A Medieval Knight
and his Horse
A Medieval knight would own several
horses which were built and used for his different duties. The Medieval knight's horses ranged in
variety of sizes starting with a palfrey,
or an ambler, for general travelling purposes. Bigger and
stronger horses were required as warhorses. The Courser was the
most sought after and expensive warhorse, owned by the most
wealthy knights. The more common warhorses were like modern
hunters, known in Medieval Times as a Destrier.
Knight on a Horse -
Description of a Warhorse
The warhorse owned by a Medieval knight had a dense rounded body with a broad
back, strong loins, powerful hind-quarters, and long legs with dense
bones. The colors of such horses ranged from black, brown, bay, or gray.
These war horses sometimes had long silky hair (often white) on the lower parts of its
legs. A Medieval knight on a horse wearing full armor required a massive animal
and theses warhorses measured in excess of 24 hands tall.
Medieval Knight on
a Horse - The Warhorse
A Medieval Knight on horse had a warhorse specially trained for use in
battle or individual combat at jousting tournaments. Such a war horse needed the strength and stamina to carry both a knight and his
heavy armor into battle during the Medieval times.
Theses warhorses also trained to become a battle horse - able to
inflict injury on the enemy. A Knight on Horse had to undergo significant training.
A warhorse was trained
Carry a knight
and respond to a Knight's commands from leg pressure rather
A knight needed his hands to weald his weapons
and hold his shield
A war horse was
trained to trample the bodies of fallen enemies
The war-horse was trained to bite and kick on command
Armor called Barding
Medieval war horses were protected by rigid pieces of plate armor
made of both of leather and steel. Horse armor was called 'barding'. A
full dressed Medieval Knight on Horse would be armored on the head, neck, body and chest. The
rear of the war horse would be covered with a padded cloth. Stirrups
were added later. The head armor of a warhorse was often highly decorated and spike
horns were added to the mask armor resembling the look of a
legendary unicorn. An ornamented cloth covering for a war horse was
called a trapper.
Original Knight on
breed is now extinct
The original breeds of warhorses are now extinct, but recently horses
have been bred from Clydesdales and Quarterhorses to reproduce a type
similar to that used by the Knight on Horse. They are the largest breed of horse, standing
from 20 to 24 hands tall, with a thicker build than Clydesdales with