Monday, August 22, 2011

Uhlan of the Dziewanowski regiment from the Towarzysz regiment 1806-7

 Let us turn for a moment to the Napoleonic era and the glorious year 1806 when Napoleonic armies liberated a small portion of Old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the events leading to creation of Duchy of Warsaw, with the most dashing cavalryman at the helm of the Duchy army- prince Józef Poniatowski.
The subject of today's post is a Towarzysz of the  Dziewanowski regiment ('pułk') - winter 1807.
There was this cavalry  in Prussian army, called 'Towarzysze'' or companions (called Das Korps Towarczys -in the army order Hussarenregiment No.9:  a regiment of 10 squadrons and a battalion of 5 squadrons - here in Knotel's reconstruction  ), created from petty noblemen (companions) and peasants (retainers) of the newly conquered Polish provinces in 1799-1800, including one squadron of 'Polish Tatars' (
''Tartaren Schwadron'' ), and organized along the lines of then nonexistent Polish National cavalry regiments, with companions armed with lances and retainers with pistols and carbines, or as I found elsewhere the companions carried lances painted in white and the retainers painted in two colors (perhaps more research into the German sources could elucidate on this element of their equipment). 
During the war of 1806 when Prussian army was beaten by Napoleon and his commanders, and French armies entered Poland, some of the Towarzysz regiment cavalrymen deserted to the newly organizing Polish cavalry allied with Napoleon - here a discussion in Polish, fantastic forum on the Napoleonic period,  about the period 1800-1807 - while the Towarzysz battalion was destroyed at the battle of Bieżun, where uhlans surrendered to the French, in December  1806.
They were grouped under the command of Dominik Dziewanowski  and valiantly fought the Prussians and Russian during the Winter and Spring of 1807. Historian and Napoleonic reenactor Andrzej Ziółkowski , who is writing a book on the 6th and 2 more uhlan regiments, kindly shared with me a piece of his writing on these cavalrymen where I read that they had worn Prussian uniforms while back in our Polish Homeland service and had horse hair plumes attached to their headgear- black peakless shako.  In spite of the risks involved, wearing the uniform of the  former command and present enemy, these uhlans performed fine service during the numerous skirmishes and battles of the reconquest of Gdansk Pomerania from Prussia.   These uhlans eventually became the core element of the 6th regiment of uhlans of Duchy of Warsaw, commanded by Colonel Dziewanowski, the best cavalry regiment of the Polish Napoleonic army (Vistula Lancers and Polish Chevaulegers were part of the French Napoleonic army).
 Here a text on the early life future German emperor Wilhelm (William I) and his infatuation with the Towarzysz regiment :  ''he saw the uhlan regiment
Towarczysz, at that time the only one in Prussia,
and was so charmed with its singular uniform
that he begged his father for one like it. The
King, always ready to encourage his military tastes,
granted his wish, and from that time he alternated
between a uhlan and a hussar.''

Prussian cavalry in 1805, when Poland's Warsaw was but a medium Prussian city
A good introduction to the Prussian cavalry of the era  Prussian-Cavalry-Napoleonic-Wars-Men-At-Arms 1

And here, at the Kujawsko-Pomorska Digital Library, a book by Janusz Staszewski on the Pomeranian campaign  in 1806-07 , can be downloaded in djvu format.
I did not give him the sabretache that they normally carried at the belt while in the Prussian service.
Some German info:
Regiment Towarczys Nr. 9, mit Lanzen bewaffnet, 10 Escadrons. Focht 1807 in Preußen und blieb bestehen. Es hatte kein Depot.
Bataillon Towarczys, 5 Escadrons. Focht in Preußen und blieb bestehen, Inspektion der Towarczys: General Lieutenant v. L'Estocq.
1. Das Regiment Towarczys.
Inspektion des General-Lieutenants v. L'Estocq. Garnison: Tulczyn, Drohyczin, Iabludow, Lomza, Ostrow, Bransk, Ostrolenka, Knyszyn, Boczky, Wyztowo. Chef: General-Lieutenant L'Estocq, General-Major v. Kall Commandeur.
2. Das Bataillon Towarczys.
(Hieraus wurde das jetzige Westpreuß, Ulanen-Regt. Nr. 1 u. das Schles. Ulanen-Regt. Nr. 2 formirt.)
Garnison: Augustowa, Raigrod, Suchawolla, Ianow, Lipsk.
Major und Commandeur: Schimmelfennig v. d. Oye.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For historians & future novelists - Jakub K. Haur 'Oekonomika ziemianska'

