Canon D40. Photo from Reniaissance Fair. Edited in PSE and Topaz. New background with texture.
The knight’s effectiveness depended greatly on his ability to stay mounted on his horse during combat. With the advent of the stirrup during the 8th and 9th centuries, a man could brace himself on horseback as he charged the ranks of his enemy, transferring the power of man and charging horse onto his opponent. This “shock” combat by mounted men armed with a spear or couched lance, and protected with armor, proved a powerful military innovation. Just before battle, a knight could close his visor to receive the full facial protection afforded.