''The islanders from Thera, who planted Cyrene, were not slow in fulfilling the prophecy of Medea that " instead of short- finned dolphins they should take to themselves fleet mares, and reins instead of oars should they ply, and speed the whirlwind- footed car," for Cyrene soon became famous as "the city of fair steeds and goodly chariots." Pindar glorified her king, Arcesilas, for his victories in the chariot-race, and later her native poet, Callimachus, sang of his " home famed for her steeds
Nemesianus gives quite detailed description of the preparation of a hunting horse, with some remarks on their long lasting vigour and longevity if properly cared for :
''These horses are slow to attain confidence in prolonged running; also, theirs is youthful vigour even in age that has served its time. For no quality which has bloomed full at its due period suffers collapse in spirit ere physical powers fail. In the fresh spring-time, then, feed the coursers on soft mash, and, lancing a vein, watch old-standing ailments flow out with the ooze of the tainted blood. Soon strength returns joyously to their gallant hearts, moulding the sleek limbs with strength diffused: soon a better blood runs warm in their veins, and they wish for long stretches of road, and to make the broad plain vanish in their career. Next, when summer has hardened the ripening stalks and, scorching the juicy blades, has dried all the moisture for harvest and joined corn-ears [caveat! -not American Maize] to stems, then be sure to furnish barley and light chaff: moreover, there must be care to winnow the produce free from dust, and to run the hands over the horses' muscles, so that the courser may enjoy being patted and relax his body in pleasure and quickly pass the nourishing juices throughout his frame.''