I once met a priest, Fr. Pote, who told me a story of chivalry and oats. Yes, it seems that in medieval times horses were not strong enough to carry armor. When the knights started feeding them oats, the horses became stronger than grass-fed horses, and the armored, mounted knight was born.
It made a big difference in warfare, and a big difference in the code of chivalry. Men were now capable of aiding damsels in distress. So it aided our worse and our better nature.
Of course the Code of Chivalry was an expression of the Judeo-Christian precepts to aid the weak and defenseless, such as orphans and widows, but it took on a romantic phase. It was certainly still to the benefit of humankind.