some 350 years ago  Polish economist, writer Jakub K. Haur, after long and successful career of running various estates for nobles and himself,  having secured a patent to his works from our good king Jan Sobieski, published his opus magnum:
"Skład abo skarbiec znakomitych sekretów oekonomiej ziemiańskiej"
 which was a compendium or sort of encyclopedia devoted to efficient running of noble estate with inclusion of animal husbandry, farming, fishery, hunting, veterinary notes, and daily life affairs, all interwoven with  multiple anecdotes and curiosities, in total a very fine example of a Sarmatian culture mind (Sarmatian as related to Sarmatism )
This book, almost 600 pages long and full of illustrations, is a fine window into the minds and wide spectrum of actions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gentry,  burghers and perhaps even richer peasantry (especially in the Ukraine).

So, in my opinion, as such it could be quite useful, along with many memoirs and other documents of the times, to historians and novelists wanting to work on reconstructing the lives of people during  this early modern period of the East-Central Europe's history.

I am attaching here the parts  about the horses, especially the various  sicknesses, although the very first description under the heading 'I' is devoted to how to find the signs of a brave, fast horse, a favorite of Polish-Lithuanian gentry:
.. when horse is of a small head but high neck carriage, his ears are standing up and he holds them as if a hare; of breast and rump wide; of dry legs; when he has the depths  of his nostril for the breathing wide; when he does not allow his ears to be touched; when has a thin (fine) vein on his hind legs; when between the last rib and the thigh, from last rib to the thigh bone only a  small space can be found.

page 469:

page 470:

page 471:

page 472:

the top print shows an allegory of  John III Sobieski as victor of Vienna 1683, and we can see two noble soldiers epitomizing the victorious king's achievements: on the left(king's right) a hussar companion with his lance and on the right (king's left) a 'pancerny' companion with his 'rohatyna' or 'dzida'.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Louise Firouz interview via youtube

I would like to share with you  this video of the interview with one of the most important horsewomen of XX century - American-Iranian Louise Firouz, unfortunately deceased since 2008, well, here there is the wikipedia entry

In this interview she discussed her  Turkoman horses , while she was known the most for the rediscovery of the Caspian horse, the most likely ancestor of the Arabian horse (DNA studies by Dr. Gus Cochran of the Kentucky University prove the link). Another video here
“The discovery of the Caspian, a breed of great antiquity, was a matter of the greatest scientific and historical importance in equine studies,” said Elwyn Hartley Edwards in her 1994 edition of The Encyclopedia of the Horse.

I have Ms. Firouz fine article on the Caspian Horse to which I may return one day in my meandering through the Persian history...

Turkoman Horse & Argamak part I

I hope to start a series of posts - all based on the source material from XVI-XIX centuries - related to the Turkoman horse of the Central Asia, including its most noble 'strain' known as the argamak  - these horses were ancestral to modern Akhal-Teke horse.  Now, there is this Polish Akhal-Teke breeder, pan Jacek, who has a very interesting blog on the history of the Akhal-Teke horse, but in Polish only, where one can read very detailed and knowledgeable accounts related to the history of the breed.
The most interesting of the accounts I found is the one describing the training and feeding of the warhorse and then carrying of the raid into Persia during the 1860-70s.
Well, let us start with a little description of the Central Asian  Turkoman tribal divisions as they were seen/perecived by the Western European travelers during XIX century;

