(Last Updated on : 30-11-2010)
Superintendent of horses shall be in a position to classify the group of horses in seven broad categories. Categorically Arthashastra
in chapter XXX of book II has described horses as (1) those which are kept in sale - house for sale; (2) those which are recently purchased; (3) which have been captured in the wars; (4) those which are of local breeds; (5) those which are sent elsewhere for help; (6) those which are mortgaged and (7) those which are temporally kept in the stables. He shall also make list of such animals which are inauspicious, crippled or diseased and make a report to the king. Further every horseman should know how to make maximum economic utilisation of the category of horses he has received from the king's treasury and storehouse.
Superintendent of horses shall then supervise the construction of a wide stable with four doors opened either towards north or east with having separate compartments for fodder, separate drains for the passage of urine and dung, along with a central floor suited best for the rolling of horses, projected front, wooden seats at the entrance which has been further decorated with animals like monkeys, peacocks, deer etc. All the horses of state protection shall be kept in these stables. Steeds, stallion colts shall be kept separately. He shall further make provisions for providing proper food materials to these animals and special veterinary care to the new born. At a time under the supervision of the superintendent of horses will measure the length and breadth of the growing horses and their faces shall be measured and bought against a said amount of grains as well as drinks. Thus, the purchase of horses shall be primarily against the exchange of grains which will benefit the stock of ration of the consumer. Along with this all those who prepare food for the horses and provide other services shall receive a share of the total stock of ration.
Superintendent of horses, after classifying the categories and providing measures of security to these stocks shall then concentrate to assess the strength of each horse and its usefulness in the battle field for the protection of the people and its ruler. During such a service the superintendent shall be free to discard the old and aged ones in the public interest. Arthashastra defines three ways of training to identify the level of superiority each horse possesses. The breed of Kambhoja, Sindhu, Aratta, and Vanayu countries are the best; those of Bahlika, Papeya, Sauvira, and Taitala are of middle quality; and the rest ordinary (avarah).These three sorts may be trained either for war or for riding, according as they are furious (tikshna), mild (bhadra), or stupid or slow (manda). Among the regular training of horses Arthashastra includes circular movement, slow movement, jumping, galloping and response to signals are some of the methods of riding. Aupavenuka, vardhmanaka, yamaka/alidhapluta, vrithatta and trivachali are the varieties of circular movement (valgana). Along with this there are sixteen ways of performing slow movements which include Prakirnaka, prakirnottara, nishanna, parsvanuvritta, Urmimarga, sarabhakridita, sarabhapluta, tritala, bahyanu-vritta, panchapani, simhayata, svadhuta, klishta,'slaghita, brimhita, pushpabhikirna.
Jumping like a monkey (kapipluta), jumping like a frog (Mickapluta), sudden jump (ekapluta), jumping with one leg, leaping like a cuckoo (kokila-samchari) and dashing with its breast almost touching the ground (urasya) are the several forms of jumping. It further describes types of trotting, signalling and reacting to the instructions of a chariot rider. All these descriptions have been mainly inserted for training the horse for battles.
Thus, the Superintendent of horses has been inevitable for it provides instructions to the cavalry which has been a major part of the army.