Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 19 November 2019

Harness and trappingslocked

  • J. H. Crouwel,
  • Mary A. Littauer,
  • Christopher Gravett,
  • Tom Richardson,
  • Walter Smith,
  • William Lancaster
  •  and Fidelity Lancaster

Extract

From an early stage, horses were used both as mounts and for pulling chariots in warfare or hunting. Most evidence for forms of harness in the ancient world comes from depictions in art, the earliest figural evidence dating from before 2000 bc in the Near East, although in a few contexts actual harness elements have survived. Even for later periods, secondary sources tend to provide the best evidence for the perishable leather and cloth parts of horse harness and trappings. More durable equipment, such as the horse armour used in medieval Europe, sometimes survives intact.

Ancient chariot horses were attached to their yokes by means of neck or breast straps and backing straps or girths that ran under their bellies, just behind the forelegs. Mounts often wore saddle-cloths or, in later antiquity, primitive saddles held on by girths, breastbands and breechings or cruppers. Both chariot horses and mounts were controlled by bridles, consisting of headstalls and reins and, usually, bits. This equipment was often decorated in varying degrees....

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.