This horse, with unusual red pigments, stands on a rectangular base. Its long striding legs, pricked ears, wavy forelock and flowing saddle cloth all suggest a horse in motion. Each part of the horse was individually moulded and then assembled with slip. The facial features were individually modelled by hand, giving each piece its own character. The whole would be covered in a white slip and cold painted in coloured pigments. The frequency and exceptional sculptural quality of the pottery horses found in Tang burials, testifies to the importance attributed to the animal by contemporary society. Horses were considered the reward for military invasions as well as the foundation of imperial solidity. Thoroughbred horses were traded with neighbouring Arab nations for silk from as early as the Han dynasty, gradually replacing the more sturdy steppe ponies indigenous to China.