Tag Archives: medieval horses

Medieval horse armour

Medieval horse armour


Such investments needed to be protected, and it is unsurprising that there should be a development in horse armour that parallels that of armour for the knight. It was by no means a total innovation; the late Roman army had used horses wholly covered in mail or lamellar armour for the catapbracti (literally ‘completely enclosed’) or klibanophoroi (meaning ‘camp oven’; a humorous reference to how quickly these fully armoured men and horses would heat up!), both of which were adopted from their Sassanid Persian neighbours who spanned the Middle East between second and seventh centuries. Whilst such armour continued to be used in small numbers in the Byzantine Empire, this practice had died out in Western Europe long before.

The horse in Middle Ages

The horse in Middle Ages
The horse was an integral and essential component of medieval existence. Horses were needed for tournaments, for hunting, for pleasure, for travel, for transport and haulage, for agricultural work, and for war. In the early Middle Ages, the horse was primarily a luxurious method of travel. By the 11th century, however, horses had begun to share some of the burdens of the plow with oxen.