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A Mongol without a horse is like a Bird without the wings
—Traditional Mongolian saying

A culture so thoroughly in love with horses, they may as well be Centaurs. They fight on horseback, they travel on horseback, they eat on horseback, they sleep on horseback. They probably aren't literally born there, but they'll certainly start learning to ride before they can walk.

Expect a lot of jokes about just how much they love their horses.

Often a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Mongols and/or the Huns, and as such have a distinct tendency to function as Hordes From the East. However, as the Lord of the Rings example of the Rohirrim demonstrates, they can just as well be a more civilised, chivalric culture. Whether or not they're the bad guys, they're sure to be a Proud Warrior Race (you can't get much studying done at a canter, after all).

Usually expert Horse Archers, though tend to be just as good with a sword.

Sometimes the steed of choice will be a Horse of a Different Color, but actual Equus f. caballus seem to be favoured for some reason.

Examples of Born in the Saddle include:


Film Edit

Literature Edit

  • The nation and warriors of Rohan in Lord of the Rings.
  • The Dothraki in A Song of Ice and Fire don't let you forget about it. They worship horse-gods, and talk about practically everything in terms of equine metaphors. And changing the word from Khan to Khal isn't fooling anyone, either.
  • The Horse Tribes in The Light Fantastic. They aren't very sentimental about their steeds, though; when your entire culture is based on horses, that includes your diet.

 Cohen explained that the Horse Tribes of the Hubland steppes were born in the saddle, which Rincewind considered was a gynaecological impossibility

  • The Anglo-Saxon Cossacks of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. Since the Fantasyland horse is actually a vegetable, the Anglo-Saxon Cossacks are the only people who know the secret of its cultivation.
  • The Algar from The Belgariad
  • The MacAhern clan from the The Witches Of Eileanan, who aren't called "The Horse Lairds" for nothing. They ride winged horses; supposedly, you have to stay on one for an entire year, day and night, doing everything in the saddle before the horse will accept you.
  • On Gor the Wagon Peoples, natives of the Tahari region, and Red Savages are all described like this at one point.
  • In Helm, the Rootless clans.

Music: Edit

Real Life Edit

  • It is said that Mongolian man wasn't much of a man if he didn't have a horse.
  • The Cossacks of Ukraine and Southern Russia could allegedly ride a horse at the age of 3.
  • The Huns. Attila is said to have learnt to ride before he could walk.

Tabletop Games Edit

  • Basic Dungeons and Dragons, Gazetteer 12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar. The Ethengar tribesmen (who are based on the Real Life Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan) are described this way. Children start riding at the age of three.
  • Hobgoblins in Warhammer, although in their case it's wolves.
  • In Warhammer 40000, the barbaric Atillan Rough Riders supply some of the most celebrated cavalry regiments of the Imperial Guard. The denizens of the planet Chogoris have a similar mounted culture, though if they're found worthy of joining the White Scars space marine chapter they'll exchange their horse for an armored motorcycle.

Video Games Edit