Things of Middle-earth
Description:The noble horses of Middle Earth, with great strength and speed. They only permitted the Lord of the Mark or his sons to ride them, and understood the language of man. The first of these, Felaróf, was tamed by Eorl, after his father, Léod, was killed after he was thrown. Gandalf also rode one of these noble horses, Shadowfax, and was the first not in the royal line to do so.
"'Léod was the name of Eorl's father. He was a tamer of wild horses; for there were many at that time in the land. He captured a white foal and it grew quickly to a horse strong, and fair, and proud. No man could tame it."
"But when they drew near, Eorl stood up and called in a loud voice: 'Come hither, Mansbane, and get a new name!' To their wonder the horse looked towards Eorl, and came and stood before him, and Eorl said: 'Felaróf I name you. You loved your freedom, and I do not blame you for that. But now you owe me a great weregild, and you shall surrender your freedom to me until your life's end.'
"Then Eorl mounted him, and Felaróf submitted; and Eorl rode him home without bit or bridle; and he rode him in like fashion ever after. The horse understood all that men said, though he would allow no man but Eorl to mount him. It was upon Felaróf that Eorl rode to the Field of Celebrant; for that horse proved as long lived as Men, and so were his descendants. These were the mearas, who would bear no one but the King of the Mark or his sons, until the time of Shadowfax. Men said of them that Béma (whom the Eldar call Oromë) must have brought their sire from West over Sea."
RotK, Appendix A, II, The House of Eorl
Contributors: Moriel 5.14.03, Quotes added by Lyllyn 5.16.03