Horse Barding

Barding Hints

Horse in the SCA

Equestrian Beastiary

Medieval Clothing

Cool Links



This Austrian Quintain reproduction is from a time when mail and plate armor had become obsolete, and rich lords wanted a sport that wasn't as risky to their health as jousting.


The virtual world is nice, but for that hands-on, real color, always with you feel, there's nothing like a good book.  Here are a few of my favorites.

General history with horses:

The Medieval Horse & Its Equipment c1150-c1450; John Clark, Museum of London; The Boydell Press; ISBN 1-84383-097-3

The Medieval Warhorse from Byzantium to the Crusades; Ann Hyland; Grange Books; ISBN 1-85627-990-1

Imperial China, The Art of the Horse in Chinese History; Exhibition Catalog, Kentucky Horse Park; ISBN 1-56469-071-7

The Mongol Warlords; David Nicholle; Brockhampton Press; ISBN 1-86019-407-9

Medieval Pageant; Bryan Holme; Thames & Hudson; ISBN 0-500-01421-3

Benozzo Gozzoli; Christiana Acidini Luchinat; SCALA/Riverside; ISBN 1-878351-47-8

Warfare in the Middle Ages; Richard Humble; Magna Books; ISBN 1-85422-035-7

And here's a few for the seamstress in us:

Dress Accessories c1150-c1450; Museum of London; The Boydell Press; ISBN 0-85115-839-0

This one is a side by side translation/period pattern book that a journeyman taylor might have had in his shop.  It also includes two sets of horse barding, as well as the outfit that would have been worn while playing the game of "canes" on horseback:

Taylor Pattern Book; Juan de Alcega; Ruth Bean Publishers; ISBN 0-89676-234-3

Saddle making and history:

If you are doing any work with saddles, this series is invaluable. For those not ambitious enough to tackle the job, the first volume has about 10 pages that goes in depth into horse anatomy and saddle fitting, a must read for any serious equestrian:

The Stohlman Encyclopedia of Saddlemaking Vol 1-3; Al & Ann Stohlman; Tandy Leather

For those interested in some of the first saddles, this book has frozen horse mummies and tack from the Scythians:

Frozen Tombs of Siberia; Sergei Rudenko; Univ of California Press; Berkley & Los Angeles 1970

In The Saddle, An Exploration of the Saddle Through History; edited by Lauren Gilmour; Archetype Publications Ltd; ISBN 1-873132-89-1

Here's a translation from Dom Duarte, the King of Portugal, a respected horseman.  Among other things he discusses the different saddle types and riding styles and claims to have invented what we modernly would call tapaderos.  He also has helpful ideas on how to overcome fear, and how to always "look good" on horseback.

The Royal Book of Horsemanship, Jousting, & Knightly Combat; translated by Antonio Franco Preto & Lois Preto; The Chivalry Bookshelf; ISBN 1-891448-11-0