Equipment of a Ming soldier — Horse tack

Basic equipment
Ming Cavalry Loadout
Horse tack, from 'San Cai Tu Hui (《三才圖會》)'.
Basic horse tack for a horse include:
  • An (鞍): Saddle.
  • Ta Deng (踏鐙): Stirrup. Also known simply as Deng (鐙).
  • Jiang (韁): Rein. Less commonly known as Xie (紲 or 絏).
  • Bian (鞭): Whip.
  • Ling (鈴): Bell. Horse bells were used to maintain caravan cohesion during long travel, and often proved useful in case a horse goes missing.

Other equipment
Pei Tou (轡頭): Bridle. Also known simply as Pei (轡), or Kong (鞚).
Ji (羈): Headcollar.
Xian (銜): Bit.
Jian (韉): Saddle blanket.

Zhang Ni (障泥): Mud guards.
A pair of large leather panels hanged from either side of the saddle to protect the sides of the horse from the rubbing of stirrups, mud splashes, tree branches and shrubs.

Niao Chi Huan (鳥翅環, lit. 'Bird wing loop') or Liao Shi Huan (了事環, 'Get done loop')
De Sheng Gou (得勝鉤, lit 'Victory hook')
A set of metal loop and hook frequently mentioned in classical novels, presumably mounted on the saddle to allow the cavalryman to rest his spear and free up both his hands. These are the Chinese equivalent of lance bucket.

Ma Zhang (馬掌, lit. 'Horse palm'): Horseshoe.
Less commonly known as Jiao Se (腳澀), horseshoe spread to China during Sui Dynasty (581 – 618) at the latest, and came into widespread use during Yuan period. By Ming period, most horsemen from North China (particularly Northeast China) would have equip their horses with horseshoes, while inland Chinese continued to get by without using them.

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