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  • Barding on Horses

    I have seen a few pics of Barding on Horses, and lots of Re-enactors with barding of one sort or another, and it never looks quite right. Anything that is thick enough to deflect arrows or blows is going to be really, really heavy. I have seen for myself that even a light rug on an active horse will get the horse in a hell of a sweat very quickly and seriously impede its performance, especially in warmer climes. I have always wondered if they were more of just a decorational thing for parades etc, or a very light cloth used for identification and heraldry. Having said that I have seen a light cloth barding on a horse flap and blow all over the place as soon as the horse gets moving. Can anyone tell me more about what they were used for and what they were made of?



    Thanks
    Last edited by Chukka; 09 Mar 10, 05:11.
    One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

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  • #2
    There were two kinds of barding that I am familiar with, one for protection:



    These would be made of steel, leather, horn, or quilting.

    and decorative barding, which only looks good but serves no defensive purpose (maybe a little, but not much):



    These would be made of cloth.

    They can be combined, in this quilted version.



    Keep in mind, that barding was not done on Bobby's little pony -- it was done on warhorses, and only when it was needed for tournament or battle. In addition, a "charge" by these warhorses would not be at horserace pace -- their weight and size gives them momentum already.
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    • #3
      Janos has already done a great job of answering this question. Allow me to comment on one thing, though.

      In answer to the point that the barding made the horse sweaty and hot, and seriously reduced its speed, etc, -- I would much rather have a live horse that was uncomfortable, hot, and a little slow than a comfortable, fast horse that died when it got skewered by an arrow or pike. Barding may have hampered the horses' effectiveness, but at least it helped to protect them, to some degree.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CatholicCrusade View Post
        Janos has already done a great job of answering this question. Allow me to comment on one thing, though.

        In answer to the point that the barding made the horse sweaty and hot, and seriously reduced its speed, etc, -- I would much rather have a live horse that was uncomfortable, hot, and a little slow than a comfortable, fast horse that died when it got skewered by an arrow or pike. Barding may have hampered the horses' effectiveness, but at least it helped to protect them, to some degree.
        Good caveat. I should have added that.
        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


        "Never pet a burning dog."

        RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
        http://www.mormon.org
        http://www.sca.org
        http://www.scv.org/
        http://www.scouting.org/

        Comment

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