ACCORDING to Irawati Karve, during Mahabharta period, soldiers did not know how to ride a horse. They used chariots. In Mahabharta, we never hear of anyone riding a horse on horseback.
In Gupta period, however, or may be much earlier, horse riding became popular. Horse riding was depicted on their coins.
By this time, the hero who charged the enemy single-handed, ahead of his battle line, has acquired a special designation in Sanskrit, nasira (नासिरा ).
 Yuganta, Irawati Karve
 An Introduction to the study of Indian History, Prof. D. D. Kosambi