Medieval warhorses previously thought to be around 17hh tall were in reality no more than “pony-sized”, new research has suggested.
Researchers “searching for the truth about the great horse” found warhorses were not always bred for size, but for success in a wide range of different functions, including tournaments and long-distance raiding campaigns.
Historians and archaeologists analysed the largest ever dataset of horse bones dating between 300 AD and 1650, at 171 separate archaeological sites. The study, published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, showed that the breeding and training of warhorses was influenced by a combination of biological and cultural factors, plus behavioural characteristics of the horse.
A spokesman for the project said depictions of medieval warhorses in films often portray “massive mounts”, some 17hh to 18hh.
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Article written by: Becky Murray