Weight: 1.2- 2.6 kg
The shaffron was a plate defence for a horse’s head. It could be made out of metal or hardened leather. Leather shaffrons were usually reinforced with metal bands.
The shaffron covered the top, sides and front of the horse’s head and face, and went down to the nostrils.
A good shaffron was carefully fitted to the individual horse, making sure that the eye- and ear-holes were in exactly the right place.
In the early fourteenth century shaffrons sometimes carried a crest between the ears which matched the one worn on the rider’s helmet.
The horse’s head was extremely vulnerable. In a cavalry charge the warhorse, trained to run with its head lowered, might have to ram the enemy line like an armoured rhinoceros. Once into the press of battle, enemy foot soldiers could try to kill the horse by striking it between the ears with long war axes.