//Famous horses and riders in history
caballos y jinetes famosos

Famous horses and riders in history

The horse has accompanied the human being since the dawn of humanity. Because of this, famous horses and riders have been seen throughout the history of the human being.

History was transformed when the horse was used as a warfare technology. The long stretches of war campaigns, the huge empires and humanity would not be the same without the horse.

Many men who became great in their battles thanks to the help of their horses. Well, the great warriors were inseparable from their horses, it was really these pairs that became famous. In this order of ideas, we also find horses that have become great.

Today we will learn more about the famous horses and riders in history. We will know the reasons that made these horses special and were selected by their riders. In addition, we will understand the contribution of each of these famous horses and riders in history.

Moreover, it is not only famous royal horses and riders who have left their mark on history. And it is that many characters of fiction have left their mark either in the pages of books, cinema or television. Sometimes it seems that fiction has no relevance. However, fictional characters can shape our values and our societies.

Whether real or fictional, rider and horse maintain a close bond and History is responsible for reminding us. Without further ado, let’s just get started.

The Most Famous Horse in History

Famous horses and riders in real history

If you make a list of the most outstanding horses, we will go to the time of Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Simon Bolivar, among others.

The horse of a great military leader could not be just any horse. The leader had to perceive great attributes in the horse to choose it as his mount. Best horses were for the best men and so these pairs were second to none. Some chose their own mount; others were gifts of great value, and some horses were taken as booty in battle.

Whatever their origin, these horses were beings that came to stand out almost as much as their owners. Great men have behind them a great woman, as the saying goes, and a great horse as a saddle.

Below, we present a list with the most famous horses and riders in history.


Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great:

The name Bucephalus comes from the shape of its head, which was round and wide at the top. Right on his forehead stood a star-shaped mark, which was regarded as a divine sign.

Legend has it that Bucephalus was such a wild horse that no man dared to tame it. Seeing his strength and verve, Alexander asked his father to acquire it for himself. Alexander’s father, King Philip II of Macedon, was suspicious of Alexander’s choice and told him that if he managed to mount it he would buy it for himself…

Alexander looked carefully at the horse and understood that the horse was only frightened of its shadow. Alejandro moved in such a way that the horse did not perceive his shadow and looked at the sun directly to blind him for a few moments. It was that moment when he took the opportunity to mount it and demonstrate his ability… His impressed father immediately bought him the horse and predicted a bright future as ruler.

Alexander the Great and Bucephalus - Famous horses and riders
Alexander the Great and Bucephalus – Famous horses and riders

Babieca, the horse of the Cid Campeador.

Babieca was the name that literary sources attributed to the Castilian nobleman and military leader, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. This leader is better known as el Cid Campeador. In some stories the purchase of Babieca is attributed to Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar. In others, it is said that Babieca was a gift to celebrate a military victory. The truth is that Babieca is recognized for being an agile and fast horse, attributes highly appreciated in combat horses.

According to legends, the body of the late Cid Campeador was mounted on his horse by his wife in their last battle. He was driven and made to run through the war fields to raise the morale of the troops and make his enemies believe that El Cid was still alive.

This horse was recognized even in his death as we will see later.


Strategos, the horse of the Carthaginian military leader Hannibal.

Brought from the same region as Alexander the Great’s horse, Thessaly. Strategos would achieve a feat that few would equate which would make him a famous horse in history. Strategos was the horse hannibal used in all his military campaigns. But one of these campaigns would stand out above all and leave its mark on history, the passage through the Alps.

Strategos was a very fast horse, with black fur, outstanding musculature and a large elevation. According to the chronicles collected, Strategos was an energetic and nervous horse except when he was ridden by Hannibal. No doubt a horse capable of crossing the Alps is what every military leader needs.


Other famous real and fictional horses

“Janto” the horse of Achilles

“Kantaka” by Sidhartha Gautama (Buddha)

“Lazlos” The First Horse of Muhammad

“Athee” from Agamemnon

Molinero (“Miller” in English) of the conqueror Hernán Cortés

“Palomo” by Simón Bolívar

“Siete Leguas” by the revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa

“As de Oros” (“Ace of Golds” in english) by Emiliano Zapata

“Comanche” of General Custer, member of the military unit of the Seventh Cavalry and sole survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn

Not forgetting:

“Incitatus” (Impetuous): the Spanish horse that the Roman Emperor Caligula named Senator of Rome!

Rocinante” antihero as its owner, Don Quixote de la Mancha

Statue dedicated to the Cid Campeador in Spain - Famous horses and riders
Statue dedicated to the Cid Campeador in Spain – Famous horses and riders

Interesting facts

Bucephalus, Alexander the Great’s horse, was brave, strong and loyal.

To be a war horse he was not aggressive, on the contrary, his nobility inspires his master.

Also, when Bucephalus dies was buried with all the military honors, and in the place of his death, Alexander founds the city of Bucefalia.

Meanwhile, the horse Babieca, is a white equine of Andalusian breed, which after the death of its master stopped riding it. This early retirement was an honor given by his services, living a happy life until he was 40 years old.

In the last battle, as we already mentioned, the lifeless body of El Cid was tied to the chair of his steed, which at full gallop marched to the front of the troops, raising his morale and intimidating the Moors. The horse’s intelligence and determination saved many lives that day. His feat earned him military honors. A horse among the greats that even transcended its rider.

Gustavo Mirabal with his love for horses has always been dazzled by the wonderful story of Bucephalus, a story of loyalty and bravery.


History highlights famous horses and riders

Today we can see equestrian statues where the leaders are seen riding their horses. Sometimes they go unnoticed, but they are an important part of the story.

The horses and riders we brought to you today have left their mark on history. However, not all horses are recognized. Hundreds of thousands of horses left their lives on the battlefields and in day-to-day work.

It is time to recognize their contribution to our civilization and give them the fair treatment they deserve. In gustavomirabalcastro.online we seek to enhance the role of the horse in the history of mankind. In this way Gustavo Mirabal seeks to promote respect and good treatment of these wonderful animals.