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Horse harness and armor

Images and finds indicate that the oldest method of bridling a horse was carried out with the help of a snaffle bit (German Trense).

The early medieval bridle (German Zaumung) is similar in shape to the bridle common in Vichy (Magdeburg district), only the composite bits (German Gebis) are much sharper and often coiled.

In this way, steppe horses, which in the V-VI centuries were brought to Europe from the far East by barbarian warriors, were bridled. The headband (him. Kopfgestell) with reins (him. Zugelriemen) were completely simple, from rawhide.

Horse Armor The noble army of Germany, England and France used only riotous stallions and it was considered a disgrace to mount a female horse. In the XIII century, to increase reliability, they began to make a double rein, in which some reins were tied with a bit, and others with a mouthpiece. Then the cause of the snaffle (it. Trensenzugel) was light, made of leather, but the cause of the mouthpiece (him. Stangenzugel) is almost always from a strong chain.

The wild temper of stallions prompted the use of a muzzle (it. Maulkorben). This addition to the bridle first occurs in the XV century, but, of course, it was used before. This kind of muzzles provided the “spur” to the master with ample opportunities to show their art. Especially in the XVI century, there were a lot of very skillfully made muzzles of openwork iron and applied yellow copper. On muzzles, as well as on the foreheads, the image of a lizard is often found as a symbol of purity and agility. The horse saddle was also important. The first settlers of the 5th century probably knew the saddle (German: Sattel), but did not use it. They preferred a kind of coarse cloth blankets and did not see the need for more convenient equipment.

Horse EquipmentHeadhead with snaffle bit. Golden psalter from the monastery of St. Gallen, IX century.

Horse headband. Carpet from Bayeux, con. XI century.

On a miniature in the Golden Psalter from the monastery of St. Gallen (Switzerland), dating back to the times of the Carolingians (751-987), is represented by a horse, bridled only with a horse bit. But around 1050, for the Anglo-Norman and North Germanic breeds, this turned out to be little and it took a kind of mouthpiece (German Stange, Kandare, French branche), apparently not yet supplemented with a chain, which as a lever acted on the horse’s lower jaw.

In the 8th century, small and richly decorated saddles began to be used everywhere; it became necessary to have stirrups. However, the saddle was still small and consisted of a wooden base and a very low front and rear bow. On the saddle fit a small bedding. The saddle was fastened with an abdominal strap, sometimes also with a front and rear strap. It looks like a saddle in the Golden Psalter from St. Gallen.

Horse equipment Konya muzzle, made of tinned iron; in some places openwork, in some places from wire mesh; on the hoop the inscription is made: WAS GOT BESCHERT, IST UNERWERT (It is not known that God will send). Viennese work. Second floor XVI century.
Saddled stallion. Carpet from Bayeux, con. XI century.

Aragonese stirrup. Imitation of Mauritanian works, XIII century. Museum Armeria Real in Madrid.

From about 1170, the rear part of the saddle has changed significantly, apparently because of the rider’s desire to sit more securely. The front of the bow moves closer to the withers, and the back becomes taller and wider, acquires increments on the sides – a manger (German. Krippen). This is the oldest form of the nursery saddle (German Krippensattel), which was used until the first decade of the XVI century.

The saddle consists of the following parts: front bows (German: vordere Sattelbogen), back bows (German hintere Sattelbogen), seat (German Sitze), wings (German Seitenblatter), tires (German. Decke), cinches (German Steigriemen ), stirrups (German Steigbugel), chest belt (German Stegreifen) or podpersya (German Brustriemen), finally, pahvenny belt (German Schwanzriemen).
Horseman landingChanging the horseman’s landing of the XII -13th centuries. on medieval seals.
a) The seal of 1170 by Philip of Alsace.
b) The seal of 1184 by Pierre de Courtenay.
c) The seal of 1315. Louis, Count de Nevers.
d) The seal of 1235 by Baudouin, Comte de Guine.

By 1360, the lateral increments — the nurseries acquire an increasingly pronounced form, almost forming a solid ring, so it is difficult to imagine how the rider would squeeze into these nurseries between the front and rear bows.

SaddleAragon saddle King of Aragon Jaime I (1208≈1276).

A horse with a nursery saddle and pahvah with hanging straps. According to the fresco depicting the worship of the Magi, in the church Velemer in Hungary. 1378
“Clear” saddle of Emperor Maximilian I. Second floor. XV century.
Saddle in the Middle Ages was a favorite subject of rich decoration. Certain evidence of this can be found in the Golden Psalms of St. Gallen, as well as in the works of art of the XII century, such as the “Song of the Nibelungs”, which refers to a saddle decorated with stones from India. The fact that significant cost was associated decoration of saddles in the XIII and XIV centuries, there are documents.

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