Horses were a prestigious possession which conferred dignity, hence the representation of Apostle Saint James, the Moor Slayer, as a knight in battle. The third state, the peasantry, was banned from riding a horse. Horses were synonymous with nobility.
Before the irruption of gunpowder, knights were the decisive force in the armies of feudal lords and monarchs. Knights like the castellan of Rocha Forte, Sánchez Dávila, were the armed wing of the political will of the archbishop of Santiago. At the battle of Altamira against rebel nobles, the castellan of Rocha Forte and his horse were badly wounded according to the chroniclers. But horses were also used to raid and pillage the area around the castle.
At the castle horseshoes and objects associated to the care and riding of horses have been found. It is important to bear in mind that during sieges these war tools were useless within the castle and suffered the consequences of the attacks, including being eaten. In fact, bone remains of horse have been found at the dumpsites of the fortresses. The existence of a huge cistern must also have been associated to the necessary sustenance of the archbishop’s cavalry.