The American War of Independence showed the need for lighter, more mobile troops.

The 14th Dragoons were converted to Light Dragoons. Light Dragoons were required to fight from their horses, rather than dismounted. They were armed with straight sabres, and carbines (a shorter form of the musket, more manageable on horseback). The cocked hat was replaced by a leather crested brass helmet; lighter saddlery and equipment were adopted and the horses were smaller and selected for speed and agility.