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Re: WW1 Saddlery

From: John M
Date: 4/2/2002
Time: 9:32:29 AM
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The reversible bit (MKI)was introduced in 1889 for draught purposes, accidents having happened due to the fixed rings of O.P. bits catching in the crab at the end of the pole of wagons. The reversible bit was also, at this time, to be issued to officers and other ranks of the RA, RE and ASC. A heavier version, the MKII, was introduced in 1892..the MKI having been found insufficiently strong. This explains why "P1902" bits are often seen in photos of cavalry in the Boer War. The reversible bit was also specified as part of the "set of saddlery" for a Yeomanry Pattern saddle in 1901/1902. The same pattern of bit would I suggest be appropriate for RMAM's saddle. But I wonder if the saddle is in fact a Yeomanry pattern saddle, being that late date?..By then I would have thought they would have been using earlier dated Yeo saddles, or 1902 UP's. Could it be the officer's P1915?. I think that from about 1902 the British cavalry troopers used an alloy bit that closely resembled the steel reversible bit but was NOT reversible...this bit was used with a bridoon (jointed snaffle). Officers had the same arrangement but using the reversible bit with the bridoon. By the time of WWI the troopers of the line cavalry were using just the steel reversible bit...with the two reins attached to it. I have yet to research this a bit more, especially re dates. John.M.

Last changed: April 02, 2002