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 a long travel, and proved useful in case a horse went 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 or numnah.
Zhang Ni (障泥): Mud guards. A pair of large leather panel hanged from either side of the saddle to protect the sides of the horse from the stirrups, mud splashes, tree branches and shrubs.

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

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