The Turkomans occupy the country between Khiva, the Oxus, and the North Persian frontier, and are divided into many tribes; but the principal of these inhabit the south of this great tract, viz., the Yamouts, the Goklans, and the Tekes. The Yamouts occupy the shores of the Caspian, and are, as has been mentioned, water as well as land pirates. They are supposed to number about 40,000 tents. The Goklans occupy the country of the upper Gourgan, the Attrek, and Simbur, and number about 12,000 tents. The Tekes are divided into two bodies; the Akhal Tekes, who live on the northern slopes of the Kuren Dagh mountains, and at Tejend; and the Merv Tekes, who inhabit the great oasis of Merv, and the banks of the Moorghab river. Each of these bodies numbers about 30,000 tents; and each Turkoman tent on an average turns out a mounted horseman. The number of men available for the field may therefore be easily calculated.
The Turkomans are a Turkish race, and speak a dialect of Turkish, and they hold the Sonnie faith. In person they are muscular, heavy-limbed men, with large hands, rather flat, broad faces, and small eyes; thus showing much of the Tartar type. There is generally a merry, cunning twinkle about their eyes which does not give the idea of a hard, cold-blooded race. It is difficult to define the Turkoman government, as they are nearly the only people in the world who really appear to rule themselves. In each village there is usually, however, one man, or Aksakal, who takes the lead, and whose advice or command is generally followed; and amongst the Tekes the threatening of danger has brought a real leader to the surface in the person of Kourschid Khan, a man much respected for his bravery and general character, but who holds a very uncertain position.
That the Turkoman type should still be so distinctly marked is very curious, as they constantly capture Persian girls, who become their wives, and so must bring a strong infusion of Persian blood into the race; but it is not traceable either in their appearance or in their habits. The peculiar characteristic of the Turkomans is their bold, independent air. Their domestic habits are simple in the extreme. They have rarely more than one wife; and the women have great latitude accorded to them. They are never veiled, as in most other Mahomedan countries, and they occupy themselves thoroughly with the domestic concerns of their lords. The latter, when not engaged in predatory expeditions, lead a most indolent life; looking after their horses, smoking, and gossiping being their usual occupations. The care of the flocks and herds, as well as the execution of a little agriculture being entrusted to the boys and women. These last lead an active life, and much of their spare time is devoted to weaving the carpets, which are the only articles of luxury allowed in the tents. These tents have been already described; and it is the province of the women to strike and pack them whenever a move is contemplated. The men wear the long brown woollen or cotton dress that is common both with the Khoords and Usbegs; but both men and women often wear a red silk or cotton shirt beneath. The former wear the usual black or brown sheepskin cap, but it is generally smaller and lower than those worn in Persia. The ladies on gala occasions indulge in considerable finery. Their head-dresses are then most elaborate, the hair being plaited and arranged into most fantastic shapes; and they delight in high red or yellow boots, and adorn themselves with numberless trinkets.
The diet of the Turkomans is most frugal. A little millet and milk forms the staple food, and they move their camps from place to place as the season renders it convenient for getting pasture for their flocks, or raising the small grain crops that suffice for their needs.
Their manners are coarse and rough, presenting a great contrast to the polish of the Persians; but, on the other hand, they are manly, brave, and enduring. Their reputation for hospitality is widely known. They are brought up, however, from childhood to consider that violent robbery is the highest of virtues, and every growing youth looks forward to the day when he may win his spurs by joining in a chapaoul, or raid. But, if the Turkomans are lazy in their habits and careless of their wives, there is one tiling to which their whole attention is devoted—their horses. And well do these noble animals deserve all the care that is lavished upon them, for in courage, speed and endurance combined, they stand at the head of the equine race.

Clouds in the East: travels and adventures on the Perso-Turkoman frontier..

 By Valentine Baker (p211-220) – 1876

Now a  short entry on the horses:
Vámbéry Ármin , a Hungarian traveler in Central Asia gave the following description of the horses he found in his travels: 1. The Turkoman horse ; and here a main distinction exists between the Tekke and Yomut breeds. The former, of which the favorite races are the Korogli and the Akhal, are distinguished by extraordinary height (sixteen to seventeen hands). They are slightly built, have handsome heads, majestic carriage, wonderful speed, but no bottom. The latter, those of the Yomuts, are smaller, finely formed, and unite speed with unparalleled endurance and strength. I have seen many horses of this description which had carried each his Turkoman rider, with a slave behind him in the saddle, at a constant rapid gallop for thirty hours. In general, the Turkoman horse is distinguished by a slender barrel, thin tail, handsome head and neck (it is a pity that the mane is cut off), and particularly fine and glossy coat; the latter quality is owing to its being kept covered, summer and winter, with several housings of felt. With respect to the value, a good Turkoman horse may be had at a price varying from one hundred to three hundred ducats, but never under thirty ducats.
2. The Ozbeg horse resembles the Yomut, but its form is more compact, and denotes more power; its neck short and thick, rather suited, like our hacks, for journeys than serviceable in war or olamans.
3. The Kasak horse, in a half-wild state, small, with long hair, thick head, and heavy feet. He is seldom fed by hand, but is accustomed to seek his own subsistence, summer and winter, in the pastures.
4. The Khokandi, sumpter, or cart-horse, is a cross between the Ozbeg and Kasak breeds, and is remarkable for its great strength.
Of these four races, the genuine Turkoman horses have only been exported to Persia, and the Ozbeg horses to Afghanistan and India.

