The horse is a versatile animal since it provides company to men. This has the ability to travel over long distances so it has been ideal for the human. Also the horse has been important for the battles in antiquity. In this article, we will go a little deeper into the Destrier horse and its role in the battles of medieval times.
Transportation and cargo are just some of the edges in which equines have played since ancient times. Today they continue to do this work but especially in rural areas where access to cars is very difficult.
As the human has been advancing in the different periods of the history of mankind. Horses have been classified for different tasks, so in medieval times the destrier horse was available.
So that the participants in the wars of that time called knights. In this way his intervention in struggles, jousts and combats of these gentlemen and their great horses demonstrating their resistance.
The word “Destrier” comes from the Latin prosaic dextrarius, whose meaning is rightist. This name describes the way to carry the equine to the equine at his right hand.
For his part, the fighter used a horse of lesser capacity. This was done in order that the destrier horse surrender more and be more relaxed since he should not charge anyone. In effect this allowed him to have much more speed at the time of the battles in which he participated
The one who owned a destrier horse was a privileged person economically speaking. Since the horses were extremely expensive and scarce animals.
Apart the clothing that these horses had to use in the combats were the steers and steeds.
Characteristics of the destrier horse
The destrier horse itself is not a horse race as such. This results from being chosen for his skills of endurance and lightness in the war.
As for the training of the destrier horse they did so in order to act in an offensive way to weaken the enemy. The way in which the destrier horse did was nibbling, kicking, jumping, and teasing with his chest.
We can see how horses can learn what the trainer teaches them, a sample of the intelligence that these animals possess.
The size of the destrier horse was smaller than the breeds of draft horses that exist today.
The stature of the Shire and Percheron horse breeds was achieved from the 18th century. An example of this is the height of the horse breed Percherón average 1.60 mts for the year 1875 and today it measures approximately 1.72mts.
It is presumed that the destrier horses had certain similarities to an Andalusian horse of today. With approximate measures of half a ton, and a stature of 1.50mts approximately.
Indistinctly of the physical characteristics of the destrier horses or also called war horse (although it had another types of war horses) was the facility to evolve in the combats. In medieval times horses were not distinguished by their race but by their abilities.
Training of destrier horse
As for the education of the destrier horse, that is to say the horse that formed for its participation in the wars.
This had to have adequate physical characteristics and a moldable behavior, that is to say that it was controlled. In this sense, the destrier horse must obey the orders issued by the knight, although he is in full combat.
The importance of a good training was key in the role played by the destrier horse in the chaotic war. This also applied to the competitions of the jousts that took place in medieval times.
We can see how the horse already fulfilled different roles. For that moment as a means of transport, as destrier horse or war horse, participation in sports such as jousting among others.
Nowadays these trainings are kept focused mainly on the different riding disciplines that exist. Since for the wars I am outdated by the advance of the technology applied to the warlike conflicts.
Character of the destrier horse
As for the behavior of the destrier horse one of the fundamental aspects of this was his great courage. It must be a determined horse must be shown and respond promptly orders issued by the rider. It should not show weakness or be scared of strange sounds, or enemy weapons or related problems.
In general, the horses of the most illustrious breeds are more determined.
In literature has been expressed the courage of war horses, these can be read in poems or mythological writings. There highlight the capabilities of the horse in the fighting. Indeed, in some moments the horses are excited and encouraged by the echoes of war.
Destrier horse: Fundamental weapon for the medieval knight
The horse has represented great help to the human being for multiple tasks. However for medieval times this played an important role in wars. For this reason the destrier horse was an important weapon for the knight at the time of a fight or a participation in the events of the joust.
Destrier horses were chosen and trained for their participation in the wars. Likewise, the deputy horse was within the reach of the members of the nobility since its economic value was high.
Destrier were known as milsoudor, adjective in French whose meaning is thousand of gold salaries. As we can see these exorbitant costs were only paid by the wealthiest people of the time
The aspects to take into account when choosing a horse were its height and volume. For that reason the horses had to be of good physical constitution to guarantee in part the victory. These had to support the weight of the rider and the clothing of both.
When a horse was discovered with possible skills to be a destrier horse were subjected to strong training. The purpose of these trainings was to obtain that the formidable corporal and psychological potential of the equines was maximized.
Consequently, these horses, after being trained, would be able to turn into powerful offensive shields.
On the other hand, so that the equine could be a candidate for destrier horse could not be neither mares nor castrated males.
Unfortunately these had no chance in the world of wars.
Destrier: a key horse in the history of mankind
We can see how the horse has passed through different eras in the history of mankind. This noble animal as is the horse has also had to see the darker side of humans.
Precisely are the wars in which they have had to participate and many times have lost their lives.
The destrier horse is an animal worthy of admiration and to which tribute must be paid for his great work in the lives of humans. It has been there since ancient times and today it is still providing his company and his contributions.
Today the use of the horse is aimed at broad sectors of the population such as equestrian tourism. It can also be applied in alternative therapies.
We can see that its applications have evolved, fortunately, and they have dispensed with wars. However we cannot forget that the destrier horse has been a key part of the story. The world that we know for good and evil was founded on wars and on the destrier horse
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