Medieval Monday: Horses

Allison D. Reid

medieval-horseHorses were extremely important to medieval society. Generally they were smaller than modern day horses, and were of different builds and kinds—some no longer in existence today. The concept of “breed” had not yet come about, but horses were classified by “type” depending on what sort of work they would be used for. The three main types were chargers, palfreys, and sumpters, with specific sub-classifications under each.

horse-plowing-fieldSumpters were used in the fields to pull plows for planting, gradually replacing oxen as the animal of choice. They were powerful draft horses, not particularly beautiful, but the least expensive. Still more costly to keep than oxen or donkeys, they gained favor because they could work longer and faster. When they weren’t being used for field labor, they could be put to use pulling carts and wagons, or hired out to those who needed the use of a horse…

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10 thoughts on “Medieval Monday: Horses

  1. Horses are beautiful beasts…I mean creatures. I had one for about 7 years, she was my best teacher ever, I learned how to ride in the barns, but she taught me so much more. Now I can ride anything confidently now with a helmet after my accident in November.But I still love them! ❤

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  2. Very informative. Ever wonder if we had all the technology and living standards of today, without the transportation of today. No cars , no trains, no powered boats. Then add back in the horses and oxen, cattle of those days. Would make the garage a whole different thing wouldn’t it. Hugs

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