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Ladies on Horseback

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Tue May 1st, 2012, 9:01 am

Yes, horses were shod in the 11thC, but as Annis says, the work would have been done by a farrier and any individual who could do such a thing would have to have a background in such to know what he was doing, and access to the tools such as a forge.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

annis
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Post by annis » Tue May 1st, 2012, 7:07 pm

Another consideration is that in medieval times people were very conscious of what was appropriate to their rank, and although the farrier-blacksmith was highly valued as a specialist tradesman, his work would not be considered suitable for a man of rank. However, although a man of rank would have squires and grooms to tend his horses, it would not be considered unusual for him to groom his own horse sometimes, given the value of horses and the bond between any man and his horse, particularly important for a warrior's welfare if fighting on horseback.

Of course, in fiction anything can happen, like blacksmith Balian/Orlando becoming a noble knight and skilful swordsman at the drop of a hat (yeah, right!) in Kingdom of Heaven :)
Last edited by annis on Tue May 1st, 2012, 8:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 4:06 am

Thank you for the input, Annis & EC2. You both made some great points.

This young hero-to-be in my WIP is actually an ex-slave child, now a freeman working for wages as a sort of trusted jack-of-all-trades odd-jobs man - who can even be relied upon to conduct some business and trade as well - but is mainly tasked with caring for the horses - for his prince rescuer, and who only in good time (maybe just before his wedding to the princess) will come to know that he himself is a prince too (now, that will be the piece de resistance of this part of the story). The lord's horses, BTW, are pedigree destrieres brought back from Byzantium.

Hero-to-be had just come back from a several-year sojourn in Byzantium (where he had spent his brief time, 20 odd years earlier, as a child slave) and Persia, where he would have learned the skills of horse-shoeing, perhaps a bit of smithing as well, while conducting some trade assignments for his master, including purchasing another shipload of destrieres. It was viable/possible to buy a shipload of destrieres from a horse farm/merchant in Byzantium, wasn't it? I believe it was. Plus, if anyone has a good idea how much a horse would have cost there that time, please also let me know.

So he is actually a man of rank who is yet himself to know that he is one. Plus, his boss is a prince whose family has only recently regained their ancestral throne, after centuries in exile, so theirs is not that overly proud, full-of-airs type of long established royalty. Bottomline is, they're quite open to who their prospective son in law will be. It's character, not bloodline per se, that they admire. I don't know if there could be a credibility issue there, but since my setting is a land/people fighting for independence, I thought that it would be a principle which could fit in.

As for the badinage, now, he's really focused, he will have his mind on the job. Oh yes, he has to be, he is still a servant, after all. Only his princess sort of came by and chanced to meet him while he was busily occupied. Whatever badinage occurs will be quite well controlled.

Now, therein lies the romance: our young princess in love gazing at the object of her adoration, while he himself is hard at work shoeing his pony (as practice, before he does his lord's destrieres), eyes intense with concentration, himself inches away from major damage, fit hard body glistening with sweat, rippling muscles and all. :D

While she will be all innocent wonder, curiosity and admiration. ;) Ok, a bit of cliche there. Yeah, I know.

BTW, our princess loves horses too, so hero's talent is another big plus point for him. Yay!
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Thu May 3rd, 2012, 6:40 am, edited 17 times in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sun May 6th, 2012, 5:06 pm

[quote=""annis""]Another consideration is that in medieval times people were very conscious of what was appropriate to their rank, and although the farrier-blacksmith was highly valued as a specialist tradesman, his work would not be considered suitable for a man of rank. However, although a man of rank would have squires and grooms to tend his horses, it would not be considered unusual for him to groom his own horse sometimes, given the value of horses and the bond between any man and his horse, particularly important for a warrior's welfare if fighting on horseback.

Of course, in fiction anything can happen, like blacksmith Balian/Orlando becoming a noble knight and skilful swordsman at the drop of a hat (yeah, right!) in Kingdom of Heaven :) [/quote]

Hey, Annis. The director's cut explains all of these annomalies. Balian/Orlando was a war engenieer who had a lot of combat/seige experience before the film starts. Also, there are a lot of politics to explain why he is what he is. Understandably, Ridley Scott was very peeved about how they chopped up his film as the things that most people disliked, he had addressed. but it wound up on the cutting room floor. more's the pity.

(of course, that still doesn't forgive the terrible "Robin hood" he put out a few years later :-)


As to the topic at hand, ive just always wondered, wouldn't it make more sense for men to be the ones who ride side-saddle? I mean considering the anatomy of it all :-)

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