This study of horses, mainly in the central Sudan, presents impressions rather than a complete survey of the evidence. At the time when written records for the Sudan region begin,c. A.D. 1000, horses were evidently well established there. Their coming preceded the arrival of Islam. The first introduction of horses is sometimes attributed to nomads, such as the Zaghawa round Lake Chad, who, so the argument runs, used them to found larger and more militant states. Some evidence, however, suggests, although tentatively, that such nomadic immigrants were chiefly camel people, who enlarged their use of horses because these were more suitable than camels in the Sudan region, and because the horse was already there. Careful reading of the Bayajidda legend raises doubts as to whether it has anything to do with the introduction of the horse into Hausa, or into the Sudan as a whole. All this lends support to the idea that horses became established in the Sudan at a far earlier date, perhaps through trans-Saharan links recorded in the horse-chariots of rock art. Occasional references to wild horses suggest that survival and reproduction were not dependent on imported stock. Numbers of peoples, from Kaniaga in the west to Dar Tama in the east, possessed their own horses; many of these peoples were isolated from any network of trans-Saharan communication, and many were uninterested in large-scale state formation. These horses, apparently always very small, may perhaps be nicknamed the southern Sudanic breed. Larger horses, presumably directly or indirectly descended from later imports, are particularly associated with certain areas, especially Bornu/Mandara. The trans-Saharan trade in horses, admittedly of considerable importance, may have been given undue prominence by scholars who have overlooked the possibility of east-west trade–of horses arriving in Hausa, for example, from no further afield than Bornu. Acute illness and mortality among imported stock must also have influenced trade, and reduced the contribution of such animals to local herds and stables.