While horse armour did not saw much use (if at all) throughout Ming period because of the shift of cavalry tactic, lack of funding as well as deteriorating quality and training of both horse and rider, Chinese still had several designs of horse armour in their arsenal.
Horse armour is known as Ju Zhuang (具裝) in Chinese. A heavily armoured cavalryman is therefore known as Jia Qi Ju Zhuang (甲騎具裝, lit. 'Armour for man and armour for horse'). From Ming Dynasty onwards, horse armour is also known as Ma Jia (馬甲).
|Champron and croupiere/crupper, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.|
|Criniere/crinet and peytral, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.|
|Champron (side view) and flanchard, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.|
The design and aesthetic of Ming period barding changed little from its Song Dynasty counterpart.
Late Ming Dynasty Leather Barding
|Lightweight barding, from 'Wu Bei Yao Lue (《武備要略》)'.|
This horse armour is made of raw buffalo hide treated with tung oil and then sewn onto cotton backing.