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"Medieval Horse Training" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 10:31 p.m. PST

"Warhorses needed to be at least somewhat trained before they could be ridden in battle. They had to learn to respond to cues from their rider's legs rather than the reins, as the knights needed their hands free to wield weapons. Horses were known to kick and bite at enemies in the heat of battle, though it is not known whether they were trained to do so or if it was simply a natural response to the chaotic situation. Europeans were known to prefer stallions as warhorses, as their natural aggressive tendencies made them useful in battle and less likely to be frightened, but it is not known whether a significant number of stallions were actually used. If a mare nearby was in heat, a stallion quickly became a liability for anyone trying to control it. In addition, stallions often become very aggressive with one another, which presented a significant danger to them and their handlers. It would have been impractical to expect a bunch of stallions to line up close together in any sort of cavalry formation. However, some sources report that warhorses frequently fought each other in the middle of battle, often after their riders had been unseated or killed and no one was around to restrain them. They were most useful when it came to charging enemy lines and taking down soldiers on foot, so perhaps their tactical advantage would have outweighed the difficulty of handling them…"
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