Join Date: Jan 2007
I too believe these images to be imaginative.
The 'rest' for the barrel could not be used as such, as the whole apparatus would merely sink down onto the horses neck. Recoil on the other hand, would tend to lift the barrel out of the fork, and just as you say, deliver the blow to the saddle, sternum, and if the barrel lifted much, possible the firer's face!
Even as a child when I first saw these images, I thought them fanciful, just like the camel images we see with a great big cannon tied to it's side!