One, Acrylic on Canvas by Eric Tippeconnic

A Comanche warrior and his horse move as one entity

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One depicts a favorite Comanche battle tactic in which the rider would shift all the way to one side of the horse while dropping down low in order to shield his body from his enemy in combat. The rider would discharge his weapon under the horse's neck toward the enemy while in full gallop.

The Comanche hunters could shoot a buffalo while the horse was running very fast; or use him for a shield by dropping at the side and lying in a horizontal position, and so protected from his enemies by the horses body. The heel of the rider would be hanging over the horse's back. From this position the rider could regain his usual riding position or change to the other side, and use his bow and arrow from under the horses neck. This method of riding is very difficult, but, very young braves had to learn how to ride in this manner for his own protection and to win battles. Ta qua ker, 1942

Young Comanche boys and girls were placed on a pony and led around by the age of three. Once they were comfortable controlling their mount, they would ride alone. To be born Comanche meant being raised in an environment where superior riding skills were paramount to success and survival. It was these mastered riding techniques that gave them special advantages on the battlefield, and it was imperative that the Comanche warrior had a horse he completely trusted with his life. Riders and their mounts became so familiar with each other that, to the outside observer, it almost appeared that they operated as one entity. It was because of maneuvers such as the one depicted here that outsiders viewed Comanche riders as some of the most skilled horse people in history.

Eric Tippeconnic is a historian and visual artist with a special emphasis on painting. He is an original American on his father's side and a first generation American on his mother's side.

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One, Acrylic on Canvas by Eric Tippeconnic Artifact from Austin
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