In Scotland, it might be inferred that horses for riding purposes were generally shod, though those for draught were not ordinarily so, if we may judge from an act passed in 1487. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1481, which made the smith who pricked a horse's foot while shoeing it liable to furnish another until the cripple was cured, or if it died, to pay its value. This, in many respects unjust, law was procured by the Duke of Albany and his brother, the Earl of Mar. It is difficult, if not impossible, to discover how much the unfortunate farrier was likely to lose if the animal he had accidentally lamed happened to die, as the value of horses appears to have fluctuated considerably in Scotland for three centuries. In 1283, for instance, a burgess's steed was valued at one pound; in 1329, a courier's horse was supposed to be worth five shillings; and in 1424, a colt, or horses more than three years old, thirteen shillings and fourpence.
Though horses were always extremely numerous in the Scottish armies, yet they were seldom, if ever, used for agricultural purposes; ploughing being generally performed by oxen.
For a long period, much attention had been paid to breeding good horses. So early as the 13th century, we find Roger Avenel, Lord of Eskdale, possessing a stud in that valley. Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, in preparation for his departure to the Holy Land (a.d. 1247), sold to the Monks of Melrose his stud of brood mares in Lauderdale, for the considerable sum of one hundred marks sterling.
- Skeen. Parliament 1481, cap. 79.