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An extract from Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066
by Ian Heath


Taken from the Bayeux Tapestry, this harness is little different to that of 146 except that the stirrup is now worn long. The saddle, with its high arcons at front and rear, is specifically designed for the new form of shock combat which was beginning to evolve towards the end of this period, preventing the rider from being pushed from his saddle by the shock of impact. These arcons could, however, be dangerous to the rider; William of Normandy himself died of internal injuries inflicted by being thrown forward onto the front arcon of his saddle, and it seems reasonable to assume that this accident was in no way unique.

The Tapestry clearly depicts most horses as stallions. These appear to have been formidable war-horses whose hooves could kill in close combat.

Dark, solid horse colours appear to have been favoured at this time.

Next: 148. ASIATIC WAGON in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath