stirrups in horseback riding

Interesting Story about the Stirrups

A slight alteration in the usual way of riding altered the way in which wars were fought. The stirrups have a lot to do with that.

When the horse was domesticated, thousands of years after, the humans began riding bareback or with a blanket on the animal’s back. The first leather chair was perhaps placed on the back of a horse in China from the third century BC. But the saddle was only a first step towards the transformation of the cavalry.

By the fourth century AD, the Chinese had already begun to build cast iron or bronze foot supports. What made the stirrup an innovation of such transcendence was that it gave the rider a much greater control of the horse; rider and animal became almost extensions of each other.

It is possible that the Avars brought the stirrup to the West when they arrived in the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century AD.

Some scholars suggested that feudalism arose in Europe because the war on horseback, facilitated by the stirrup, was beneficial to the Frankish cavalry.

Thus emerged an aristocratic class that received land in payment for their services in the cavalry.

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