Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/181

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135
RURAL SPORTS

still in great demand. The High Almaine or German horse was, perhaps, the most highly prized breed for this purpose. He was strongly made, according to Blundeville, "and therefore more meet for the shock than to pass a carrierre, or to make a swift manage, because they be very gross and heavy." The Flanders horse was also desirable, which was like the other, "saving that for the most part he is of a greater stature and more puissant. The mares also of Flanders be of a great stature, strong, long, large, fair, and fruitful, and beside that will endure great labour." Of the Neapolitan horse Blundeville says, "In mine opinion, their gentle nature and docility, their comely shape, their strength, their courage, their sure footmanship, their well reining, their lofty pace, their clean trotting, their strong galloping, and their swift running well considered (all which things they have in manner by nature) they excel numbers of other races, even so far as the fair greyhounds the foul mastif curs." With the complete disuse of armour disappeared the demand for the "great" horse, yet he was not doomed to extinction, for his descendent is the draft horse of to-day.

The horse of next importance was the roadster. The proper animal for the purpose in those days was not a trotter, but an ambler. This