- Mar 2013
No one knows for sure how they fought but most likely the Companions used Scythian style saddle which is still subject to some debate but this overview is pretty good- http://www.silkroadfoundation.org/newsletter/vol14/Stepanova_SR14_2016_1_18_Pl1.pdfActually I have wondered how they fought......
At that time and age, horses seemed to mostly be a way to move faster around the battlefield, outflank and outrun the ennemy or alternatively shock them through noise, dust and fear of horse mounted fighters, to whom the horse gave a significant weight advantage (assuming the average soldier with armor was about 100 kg, once on a horse the combination was 600kg of weight or more) and height advantage.... but when it came to fighting, apparently in many cases horsemen dismounted (unlike middle age heavy cavalry charges)... I do not know however what actually happened with the macedonian cavalry... Did they usually fight on horses, did they dismount, did they often engage in close combat ?
My understanding -correct me if I am wrong- is that macedonian cavalry had neither stirrups nor saddles....
Stirrups barely matter in a charge but could make a difference in melee allowing riders to shift weight more easily and also allows more effective use of weapons other than a lance or slashing sword. Still it is possible to fight in a melee especially with a lance while on a well-trained horse- especially if the opposing infantry is not well trained in how to deal with cavalry which is probable in most of the battles the Companions fought in where the majority of cavalry were skirmishers armed with javelins though there did exist some other melee/shock cavalry such formations were quite rare.