Travels in Central Asia: being the account of a journey from Teheran across ...

 By Ármin Vámbéry (1863)

On wild life as perceived by the English writers based on their travels :
Animals of Central Asia – 
Wolves, foxes, badgers, wild goats, and grey hares are to be found in abundance in the country specified, and in the province of Ferghana deer are so numerous that he compares it to "an English park." The large Maral stag is to be found in herds of several hundreds. Water-fowl, herons, cranes, ibises, wild geese, swans, and a bird resembling a flamingo are also to be met with in immense quantities round Issik Kul and along the Syr Darya and its affluents. Bears are to be found in the rocky country, and a tame kind of gazelle, which is, however, never to be seen in greater numbers than five or six at a time.
The Zarafshan valley east of Samarcand is the haunt of wolves, lynxes, foxes, etc. etc.; and eagles and vultures are frequently to be seen. But on the whole the wolves are of a cowardly race, and the Kirghiz hunter does not hesitate to attack them single-handed and armed only with a heavy riding-whip, which is made of wire woven into the lash. With regard to the Central Asian tiger, which M. de Ujfalvy states, on what authority we know not, to be larger than the Indian tiger, and particularly fierce, it seems to be an animal which is gradually disappearing. Twenty-five years ago, when the Russians were first advancing along the Syr Darya, the marshes on the banks of that river swarmed with them, but from this quarter of the country they have been expelled by the encroachments of man. They are still found in limited numbers along the banks of the Chu river and on the shores of Lake Balkash.

England and Russia in Central Asia: with two maps and appendices ..., Volume 1

 by Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh Boulger (1879)
*original spelling preserved

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

on Hungarian saddle tree - excerpt from F. Dwyer (1868)

 let me turn to a book by an Austrian Hussar officer of the 1860s, who wrote extensively on horse riding, saddles and bits , and his work was very popular with the cavalry, printed several times throughout XIX century.

''On seats and saddles: bits and bitting  ...'' (1868)

 By Francis Dwyer, hussar officer of the Austrian cavalry
 Firstly I want to share this excerpt from his book dealing with light cavalry saddle tree - or so called Hungarian saddle (equally Polish saddle as it was Hungarian, except that Poland ceased to exist in 1795 when these saddles were already popular in England under the name Hungarian)

''With the light cavalry (or Hungarian) saddle, it will not do to put a man into it as it comes out of the saddler's hands, and order him to sit in a particular manner ; it is just as necessary, or more so, to make the saddle fit the man's seat, as to make his coat or boots fit his body or feet; and this is done, after careful observation of the seat, by shortening or lengthening the bearing-strap of the seat, or by altering the lacings, till the seat comes right of itself, when you don't need to correct it in the riding-school.''

''Fig. [1] shows the outlines of those Hungarian saddles. At a the bearingstrap of the seat is laced down so as to have its lowest point towards the rear of the saddle, the consequence of which is to throw the rider's seat back on the '' Monboddo bone'' (tail bone), bringing the thigh forwards and the knee towards the horse's shoulder, wash-ball fashion. At b the reverse is the case; the bearing-strap being laced down in front, its hinder part throws the rider altogether into his fork, and the thigh and leg come too far back, muff fashion; a bends his neck and shoulders somewhat forward in order to get his balance, whilst 6 strains them backwards. At c the lowest part of the bearing-strap is in the middle of the saddle, all of which variation depends on the lacing, supposing the length of the strap itself to be the same : c therefore sits on his triangle with his body upright and his legs coming down in their natural fall, his whole weight being spread over the entire under-surface of the saddleblades ; whilst it is evident that the weight of a, being far to the rear, will press down the hinder ends of the saddle-blades into the horse's back, tilting up the front ends; b, on the contrary, drives the saddle-blade ends into the horse's withers : a's saddle will probably run forward, &'s horse run through the girths.
The place of the stirrup and its influence on the seat is here altogether left out of consideration. It should be made to accord with the seat, and not the seat with it, otherwise the rider is always " contending against" his stirrups, instead of " depending on them."''

