Horse Armour

A knight’s horse was called a destrier in medieval times and was a knight’s most prized possession together with his sword and Armour, they were also known as warhorses.

Destier The War Horse

The destrier was a stocky, powerful, agile horse

Medieval knights would usually have more than one horse commonly trained for a specific purpose in mind. Knights’ horses were specifically bred from good horse stock that had been identified as having the ideal attributes needed to be Medieval knights horse.

Destrier The War Horse

The Destrier was a specific type of horse used in medieval times. It was typically used as a warhorse and during jousting competitions

Medieval Knight’s horses were also known as the “Great Horse”, they were invariably short-backed and broad-chested stallion horses that were usually picked for their strength, stamina, and speed.

“a man’s boldness, a woman’s movement, a fox’s trot, a hare’s eyes and an ass’s strong legs” *medieval text describing the attributes of a knights warhorse.

Knights Horse Armour Types

Knights had horses that were trained as battle horses and they would be able to cope with the noise and violence of the medieval battlefield as they were trained specifically for this purpose.

These warhorses were fearless and nimble in the charge. Knights also owned horses called palfrey’s which were basically workhorses that knights liked to use for traveling to different places, the packhorse was another horse owned by the medieval Knight, it was a pack horse’s job to carry the heavy baggage and supplies of a  medieval knight.

Horse Armour

This horse is wearing a full suit of expensive horse armour, ready for battle!

Training a Medieval Knights Horse

As he was learning how to fight with various weapons on his way to becoming a knight, a page and then squire would also spend most of his early year’s training in the mastery of horsemanship, medieval knights built strong bonds with their horses during this time.

White Knight on Horseback

Metal spurs were attached to the heel of a medieval Knight’s armour and were used to control the horse and to urge on the horse, the spurs were recognized as emblems of knighthood. Knights’ horses were trained to avoid weapons through twisting techniques and were taught how to attack footsoldiers by trampling on them.

Spurs *Horse Armour

Spurs

A warhorse could get realistic training and experience of battle in medieval tournaments.

Knights Horse Armour

Only very wealthy medieval people such as knights could afford expensive horse Armour, knights horses were very vulnerable to attack from foot soldiers arrows, bolts axes, spears, and daggers which meant armour for a knight’s horse was very important.

A Medieval army attacks

This is a well-armed medieval army with foot soldiers armed with pole-axes and longbowmen firing on the enemy

The most important of all armour for a horse was called the chamfron (also spelled chamfrein and shaffron) which protected the horse’s head if a medieval knight could only choose one piece of horse armour it would be the chamfron every time.

German Horse Armour

Chamfron Horse Head Armour

Knights Horse Armour Parts

  • Bard – a general term for Armour on a knights horse – usually covered by a cloth showing the emblems of the knight
  • Trappers – one-piece coverings for a medieval knights horse – leather and quilted cloth used in early medieval times
  • Cuir bouilli – knights’ horse Armour used in the 13th century before separate plates were introduced

  • Peytral – a plate of armour that covered  the chest area of a knight’s horse
  • Crupper – protected the rear area of the knights’ horse
  • Flanchards – covered the flanks of the knights’ horses from the saddle
  • Chamfron – protected the horses head and was considered the most important piece of a knights horse armour

Medieval Knights Horse Armour Facts:

  • The Armour used that covered a knight’s horse breast and flanks were called a Bard
  • The Romans use mail for Knights Horse Armour
  • Trappers were one-piece coverings of Armour for a knight’s horse
  • In the early medieval times, the Bard was made of leather or cloth
  • A knights horse was also called a warhorse, Destrier, and battle horse

Horse Armour

  • A knights horse was one of his most prized possessions along with his sword
  • Medieval knights would normally have many horses for different purposes
  • Medieval warhorses were bred from other well-trained horses
  • Palfrey horses were used to carry a Knight’s baggage and supplies
  • Medieval Knights spurred on horses with specially designed metal spurs

German Horse Armour

  • Warhorses were trained to attack and trample on the enemy
  • Only the very wealthy could afford warhorses and their Armour
  • Medieval knight’s horse Armour was very expensive, out of reach for most people
  • Knights considered the chamfron which protected horses’ heads the most important Armour

  • Medieval knights and their horses belong to an elite fighting group called the cavalry
  • By the 15th century soft Armour had been replaced by hinged and Pinned plates
  • Weapon Smiths made Medieval Armour for knights horses