The strategies used in early modern societies in order to determinate the differences between humans and animals, as well as the instability and fragility of these boundaries have been the object of recent research in the field of human-animal-history. Horses for the manege and for dressage, their breeding, care and exhibition, are in the focus of the sources that are discussed in the present article. But manege-horses do not fit well to the image of the animal’s wilderness and irrationality, which traditionally were put forward in order to legitimate the dominion of humans over animals. The present article addresses this topic with the example of the horsemanship-treatises and of the horse-discourse which is present in early modern England (e.g. at the Stuart-court and in the Cavendish-circle). However, its object is to extend the focus beyond the issues of animal-history-studies in order to emphasize the relevance of horsemanship for historical scholarship in general. Different branches of research can be alleged, where horsemanship matters for the historian. This is the case for the study of the historical change of the concept of nature and the implications of this change for the political realm or for the study of the semantic and symbolic representation of the nobility and of the estate-based society in general. Horses were used in early modern England in order to represent semiotically the higher estates and in order to legitimate their privileged social position as well as their political power. Hence horses were at the ground of social, economical and political conflicts that afflicted English society in the 17th century.