Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
I may not be able to prove this in rules terms, but I'm certain that if you're making Handle Animal checks to control an intelligent creature, even one of the Animal type (and his question didn't specify that it was), you're doing something wrong.
During combat the rider must make Ride checks. The Handle Animal checks are only necessary for successful training. That training makes Ride checks easier, and increases the combat options available to rider and mount.