Category Archives: equestrian history

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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Top 7 Latvian Horsy Superstitions

Two most superstitious groups of people are probably sportsmen and those who are involved in agricultural work. It follows that equestrians are bound to have twice as many superstitions as ordinary folk. With this in mind, I asked Edgar, who, … Continue reading

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Horse History Sessions at IMC 2019

Session 517: Horses to the East Tue, 02 July – 09.00-10.30 Jürg Gassmann, Horses in Western Asia in the Transition from Late Antiquity to ca. 1000 CE Hylke Hettema, A Medieval Genealogy of the Arab Horse Alexia-Foteini Stamouli, Equids in … Continue reading

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I dreamt a dream… Or horsemanship for Arthurian enthusiasts

I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming… A book about horses in Arthurian romance… My own book… It is a laconic book, with many pictures reproducing miniatures in famous French and English romances, with lots of … Continue reading

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Practical Horsemanship in Medieval Arthurian Romance

BOOK DESCRIPTION The figure of a knight on horseback is the emblem of medieval chivalry. Much has been written on the ideology and practicalities of knighthood as portrayed in medieval romance, especially Arthurian romance, and it is surprising that so … Continue reading

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Livonia’s Horses and Immorality in Russow’s Chronicle

In 1577, Balthasar Russow, a pastor from Revel, completed The Chronicle of Livonia. In the chronicle, he provides a full history of Livonia from its beginnings in 1158, when merchants from Bremen entered the land, to his own days. Relying … Continue reading

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Do you have the right to command your horse?

What is the point of connection between medieval horse-riding practices and modern equestrian sports? Some say it is the sixteenth-century rise of the manege exercises, which developed into modern dressage, that is the starting point for equestrian sports in Europe. … Continue reading

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Did medieval knights love their horses?

At present, there are two opposite opinion on the nature of relations between knights and their warhorses. Many people believe that relations between knights and their warhorses were strictly utilitarian: a knight would have as much affection for his horse … Continue reading

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Sir Perceval and the Devil: Une Séduction échouée

To every success story, there is at least one, usually more than one, story of failure. If Lanval’s fairy did all the right things (see my previous post), the Devil, who adopted the guise of a beautiful forlorn female in … Continue reading

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