Did you know that if you were a common foot soldier in Mediaeval times and you couldn't afford a proper padded jerkin to protect your body...you'd have stuffed a bag or sack filled with farmyard manure under your shirt. Very effective against most weapons...not from the arrows of the long-bow though. They'd pierce through armour.
And the horses that Knights rode into battle were actually trained to bite and kick...being kicked by a small donkey is extremely painful...being kicked by a large horse could easily render you unconscious , you'd then have been at the mercy of the nearest swordsman.
The Knights usually left their horses at the edge of the battlefield in the charge of small boys, simply because they'd have been too easy a target being on horseback...they remounted once the losing soldiers were retreating when they could be easily hunted down...
And it's a fallacy that full armour was incredibly heavy...it weighed about 40 1bs and because it was evenly distributed over the body those wearing it were not in the least hampered and could remount comfortably should they be un- horsed...a modern soldier carries a 50 1b pack on his or her back while training...heavier both in weight and no even distribution either, with all the weight resting on the back.
Every able male villager in Mediaeval England was required to fight if and when they were told to...few had proper weapons of course so they'd take their pitchforks or a stout length of wood...
Those who used the long-bow had trained since they were small boys and came from the higher echelons of society...the long-bow was lethal, and, used by someone skilled, incredibly accurate at reaching the target whether a foot soldier or a horse bearing a Knight...once a horse went down on a crowded battlefield, pandemonium would have been the result...flailing hooves striking out in all directions and any other uninjured horse in the vicinity would have panicked...probably one of the reasons the Knights began to leave their horses before they reached the battlefield itself...
The other weapons were also lethal in close combat...swords could slash and the pikes...with their curved hooks at the end...must have caused horrible injuries. Maybe the nastiest weapon of all was the mace...a round ball of iron on a chain...the ball covered in spikes and swung round and round before being cracked against the side of someone's head...
The only saving grace about a battle in Mediaeval days was its length...twenty minutes or so and the defeated soldiers would be running away. It's thought that more deaths and serious injuries were caused at the end of a battle when those who had been defeated were trying to escape than in the middle of the battle itself. Worn-out and often injured, they were easily dispatched by the Knights...now back on their horses. Any Royals taking part were unlikely to be killed...they were generally taken as prisoners and held to ransom though that did depend on how valuable they were thought to be.
Many of my ancestors died during battles...some were carried back to their home places to receive decent burials...but most were probably simply left where they fell to be eventually buried in a mass grave by the local villagers...there is no way of knowing now whether they owned battle horses trained to bite and kick...whether or not they were skilled with a long-bow or were simply armed with a sword and frightened half to death by the noise and the confusion...no way of knowing whether they were running for their lives while an arm was hanging uselessly by their side...
The facts are really interesting...but I do feel sad for my remote and distant cousins when I think about the ending of their lives.