[No Spoilers] Demystifying the use of equestrian jargon within the diction of A Song of Ice and Fire.

(No Spoilers) An (Updated) Guide to the Horses of Westeros

Adding some things that /u/Syrele left out.


  • Large, powerful horses used to carry knights into battle. Destriers were very expensive and rather rare; only knights of high birth and stature owned them. Destriers were usually stallions, trained from a young age to withstand the rigors of battle. They were fast, strong, and intelligent. An example of a horse that would fit the destrier category would be a Friesian.


  • Long limbed, graceful horses used for general riding by nobility. Palfreys were chosen for their smooth, comfortable gait (known as ambling if anyone's interested). Palfreys were also very expensive, and a well bred palfrey was highly prized. An example of a palfrey would be either the Paso Fino or the American Saddlebred.


  • Light, strong, speedy horses capable of carrying a fully armoured knight into battle. More preferred for battle than a destrier for most knights, as destriers are crazy expensive. Courser is really a very general term, and can be applied to any well bred horse fast and strong enough for battle. An example of a courser would be an American Quarter Horse (I say quarter horse because they're used for herding cattle and are quick, agile and strong, good battle qualities).


  • Basic riding horse, often used as a pack animal or a mount for hedge knights, men at arms and squires. Reliable and strong, but not specially trained or highly bred. An example of a rounsey would be an Australian Stock Horse.


  • Small, sturdy, strong horses or ponies suited to extreme weather and terrain. Garrons can take on mountains like a goat, and have no problems with snow. An example of a garron would be a Highland Pony (these guys have their winter coats, which is why they're so shaggy).


  • It's a zebra. Duh.


  • Fast, light, small horses used for desert travel. Sand steeds are native to Dorne, and can run for a day and a night without stopping. They require little water, and tolerate extreme heat well. An example of a sand steed would the Arabian or the Akhal Teke.


  • Worthless horse. Generally old and overworked, often swaybacked. Can be any breed, any type.

Geldings - Male horses that have been castrated. They are as strong as stallions, but less temperamental and moody.

Mare - Fully grown female horse

Stallion - Fully grown male horse

Foal - Baby horse.

Colt - Young male horse.

Filly - Young female horse.


/r/asoiaf Thread