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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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