Jump to: navigation, search


File:Caparison2 (PSF).png
Knight on a caparisoned horse
Picador on a caparisoned horse

A caparison is a covering, or cloth, laid over a horse or other animal, especially a pack animal, or horse of state. In modern times, it is used mainly for decoration in parades and for historical reenactments.

In the Middle Ages, caparisons were part of the horse armour known as barding, which was worn during war or tournament. They were adopted in the twelfth century in response to conditions of campaigning in the Crusades. An early depiction of a knight's horse wearing a caparison may be seen on the small Carlton-in-Lindrick knight figurine from the late 12th century. Modern re-enactment tests have shown that a loose caparison protects the horse reasonably well against arrows, especially if combined with a gambeson-like undercloth underneath.

Today, a caparison is used in bullfighting in the picador manner.

The word is of Spanish origin, being derived from an augmentative form of the Latin word caput, "head".


Domesticated and Temple Elephants of India

File:Thrippunithura-Elephants8 crop.jpg
Caparisoned Elephants at Sree Poornathrayesa temple festival in Thripunithura, Kerala, India
File:Temple elephant 3.jpg
The colored umbrellas and peacock quill decorated fans used with caparisoned elephants.

The elephants are beautifully decorated during the temple festivals in Indian state of Kerala.


See also

  • Temple elephants of India

External links

This article incorporates content from the 1728 Cyclopaedia, a publication in the public domain.


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...