A sum of money (aes equestre) was given to each eques for the purchase of two horses (one for himself and one for his groom), and a further sum for their keep (aes hordearium); hence the name equites equo publico.
If competent, an eques could retain his horse and vote after the expiration of his ten years' service, and (till 129 B.C.) even after entry into the senate.
Each eques, as his name was called out, passed before the censors, leading his horse.
Extreme youth was no bar; the emperor Marcus Aurelius had been an eques at the age of six.
In order to provide a supply of competent officers, each eques was required to fill certain subordinate posts, called militiae equestres.