''How the bearing-strap* of the saddle should be exactly laced will depend altogether on the " plenitude " or " poverty " of the seat of honour of each individual rider. A very full-sized sitting part requires the lacing to approach that shown at a in order to make the rider sit like c; a very spare man, on the contrary, will require something like b for the same purpose : for most young men it will do best as at c''

* The bearing-strap of the seat is best made of a piece of good girthing-web, doubled together so as to form, with its central portion, a collar to embrace neatly the hinder knob of the saddle, the two branches being sowed by their edges together down the middle of the seat, and ending, the one with a strap, the other with a buckle, which, when united, form a corresponding collar for the front knob. Brass eyelet-holes stamped into the outer edges at  certain intervals should be an improvement. Of course a movable strap covers this bearing-strap, the lacings and the side plate of the saddle, as far down as the tops of the girth at each side, but it is on the length of the hearing-strap, and the way in which it is laced, that the form of the seat will depend. Of course all the edges of these wooden saddles must be nicely bevelled off.

More interesting thoughts:
On Cavalry horses versus hunting horses

''The hunting man rides his own horse for his own pleasure, and does not mind spoiling a steed or two for the sake of maintaining his character as a forward rider. Cavalry soldiers must ride together almost always: what regulates their speed is the average of a whole regiment, and not the swiftness of a single animal. The Oriental national cavalries won't understand this, and get beaten by riders who, taken singly, are very inferior. Again, the hunting man's proper work is all done at full gallop; cavalry does at least five-eighths of its work at a walk (route marching), perhaps twoeighths in trot (manoeuvring), and certainly not more than one-eighth at full gallop (in charging). The conclusions to be drawn are, that even supposing the so-called " hunting seat" to be the best for high speed, no Government can afford the waste of horse-flesh it involves, nor would there be the slightest use in doing so. On the contrary, this style of riding can only lead to loose and broken charges, or to a voluntary abandonment of full gallop in charging. Further, the fox-hunter does not require sharp turning, and he has both his hands at his disposal; whilst the cavalry soldier's life depends to a great extent on his horse being able to 'turn suddenly and rapidly with the aid of one hand. The poise or equilibrium of horse and rider taken together can never be too perfect or too permanent in his case. One of the great mistakes committed is the supposing that what is called a balance-seat is the one thing necessary. The whole machine must be in balance, and not the rider alone.
But the greatest difference is in the absolute weight or load to be carried. A hunting man buys a horse up to his weight; cavalry can do nothing of the sort, for their horses are compelled to carry any load we please to inflict on them. People rig out a soldier with everything that combined bad taste and absurdity can suggest—put him on a horse that must not cost over a certain price, and call him a hussar, dragoon, or lancer, according to the cut of his coat; and so it comes that what is called heavy cavalry sometimes rides lighter, and is altogether lighter, than what people are pleased to consider light cavalry.''

On Hungarians and surcingle 
''The Hungarian Puszta rider, or cattle-herd, and most Orientals, never use anything but a surcingle, the great advantage of which is that, having loosed it to let their horses graze, they can tighten it with one pull, and are in the saddle and well under way whilst one of us is still fumbling at a multiplicity of straps: and moreover, his saddle remains where he put it; ours seldom does so except by chance.''

