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Courser (horse)

This depiction of a knight on horseback might show a courser

A courser is a swift and strong horse, frequently used during the Middle Ages as a warhorse. It was ridden by knights and men-at-arms.

Coursers are commonly believed to be named for their running gait,[1] (from Old French cours, 'to run'.[2]). However, the word possibly derived from the Italian corsiero, meaning 'battle horse'.[3]


Coursers in warfare

The courser was more common than the destrier,[4] and preferred for hard battle as they were light, fast and strong.[1] They were valuable horses, but less expensive than the highly-prized destrier.[5] Another horse commonly ridden during war was the rouncey, which was an all-purpose horse.

Other uses

Coursers were also used occasionally for hunting.[3]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Oakeshott, Ewart. A Knight and his Horse, Rev. 2nd Ed. USA:Dufour Editions, 1998
  2. Oxford English Dictionary, 10th Ed, 1999
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hyland, Ann. The Warhorse 1250-1600, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1998
  4. Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996,
  5. Gravett, Christopher. English Medieval Knight 1300-1400, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2002, p 59


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