On Fri, 13 May 1994, Thomas J. Delaney wrote:
> I think one could say the elts had a pretty awesome reputation for their
> horsemanship, rivalling accounts of the later hussars and...was it the
> Scythians...anyway it is a long tradition of appreciation of the equine
> One question I've always had though...and never really got a good answer...was
> when and how did horses show up in Ireland or Britain in the first place? I
> can't imagine what a pain it would be to ship them over in boats...but one guy
> told me that the Vikings broght 'em in just that manner. Hmmmm...
Continental and Insular Celts were excellent riders. The Romans, who were
crummy "trainers" (read abusers) of horses hired Celtic cavalry.
My understanding is that most warhorses were like draft horses of today,
just a tad smaller.
Until Arab/Barb blood was introduced to European horses, they were s l o
w t o m o v e. Or so I was told when I was learning to ride English
(as opposed to "Western" which is derived from Spanish, and ultimately
Ponies date from the late ice age, and I'd guess that the domesticated
war critter showed up not later than say... (pulling number wildly out of
air..) 500 bc on the islands.
Insular war chariots were ridden to battle, then the combatants
disembarked, bowed, and went at it. That is quite different from Egyptian
or Hittite war charioteering, or so I recall from Ancient History 202. I
knew that education was good for something.