Bits, Bridles and the Tower of London

Once again I am just going to show you some photos of the very interesting  things I have been seeing on the Arms and Armouries tour. First we visited Boughton House armouries where I saw some extraordinary bridles that were Dragon Officers Dress bridles from the mid 18th Century. They are all in glass cases so the photos do have some glare.

Armourers (4 of 10)

And take a look at this bit!

Armourers (3 of 10)

We also visited the Tower where the arms and armour collection is incredible. Here are some examples of horse armour.

Armourers (6 of 10)

Armourers (7 of 10)

The muzzle seen on the horse above was something used between 1552 and 1621 and apparently little is known about its purpose or use. Possibly for protection or….to stop the war horses nibbling on grass while waiting to engage with the enemy?

The wooden horses that were made for the “Line of Kings” were all around 15 hands so not large draft type horses. They were made in the late 17th Century. Their carving is a work of art and they are not not regarded merely as props to provide seats for the kings in their armour but have a place of honor of their own.

Armourers (8 of 10)

A small sculpture depicts a battle in 1421 when the Duke of Clarence was killed by a French knight.

Armourers (9 of 10)

And finally here is a photo of a bit similar to the ones Henry VIII liked to use. He liked to ride a white stallion and to have the horse with lots of white foam on its mouth to make it look more impressive. Hence the things on the bit that would make the horse salivate more. Our guide, Bridget Clifford, who is the Royal Armouries’ Keeper of the Tower, also mentioned that a bit like this, if improperly used could seriously injure a horse. I am sure she was correct. Take a look at this…

Armourers (10 of 10)

That’s all for now. I will be posting in much more detail when I have time. But in the meantime what do you think about these bridles, bits and the wooden horses of the Tower.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. N says:

    The pictures are great, I am always fascinated by history and sometimes disgusted by stories it has to share. Either way, Great post-Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks! I agree….both fascinating and repelling

      Like

  2. iScriblr says:

    I love the wooden horses! And yes I agree.. The bits are horrible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yeah they look torturous. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Avery says:

    I have missed so much of your blog, I hate it! Life has taken over and my blog has taken a bit of a back seat over the past few months. I just want you to know that I appreciate you and your blog. Your comments and support in all times on my blog. ‚̧ Thank you for being you and for sharing all these lovely things, especially your boy, B!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Avery for this lovely comment. Life does take over sometimes. I am glad you are OK and busy. I appreciate that you checked in here to let me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dray0308 says:

    Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for the reblog Danny

      Like

  5. What to think?…a form of torture against these noble horses. I dare say nobody asked the horses about their fears or pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Those bits were ghastly. At least now in most disciplines they would never be allowed.

      Like

  6. I too love the wooden horses, they look wonderful, and we humans always disturbs other living beings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments.

      Like

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    I love the wooden horses. The bits are horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      The bits really are unbearable. But the wooden horses are marvelous. Each one has a personality.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. cagedunn says:

    I shudder at those bits – and now we know why the horse always threw its head back

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Exactly. Those bits are so severe!

      Liked by 1 person

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