The destrier was the most well-known horse of Europe's medieval age, notable for transporting knights into battle. Most knights and mounted men-at-arms, on the other hand, rode smaller horses known as coursers and rounceys. (The term "charger," which was interchangeable with the other designations, was a frequent general name for medieval combat horses.)
The typical knight's mount was a powerful animal, capable of withstanding heavy armor and weapons. A knight would select his horse carefully, considering its spirit, courage, and ability to carry him quickly over long distances. He might also look for a horse that was easy to train or break, since this would make riding him less of a effort.
Horses played an important role in medieval warfare. They could deliver deadly blows and charge into enemy lines, making them valuable tools for conquest. Horses also needed care and feeding, and armies often included livestock tenders who looked after the needs of the horses.
In conclusion, horses were useful animals in medieval battles. They could give their riders an advantage by carrying them away from danger or over long distances, while themselves being killed in action helped reduce the number of soldiers available to their opponents.
A Knight on a Horse was a formidable foe. His warhorse was known as a destrier, and it was utilized by all affluent medieval knights. Following his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror introduced the destrier to England. The breed became popular with both nobility and commoners because of its size and strength. A knight would equip his steed with a surcingle (a saddle cover used for training horses) and armor designed for use against arrow strikes.
As the most prestigious warrior class in Europe, Knights were expected to be proficient in combat with sword, spear, axe, or mace. They were also required to know how to use arms defensively. In battle, a knight would wear protective gear that included a helmet, chest plate, arm guards, leg guards, and a skirt of metal plates attached to the legs of his or her mount. The armor weighed about fifty pounds and could only be worn by men who were able to bear this burden for long periods of time. Women, children, and older men were excluded from knighthood because fighting was considered too dangerous for them.
Knights were appointed by their lords or monarchs and could be given land by their rulers if they were deemed worthy. However, this privilege was not always respected and many knights lived in poverty because they did not own land. Others found work as soldiers for other countries during times of conflict.
The Friesian, Andalusian, Arabian, and Percheron were the most prevalent medieval military horse breeds. These horse breeds were a cross between large breeds suitable for hauling armored knights and lighter breeds suitable for hit-and-run or fast-paced warfare. A charger was a collective term for all medieval warhorses. Although they were usually used in pairs, troops sometimes included horses of several different breeds.
The Friesian was probably the first modern horse breed developed in Europe. It was originally bred for its muscular body and ability to work in the cold Baltic Sea waters to produce fish for export to Germany. The name "Fries" comes from the region where the horses were used, Friesland in present-day northern Germany.
In the 11th century, French knights traveled across Europe seeking new breeding grounds for their army. They brought the Friesian with them and started crossing it with other breeds to create new cavalry soldiers. For example, they crossed the Friesian with Arabians to get animals that were both powerful and easy to handle. This mixture of breeds became known as "chargers". During this time, there were already many different military horse breeds in use around Europe. However, they all came from the original three breeds: Friesian, Arabian, and Percheron.
Arabians are thought to be derived from horses captured during the Muslim conquest of Spain in 711.
Cold-blooded horses were the type utilized by medieval knights to transport heavy armor. They were also used as a source of meat when traveled far from home. Today, they are prized for their beauty and temperament.
Horses were extremely important commodities in Medieval culture, since they were used for transportation, communication, and combat. Indeed, war-horses would have been required for a lord to be deemed powerful. Haylofts and living quarters for grooms were common features of stables.
They also needed food like we do, so they were kept in stableyards attached to castles or manors. There they were fed oats and barley cooked into a mash called "chaff". They were given water and some shelter from the wind and rain. A stableboy would take care of them every day.
Stableboys were usually young boys around 10 years old who would live at the castle or manor house. Their families might not have had any land, but that didn't matter because they could make money taking care of the horses for people who did have land. Sometimes they even got an apartment of their own with a window and bed.
In return for his services, the stableboy would get some food and some clothes. He might even get a small wage added onto his parents' income. Of course, if he made any mistakes with the horses or didn't do his job well enough, he could be beaten with a stick or kicked. This is probably why there weren't too many stableboys working in castles; it was dangerous work!