The Medieval Warhorse

Many of us who have read medieval romances or watched movies about that time period have heard about/seen the fierce warhorses ridden by the knights. I have pulled together some information on these powerful horses. Sadly, the original warhorse breed is now extinct, although Clydesdales and Quarter horses are bred today to produce a similar horse.

I lightly referred to such horses in my medieval romances from Blushing Books and Black Velvet Seductions. Here is a sample from The Great Scottish Devil.

He forced his warhorse into a gallop and thundered down the hill. He pulled his sword from the scabbard on his back at the same time he roared, “Stop, thief!”

 

 

Title:  The Great Scottish Devil

Genre:  Medieval Romance, light BDSM elements

Author:  Starla Kaye

Publisher:  Blushing Books

Buy Link:  Blushing Books

Buy Link:  Amazon Kindle

 

A Knight and His Horses

  1. A knight owned several horses used for different duties.
  2. The palfrey was used for general travelling purposes.
  3. The most common type used for battle was called a Destrier and was brought England in 1066. They were bigger and stronger and more expensive. Only the most wealthy knights could afford to have one.

 

Description of a Warhorse

  1. This type of horse had a thick rounded body, a broad back, powerful hind-quarters, and long legs with dense bones.
  2. Generally, a medieval warhorse was black, brown, bag, or gray. They often had long silky, often white, hair on the lower parts of its legs.
  3. These massive animals measured over 24 hands tall.

 

Training a Warhorse

  1. These horses were specially trained for riding in battle or in combating at jousting tournaments.
  2. They were trained to command from a knight’s leg pressure instead of the reins because the knight must hold his shield and his weapons.
  3. They were trained to trample the bodies of fallen enemies.
  4. They were also trained to bite and kick on command.

 

Protection for a Warhorse

  1. Horse armor called barding consisted of rigid pieces of plate armor made of leather and steel.
  2. A warhorse would be fully dressed with armor on the head, neck, body and chest. The head armor often had spike horns.

 

Sources:

Warhorse: http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-weapons/warhorse.htm

Horses in the Middle Ages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_the_Middle_Ages

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