There are very few pokemon in the world who can stand up to the might of a charging flock of Espathra. Whether out of fear or telepathy, Espathra's opponents – human or pokemon – will either freeze in place or run away, whichever is most advantageous to this psychic pokemon. To resist this pokemon is considered an immense feat of courage, either individually (although few individuals walk away happily from such a confrontation) or collectively; the feat is often attributed to legendary heroes or elite military units. The continued use of Espathra for cavalry over the centuries, and not only in Paldea, attests to just how rare it was to resist their charge.

Conflicts between Espathra and Rapidash cavalry happened only rarely, because of Paldea's distance from the Eurasian steppe; in reality, Mudsdale was a far more common equine opponent, and Escavalier the typical rival in Paldea's many wars with Kalos. But the few occasions on which they did clash have captured the imagination, then and now; medieval epics and modern films alike include such a battle in virtually any scenario where one can at all be justified, ala Deoxys and the meteor or Gengar and Nidorino.

Humans no longer fight side by side with their pokemon, only stand at the back and shout their commands, and pokemon do not bring external weapons (except the odd Iron Ball) into the arena. Although this change has been good for the world at large, it has robbed Espathra of much of their historical splendor. Yet the sight of a caballero mounted on an Espathra is, with good cause, the centerpiece of many a Paldean festival; the jousts, in which these pokemon protect their armored riders from serious injury, are truly a sight to behold!