 On stirrups and instructions -

''Should we give our first instruction in riding with or without stirrups - The advocates of beginning without stirrups say, you must first give the pupil a seat, and then -when he has acquired balance and a hold of his horse, you can give him the additional assistance of the stirrups. Now the most difficult thing to attain is balance, and the stirrup was devised for the purpose of assisting in acquiring and maintaining it; and it is therefore just as reasonable to act in this manner as it would be to set a boy to learn swimming without corks or bladders, and when he had learned to support himself in the water give him these artificial aids—and this is seldom thought rational. But there is another objection —namely, that the pupil first acquires one seat, and afterwards is expected to change it for another and better one. Why not begin at first with this ? Every practical cavalry officer knows that it is much easier to teach a man that has never been on horseback than one who has acquired methods of his own, which give the instructor the double work of unteaching and teaching. Of course if the people ride at home nearly in the same way and in the same kind of saddle that they are required to do in the ranks—as, for instance, the Hungarians, Cossacks, and others—this does not apply; but with all western nations of Europe it does. It is highly probable that the English system of hanging the stirrups far forward in the saddle has been adopted, partially at least, for the purpose of adapting these instruments to a seat acquired without them—that is to say, to a purpose they were not intended for. Long experience in training recruits has resulted in the conviction that it is much better, and in the end more expeditious, to give the young rider stirrups from the beginning; and when he has acquired a certain amount of confidence and balance you may take away the stirrups to perfect the latter, without running the least risk of destroying the former.
On leg and bareback riding:
The leg, from the knee downward, is much less fitted for holding or grasping than the thigh is; moreover, it has other functions to perform that interfere with this. The best hunting, steeplechase, and military riders we have ever seen, all agreed on this one point at least—that of depending on the thigh, and not the " under-leg," for their seat; and hence is derived the grand cardinal rule for a good seat: " From the hips upwards movable, in order to enable the rider to vary his balance, or use his weapons ; from the knee downward movable, for the use of the spur, and the control of the horse's hind legs; and between these two points, hip and knee, fixed, for the seat." According to this rule, the middle of the rider adheres, both by weight and muscular action, to the middle of the horse; according to the other system, the lower third of the rider clings, by muscular action alone, to the horse's shoulders, aided, perhaps, to a certain extent, by the stirrup.
But this brings us to the stirrup. Riding was certainly invented and practised before saddles existed; and it is nearly equally certain that the first saddles, pads, or whatever they were, had no stirrups, these contrivances having been subsequently invented for the purpose of giving the rider further aid in addition to that derived from balance and friction. Even nowadays many a man can ride bare-backed to hounds or in the melee without stirrups ; and this very short statement of facts ought, we think, to go far to prove that stirrups are very subordinate in value to balance and friction taken together, which is precisely why we have used the term stirrup-riding in an opprobrious sense.''

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Muscovy (Russian) winged horsemen crica 1678

The winged horsemen of Russian Tsardom - well, to many this may be a surprise, but during XVII century the Russian Royal (tsarist) Court embraced Polish, Turkish and even Persian fashions in costume, arms and horse furniture, along with already established Tatar and even older Mongol fashions.

 Well, I found the description written by a courtier to prince Michal Czartoryski talking about the spledors of Muscovite Court two decades before the beginning of new Russia under Pyotr I.
From the relation by Bernard Tanner, in Latin
Legatio Polono-Lithuanica in Moscoviam: Potentissimi Poloniae Regis ac Reipublicae Mandato & Consensu Anno 1678,

that depicts the entry of the Polish-Lithuanian envoy prince Czartoryski  into Moscow and Russian reception during AD 1678 - (published in Latin in 1689)
Approaching the town, we looked on with astonishment - a new, until now unseen troop of warriors.  They all had long robes of same red color; they were mounted on white horses, and at their backs they had attached wings, raised above their heads and painted in beautiful manner; in their hands they had long lances, and towards the lance point there was attached an effigy of winged golden dragon, that moved with the wind.  This troop turned out to be the legion of Angels. 
Подъехав к городу ближе, глядим — новый, невиданный дотоле отряд воинов! Цвет длинных красных одеяний был на всех одинаков; сидели они верхом на белых конях, а к плечам у них были прилажены крылья, поднимавшиеся над головой и красиво расписанные; в руках — длинные пики, к концу коих было приделано золотое изображение крылатого дракона, вертевшееся по ветру. Отряд казался ангельским легионом. [...]
[...] Then a new Tsar's courtier appeared and surrounded by fine riders. These  knights wore tightly fitting crimson żupans, over those żupans they had  'ferezye'* of rich textiles, lined with ermine fur, at the neck held with clasps/ brooches of silver and gold. These ferezye rolled up to the right and flapped onto the weares; backs, while on their heads they had kolpacks, looking like a mitre, shinning with the light made by gold and precious stones.
These horses had wonderful harnesses; [each horse] on the left and right side of the bit all the way to the saddle's pommel  [had] the silver, even some golden, 3-fingers wide finely chiseled  chains  attached that with each movement of a horse made pleasant jingles. Their saddles, quivers, horse shoes even, were made silver [or gilded with silver]. Riders changed horses by jumping from one horse onto another, with lightness and dexterity worth great admiration.
 On my friend Michal (Kadrinazi zhilcy) there is Polish language version of this description.
And this is the Russian version of the Tanner's relation (Russian winged horsemen appear on page 44) :
  Mounted zhilcy reconstructed in these  paintings by contemporary Russian artist Сергей Ефошкин (Sergei Efoshkin)  -  Zhilec and Zhilcy , more of his fine art here
 And this is XIX century reconstruction:
 The description of the envoy and his entourage by Tanner  is also very interesting and merits another post...
* ferezja at kismeta