Friday, January 18, 2008

Now that's a horse!

Ardennes (horse)

I know its not strictly heraldry, but my wife found this online and sent it to me. Turns out these brutes aren't that tall (5'-4"is considered the upper end of normal) but talk about powerful (up to 2,200 lbs... thats over a ton! ...And do you see any fat on that body?). It also seems they have quite the lineage to them. Documents indicate that they are likely ancestors of roman horse breeds, and evidently Napoleon favored them for his artillery (go figure...). And the really interesting thing is that they are also listed as a riding animal. Granted, its not like riding a Shire or a Percheron draft...but still, I wouldn't want to guess what type of damage one of these things could do if it decided to step on you ;).

But the truth be told, I posted this for two reasons. One, while I don't ride, I am an equine admirer and I think horses are a beautiful example and grace and power. Two, these are ( as I understand it) a highly documentable breed for medieval France, specifically the northern areas from where it gets its name. Also, from what I have read, a combat trained "charger" likely resembled one of these horses more closely than the more modern Morgan, Thoroughbred or Quarter horse.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

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