Seats of Empire title


Ancient Saddles

Transitional Saddles

Medieval Saddles

Medieval / Renaissance saddles

Pack Saddles

Peytrals and Cruppers


Complete panoplies

Clothing and Armour

Accessories, Diverse


Examples of Riding

Markets and Events


Contact and Ordering


Spurs, Archery equipment, Leatherwork, Shields



Exhibits of historical artefacts, whether in museums or on line, always favour pretty things. There are certainly pretty spurs from the ancient world, virtually all cast in copper alloy. Yet the most prolific finds across the Roman realm are simple hooked spurs made of iron.

Here is one pair reproduced as the originals (left), and one pair adapted in accord with modern preferences for animal welfare (right).

Replica Roman spurs

Replica Roman hooked spurs of iron.


The middle ages yield a much greater diversity in spurs. The arms are universally longer than the ancient ones. They are initially straight, while from the second half of the twelfth century the arms increasingly show curvature in the vertical axis. Prick spurs remain ubiquitous, but from around the turn of the fourteenth century rowels begin to appear.

This pair is reproduced on the basis of late twelfth-century finds in London.

Replica medieval spurs

Archery equipment

byzantine horse archer

a byzantine cavalry quiver. mouse on or click for a close up.

byzantine horse archer

a byzantine cavalry bowcase. mouse on or click for a close up.


a sword belt and sabretache of the napoleonic era

sword belt and sabretache of the napoleonic era from £200.

lance bucket

lance buckets and holsters from £15.

stirrup leather

custom coloured stirrup leathers: £60/pair.


Ancient sources, and debatable later ones like the Bayeaux Embroidery, represent shield no different to those of infantry being used on horseback, making for a very poor connection with the mount. And even today one does see (at least in England) riders in re-enactments struggling with similarly poor arrangements. It does not have to be that way, however.


Round, lenticular shields were used over the greatest span of time and range of cultures.

knight's shield

While the Bayeaux Embroidery shows the Norman knights using their shields in a manner that hardly allows any fine horse control, there is one set of fittings shown in that source that can be used in a much more functional way.

knight's shield

A few pictorial sources of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries show …

knight's shield

… an innovation that is very comfortable, practical and effective.