Horses have served in wars and battles as valiantly as humans in history. They are as great warriors as men who fought those battles. Without a charging cavalry, they would have never seen victory. As warfare techniques advanced over the ages, breeds of horses have been improved to participate with increased vigor. Thus, it would not be wrong to say that the contribution of several breeds of horses like the Arabian, Friesian, Percheron, etc have helped to build empires. All the great battles won in history had the participation of the best heavy cavalry.
Most Famous Horses Of The Greatest Warriors
Kings, warriors, and horses go together. Over the centuries, horses have served several purposes in kingdoms. They pulled chariots and transported people. But, the best of the lot charged in battles with knights riding them. Alexander rode a dark stallion called Bucephalus into all the battles he fought. Undoubtedly, his victories would not have been possible without the efforts of this brilliant horse leading him and helping him with his war tactics. Bucephalus gave unrelenting service for twenty years to Alexander right from his initial days to his last battle.
Charlemagne conquered territories and kingdoms in Europe due to his fierce destrier horse. It was the most dependable and robust warhorse at that time and is the ancestor of most modern breeds. Medieval knights, the ones whom we read about as “knights in shining armors” fought valorous battles riding on breeds such as destriers, coursers, etc. These were the finest horses of their times and gave firm control over the enemy camp. Especially, destriers were superb stallions, having the qualities of classic warhorses that helped them to establish a heavy cavalry. These horses were large, healthy, fearless, and rode amazingly fast. Indeed, they were the best warhorses of all times in history.
Also, the Mongolians were great horsemen and rode several well-bred Mongol horses, found in Central Asia. Ghengis Khan and his troops conquered territories with the help of the fierce cavalry tactics made possible by Mongol horses. The well-trained cavalry made them one of the best fighters in the world at that time. It is said that Ghengis Khan invented war tactics using his horses strategically. These Mongol horses were well-built and had immense stamina to fight battles.
Best Heavy Cavalry And War Horses Of Greece
Horses in Greek wars became necessary consequently after Alexander’s famous military feats. His companion force, as he called it, was Europe’s first shock cavalry that helped him achieve such widespread victories. The cavalry would charge into the defense force of the enemy kingdom and smash their formations. Alexander’s best cavalry force was unparalleled. Above all, it was one of the primary reasons that rendered his enemies vulnerable. King Philip II of Macedon first introduced the idea of having a well-established cavalry for wars. He also started the concept of cross-breeding of horses to get better quality stallions to fight. During those times, several Persian and Arabian breeds of horses made way into the Greek cavalry. Sometimes, there were crosses between Greek and Iberian horses or Greek horses, and Persian or Scythian horses to get larger and stronger crossbreeds. These new horses had better strength, and stamina needed to fight battles.
Napolean And French Cavalry
The horse that helped Napoleon win battles was an Arabian breed. The horse named Marengo was his favorite among his warhorses that were integral to French victories. Napoleon understood the importance of a well-trained cavalry. Thus, with his efforts, he strengthened the French cavalry to a supreme level. The Napoleonic Wars used several breeds such as sturdy Arabian horses. War leaders rode another superior royal horse called the Andalusians who were extremely agile. Also, the Napoleonic army in these wars used the French breed of horse called Percheron to strengthen the heavy cavalry.