Inner Voice (inner_v0ice) wrote in little_details,
Inner Voice

Riding double on a horse

Time: early 1300s
Place: France

Okay, we have two men and one horse. One man is injured (pretty beat up, but not in danger of bleeding to death or anything) and unconscious, the other is conscious, strong, and a skilled rider.

I've googled "riding double", "riding double"+horse, and "two people on one horse," and gotten lots of warnings about how risky this is, but almost nothing on the mechanics of actually doing it. The only useful info I found was that "The person riding behind should be a balanced, experienced rider."


1) The conscious guy would put the unconscious guy in front of him. Right or wrong? Also, would just holding on to the unconscious guy with one arm, while using the other to hold the reins, work to keep the guy from falling of the horse?

2) How much tack would you use? I assume that you'd put on a halter/bridle, but not a saddle, since saddles are designed for one person? So, you'd just use the saddle blanket? Or go bareback?

3) Incidentally, does anyone know if either a halter or a bridle would be anachronistic in the early 1300s? (this is such a minor detail it's not too important--I'm not aiming for absolute historical accuracy here--but just in case anyone knows...)

4) Any other information you could give me on riding double?

Thank you!

EDIT 2: Okay, guys, the comments on this post have not only answered my original questions, they've also given me a very thorough reality-check in my choice of horse and my setting up of the situation. You people are seriously awesome. ♥

In an attempt to solve the problems everyone has brought to my attention, I'd like to ask two new questions:

1) Would it work if I chose an Andalusian for the warhorse's breed instead?
(Wikipedia on Andalusian horses says that "Later, the use of heavy plate armor required stronger breeds," implying that pre-plate-armor, which this story is, Andalusians worked as warhorses...)

2) If the conscious guy was injured or weakened as well, would that give riding double an advantage in terms of practicality (comfort/speed/not passing out in the middle of the road) over him walking and leading the horse?
(Also, the horse they're riding double on is no longer necessarily conscious guy's Arabian Andalusian; he may just steal the biggest horse he can find.)
Tags: 1300-1399, france: history, ~animals: horses, ~travel: pre-modern overland

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