Killing or injuring a knight's horse was an effective method of weakening the opponent's position and bringing him down during jousting matches. When protecting the warhorses became a priority during the Middle Ages, full armor, known as barding, came into use. A full barding consisted of several separate pieces.
Several pieces make up a full barding. The champron fully shields the horse's head from ears to muzzle. The criniere protects the horse's neck with segmented, pivoting plates. The croupiere shields the horse's hindquarters with chain, leather or metal plates, while the peytral shields the horse's chest. Flanchards, attached to the saddle, protect the flank. Today, full barding serves a more decorative purpose, ranging from simple and functional, for jousting tournaments, to ornate and intricately embellished for shows and parades.