Part of speech: noun
Origin: Anglo-Norman, 13th century
A docile horse used for ordinary riding.
Examples of Palfrey in a sentence
"For my first riding experience, I steered clear of the jumpy-looking horses and chose a palfrey."
"My grandfather kept a stable of palfreys, and my cousins offered guided trail rides to tourists."
“Palfrey” is from the Anglo-Norman “palefrei,” meaning “steed.” This was based on the Latin “paraverēdus,” meaning “spare horse.”
Did you Know?
During the Middle Ages, palfreys were among the most expensive horses because they offered a smooth and comfortable ride that would be endurable over long-distance journeys. What set palfreys apart from other horses was that rather than trot, they traveled with a lighter and more balanced step called an “amble.” Many types of horses were palfreys — the term did not describe a breed of horse but rather the ease of their steps on the ground, particularly during voyages that could range from days to months. As European roads improved, and travelers shifted to carriages, palfreys became less desirable and their value declined. However, the term “palfrey” still refers to an even-tempered horse good for riding.