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Baroque Horses

Basic Information About Horses

Since I do not know how much anyone might know about horses, and the terms used to describe them, I am including this section with the information I will be providing about which breeds of horses were around during the Baroque Period. I am not going to go into great detail for most of this because it is not necessary. For anyone that wants to pursue any of this information further, there are a great many good books that can be found in bookstores and libraries. I will also be listing various websites and addresses where you can obtain information about the various breeds of horses, and just about any other equestrian topic. A very good site that I have found so far is the International Museum of the Horse. The site contains a wealth of information, and, on their Links page, a very wide range of links that you can take to just about anywhere equestrian. The web address for this museum is: Kentucky Horse Park & International Museum of the Horse.

Horse Personalities

There are three basic horse personalities, and they are listed as either: hot blooded, warm blooded, or cold blooded. (And yes, all horses are warm blooded mammals.)

Hot Blooded. This is used to describe a horse that has a "high strung" temperament. These are horses that are excitable, and can be very "nervous" when in an unfamiliar situation, or around unfamiliar people. This type of horse is best handled by properly trained, and experienced, horse handlers.

Warm Blooded. This describes a horse that has a fairly stable temperament. They are generally characterized as being "friendly" and "willing". These horses can be "spooked" or frightened, but as a general rule, if they are treated well, they are intelligent and a good personality for being around people and other animals. This is probably the most common type of horse that people are used to seeing at shows, fairs, and most equestrian events.

Cold Blooded. This is used to describe a horse with a very stable personality. These horses are NOT stupid, they are just not as likely to be spooked when they encounter an unfamiliar situation or person. Many of these horses were the ones that were the proud mounts of the old Medieval Knights. This because they were large horses, capable of carrying the Knight in his armor, plus, sometimes, armor for the horse as well. A horse trained for the chaos and confusion of battle is FAR from stupid. But, it does require a type of horse that has a very stable personality, and that will not spook easily, for a knight that has a skittish horse, may end up with more problems in battle than just the enemy. 

Horse Size

The size of a horse is listed as "XX" hands high, and this is measured to the top of the horses front shoulders. The standard today, of what a "hand" is, is 4 inches. For those of you that are not familiar with the English measurement system this is how to convert "hands" to meters. 

("XX" hands high) x (4 inches) = (height in inches) 
(height in inches) divided by (39.35) = (height in meters) 

Horse Colours

The names used to describe the colors of a horse, seem, in many cases, to have no rational origin. You just have to accept them. The equestrian world has been using them for a very long time, and I very seriously doubt that they will change them. 

Simple Coats (of one single color)



white hair on pink skin Brilliant (dazzling) 
Silver (metallic tinge)
Porcelain (bluish tinge)
Dirty (yellowish tinge)

black hairs 
Pure (uniform) 
Dull (slightly reddish) 
Raven (dark and glossy) 

yellow to red hairs 
Light (red tending toward yellow) 
Golden (gold-colored hair) 
Liver (tending toward brown) 
Bloodstone (tending toward maroon) 
Bronze (bronze-colored hair) 
Mealy (pale and washed out) 

Composite Coats (two colours interspersed)
Red Roan:


white and red or yellow hairs 
Light (predominantly white) 
Dark (predominantly red or yellow) 

white and black hairs, sometimes with an admixture of red 
Light (predominantly white hairs) 
Dark (predominantly black hairs) 
Steel (glossy with a predominance of black hairs) 
Flecked (predominantly black hairs with occasional clusters of white) 
Dappled (with clearly defined patches of white hair) 
Flea-Bitten (small, scattered patches of black hairs) 
Pinkish (admixture of red hairs) 
White (white hairs on black skin) 

Composite Coats (two separate colours) 
Yellow Dun:


Blue Dun:

dark yellow hairs, black points 
Mouse (dark yellowish colour) 

yellow hairs down as far as the knees and hocks; black below the knees and hocks; tail and main black 
Light (tending toward white) 
Bright/Cream (tending toward yellow) 
Golden/Palomino (more glossy yellow)

lead[blei]-colored hairs, black points; black mane and tail 
Light Dark Bay: reddish hairs, black points; mane and tail black 
Brown (almost black) Dark (brownish red) 
Chestnut (brownish chestnut) 
Cherry (colour of ripe cherry) 
Golden (with golden highlights) 
Light (faded colour) 
Washed Out (muzzle, underbelly, flanks, and the inside of the thighs almost white) 

Composite Coats (three colors)



white, red, and black hairs 
Light (predominantly white) 
Dark (predominantly black hairs) 
Chestnut (predominantly red) 
Piebald and Skewbald (irregular patches of hairs of two colours)

large irregular patches of black and white

patches of white and any other color except black Odd-coloured: large patches of more than two colours

 Head Markings

Star (can be any shape: round. oval, half-moon, crescent, pear, heart, irregular, triangular, curved, polygonal, oblique, linear) 
Small Star (in middle of forehead) 
Stripe (can be irregular, asymmetric, curved, interrupted, inclined) 
Star and Stripe Conjoined White Muzzle (where white markings cover both lips and extend to nostrils) (A "snip" is limited to the nostrils only) 
White Face (extension may be unilateral or bilateral) 
Leg Markings
White Leg Markings (socks or stockings)
white band above coronet
white mark to quarter cannon
white mark to half cannon
white mark to hock

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Baroque Horses

Graphics Copyright N. Kipar 1999. Contents Copyright © Dirk Dinkel 1999. With permission.
The copyright remains exclusively with the copyright holders.