shazzdan wrote:The closest modern breed to a medieval warhorse would be something like a Hunter.
A 'hunter' is more of a type of horse than an actual breed, and what is considered a 'hunter' by today's standards is probably much taller than an average medieval horse. I get what you're saying though, that a medieval warhorse would have been much 'lighter' than the heavy draft horses that are used for films and which are generally anachronistic in such a context. But pinpointing what exactly a medieval warhorse would have been like is not a simple task as it depends greatly on what particular era and geographical location one is discussing. Many breeds and/or types from the medieval period no longer exist and/or have developed to be very different than they were back then. It's confusing because horses were referred to moreso by their uses than by breeds. But some deductions can be made. My personal understanding is that many prized 'warhorses' in the medieval period would have had at least some Spanish blood in there somewhere. 'Spanish' horses usually meant that these were a mix of Iberian stock (
native Spanish horses) with strains of Arab or Barb bloodlines (via the Moorish influence). These are what have now developed into the modern day Iberian breeds, the most famous of which is the 'PRE' ...aka, the Andalusian. There may have also been some influences from the now-extinct Turkoman horse as well (
said Turkoman horse was highly influential in creating some other modern breeds which have outlasted it, such as the Thoroughbred). Other types of medieval 'warhorses' may have been stockier, more like the old French Boulonnais horse, which was a progenitor of the Percheron draft horse from later centuries, but smaller and bit more refined.
I think maybe what you are referring to is the fact that a common type of medieval horse of the day -- the lighter, faster sort known as a 'courser' (
as opposed to the heavier destrier) -- was likely also used for hunting back then as well. Just wanted to clarify though that what would have been considered a hunter and/or courser back then is likely not what is considered that now, and thus a modern hunter would not necessarily be the closest equivalent when talking about a medieval warhorse, even one of the lighter type.
Regarding the 1/6 horse above.... ehhhh. The model used in the photo is very poor, to my eyes. Just anatomically incorrect, more than anything else. I have no idea if the improvements they are planning will make any difference, but we'll see. ;p