Anglo-Saxon calendar, and for the month of May there is shown a nobleman hawking on horse-back, the feet of the steed being carefully shod, like those of a hawking equestrian of the 14th century, whose portrait will be referred to shortly.
Matthew of Paris speaks of horses both shod and unshod, and is angry with an archbishop who demanded shoes for unshod horses.
In the 'Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon,' a document probably of the 10th or 11th century, under the head of rents due to the hostillar is the following entry: 'Hi sunt redditus quos habet hostilarius, ad ƒerramenta equorum, ad usum monachorum, pauperum, peregrinorum, emenda.'
In the 'Speculum Saxonica' (lib. ii. art. 12), it is mentioned that shoes were only applied to the fore-feet. 'Four handsfull of corn shall be given to each horse during the day and night, and the horses shall be shod on the fore-feet (in anterioribus pedibus equi suƒƒerrentur).' In the 'Jus Feudale Saxon.' (cap. 34, pt. 15) it is ordained, 'Their horses ought only to be shod on the fore-feet, and not on the hind-feet.'
It would seem that the Anglo-Saxons experienced the same inconvenience from frost that we now do, for we read that in 832, the year began with excessive rains, and a frost succeeded, which was so sudden and intense, that the iced roads were nearly impassable by horses.
Horses were shod in Scotland, in all probability, at as early a period as in England, though perhaps not regularly.
- Fosbroke. Op. cit.
- De Consuetudiuibus Abbendoniæ.
- Du Cange. Glossarium.
- Annales Ruberi, p. 56.