Thursday, 12 February 2015

Border Horse

The sound of thundering hooves is echoing around the hill and valleys, shattering the peace and quiet of the border country. Bandits and raiders beware - the Craswall Border Horse are here!

I've had an idea for a unit of civilian militia cavalry rattling around my head for some time, inspired by a film I saw at the local Borderlines Film Festival some years ago.

'Real Life on the Black Hill' was made from home movie footage shot by a housekeeper for a Crawsall farming family near the famous Black Hill in the 1950s. As well as including some fascinating insights into a rapidly vanishing way of life in and around the Black Mountains, the film also showed the local farmers breaking in the wild Black Mountain ponies.

These men were expert horseman, and would often descend from the hills with their semi-wild ponies, either for the pony sales at Hay, or to exhibit their riding skills in rodeos at the local country fairs.

In fact my father remembers these shows. After watching the film, he recounted, with a gleam of mischief in his eye, how on one occasion, one of the exhibition riders had the same name as him. When this name was called out over the tannoy, he sauntered off towards the ring, much to the amazement of his mates!

So this unit is inspired by these skilled Black Mountain riders. They are mainly Reiver Castings civilian cavalry, with the numbers made up by some converted OOP Pass of the North US cavalry figures I acquired second-hand.


  1. Nice work! I can see cavalry having quite an impact in the VBCW world. With fuel supplies running low, those fancy tanks and armoured cars would be so much inert metal.

    1. Thanks mate! Yeah, we're trying to factor in the effects of fuel shortages into our Big Games, so horses will definitely become more important.

  2. Quite fascinating. I've never even heard of this part of Britain, sounds very much like my native SE Alberta, Canada, complete with cowboys and rodeos. As AJ notes, local cavalry would be worth their weight in gold in a time of civil disorder, and your figures have the rough and ready look of armed farmers.

    1. Neither had I until I saw the film - I thought they just -had- to be made into a VCBW unit!


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