat came out a bit small so I'm loaning it to my buddy Joe to use. I'll be working on the next model in the weeks ahead.





My Kit To Date

The pieces are coming together! Now I am able to mount up wearing armor and other gear. I continue getting a better feel for how it might have felt 2000 years ago.



I call this one "know thy enemy"--it is my acting as the Celt commander during the 2007 JROTC "Romans vs. Celts" battle reenactment at Round Rock High School where I teach.