Destriers was the name given to the great war horses of the Middle Ages. These are the magnificent beasts you see in paintings, sculptures and tapestries. Equine historians say they were bred specifically for war and for carrying men with heavy armor. They were always stallions and weighed anywhere from 1,200 to 1,400 pounds.
From the fall of the Roman Empire to the end of the Hundred Year War, their bulk and might proved invaluable on the battlefield, until methods of battle changed. Soldiers began to fight more on foot to accommodate new and improved weapons and the destrier was no longer needed as much. They did, however, remain as a symbol of status and were the mounts of choice for knights.
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