Since the appearance of the Cavalry, approximately in 1000BC, troops on horseback hadplayed several key roles in the battles. They acted as Scouts, Fighters, shock troops in skirmishes and rear guard force. They also served to pursue enemy army during its retreat. The cavalry was divided into different categories, depending on their equipment and their training. Some of these categories were better prepared than others to perform certain tasks.
The light cavalry wore virtually no armor and served better for exploration missions and as a rearguard. The heavy cavalry used armor and was more suited as a shock against the enemy force. All types of cavalry were excellent for the pursuit of the enemy.
The Knights of the middle ages fell under the category of heavy cavalry, and chivalry, and emphasized its role as a shock force against the opponent. From the 13th century, the term “weapons man” began to be used to describe armored warriors who fought on foot or on horseback. The new term applied both to Knights as Squires, gentlemen and professional soldiers.
The main advantages that had the Knights during the battle consisted of intimidation, power, speed and height. As the Middle Ages progressed, knights equipment was perfected in order to develop these advantages.