Category Archives: equestrian history

What to do if attacked by a knight. An opportunist Saracen’s advice

Obviously, medieval knights have developed a very particular ethos as regards proper and improper chivalric behaviour. But what was one to do if actually confronted by someone wielding a heavy spear, once your own spear is lost, broken, or nowhere … Continue reading

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Open Access Resources for Horse History

Unexpectedly, I find that Covid-19 has been good for scholarship. Although many people complain that libraries, archives and museums are closed, and conferences cancelled, still others have noted a rise in their productivity. Being locked up in their residence, without … Continue reading

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A star-fronted mare

While most noble riders in medieval Europe would despise anyone reduced to riding a mare, mares were ridden in the nomadic societies throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. The poem of “Jostled by Horses” legendary sixth-century warrior and poet of … Continue reading

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The Best Breed of the North

Speculating on the origins of the Galloway horse is a process that is fraught with the issues besetting any contemporary breed enthusiast, since the whole concept of a “breed” is a very modern one and it probably did not cause … Continue reading

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Cutting the Stallion’s Tail: A Very Strange Crime that Might Have Occurred in Medieval Wales

Inspired by Edgar Rops, “The Horse in Welsh and Anglo-Saxon Law,” from The Horse in Premodern European Culture, ed. by Anastasija Ropa and Timothy Dawson Owain was neither thief nor coward, and he certainly did not want to appear like one. … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on medieval urban equines

in the late Middle Ages, the horse became more widely popular as a means of transportation than ever before in history… (Fabienne Meiers, “Equestrian Cities: The Use of Riding Horses and Characteristics of Horse Husbandry in Late Medieval Urban Agglomerations,” … Continue reading

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The Less Glamorous Equines

“Horses have the speed and spirit, but for strength, endurance, and steadiness, they are often the inferior of other species and varieties. That so much depended upon four-legged freight makes it something of a surprise how neglected it is in … Continue reading

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The Hardest Part of Producing the Horse History Volume was the Introduction…

“…It is necessary for any scholar working on the pre-modern period, irrespectively of his or her discipline, to have some understanding of the horse in the [pre-modern] society…” (“Introduction,” The Horse in Premodern European Culture, ed. A. Ropa and T. Dawson) Writing … Continue reading

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Accomplishing the Mission: a prehistory to The Horse in Premodern European Culture

In July 2015, two medievalists met at one of the social spaces of the International Medieval Congress at Leeds. It must have been a reception, with wine flowing as usual, as the two medievalists who did not know each got … Continue reading

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Why Gingerbreads and Horses Make a Perfect Christmas Match

In Latvia, gingerbreads, paper-thin cookies made of brown dough with honey, pepper, and lots of other spices are traditionally baked for Christmas. Now, there are different spice mixes, but, as experience proves, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and honey are paramount for … Continue reading

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