[Sca-cooks] In Search Of A Recipe

otsisto otsisto at socket.net
Mon Dec 21 20:23:31 PST 2009


"In the Middle Ages, horses differed in size, build and breed from the
modern horse, and were, on average, smaller. They were also more central to
society than their modern counterparts, being essential for war,
agriculture, and transport.

Consequently, specific types of horses developed, many of which have no
modern equivalent......."


"...So what breed of horse was this indomitable destrier? Equine historians
have debated this topic for years. Some believe the war horses were huge
beasts standing 18 hands tall, ancestors of breeds like the Shire, Belgian,
and Percheron.  More recent evidence, however, suggests that the medieval
war horses were of average height - 14 or 15 hands, and while they were
certainly stout and muscular, they didn't have nearly the girth of a modern
draft horse.
How do they know this? Saddles, armor, and other items the horses wore have
been measured and compared with modern equine equipment. The old fittings
indicate that these legendary steeds were about the same size as the modern
stock horse, perhaps comparable to a muscular Quarter Horse of foundation
The modern horse breeds that best fit the descriptions of the ancient war
horse of Europe are the Friesian, the Holstein, and the Norman.  A sub-breed
of the Norman, the Norman Cob, is most likely the closest descendant of the
mount the knight rode into battle...."

"..In Medieval Europe, horses weren't really characterized by "breed" but by
common traits. Nearly all breeds we see today were 'started' for a specific
purpose. Morgans, Quarter Horses and Paints are some of the most well known
of the 'modern' breeds. Some of those that are more closely resemble their
fore bearers would be most draft horses, thoroughbreds (originally meant any
horse of pure breeding that could trace it's genealogy through a Stud Book),
and several types of pony. Medieval horses were defined by their
confirmation and the role they were intended to be used for. There were
highly refined and trained Destriers, smooth gaited Palfreys, long winded
and strong Coursers, and general purpose Rouncies. In addition, ponies,
mules and donkeys also played a vital role in society of the period.
In the above picture, the Friesian horse reportedly dates back 3000 years
though the horse we know today was developed in the twelfth century in
northern Europe. Friesians were ridden by the Teutonic Knights and used as
war horses for the crusades..."

Hope this helps,

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list