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Cavalry is any unit that rides a horse. (And the Persian unique unit, the War Elephant.) They are mostly quite fast with good Line of Sight (LOS). They are mostly created at the Stable. Cavalry units are:

Basic: Scout Cavalry, light melee cavalry, designed for scouting, resistant to conversion. Available Feudal Age.
Stage 2: Light Cavalry, light melee cavalry, stronger than Scout Cavalry, resistant to conversion, archers, towers. Strong against Monks, archers, cavalry archers. Weak against infantry, knights. Available Castle Age.
Stage 3: Hussar, light melee cavalry, stronger than Light Cavalry, resistant to conversion, archers. Attack bonus vs. Monks. Weak against infantry, knights, camels.

Basic: Knight, heavy melee cavalry, fast. Available Castle Age.
Stage 2: Cavalier, heavy melee cavalry, fast. Stronger than Knight. Available Imperial Age.
Stage 3: Paladin, heavy melee cavalry, fast. Stronger than Cavalier. Available Imperial Age.
Note: Frankish Knights, Cavaliers and Paladins get +20% HP. In a multiplayer game, the Knight unit group of everyone on a Frank's team gets +2 LOS.

Basic: Camel, heavy melee cavalry, fast. Attack bonus vs. Cavalry. Available Castle Age.
Stage 2: Heavy Camel, heavy melee cavalry, fast. Stronger than Camel. Attack bonus vs. Cavalry. Available Imperial Age.
Note: Saracen unique tech, Zealotry, gives camels +30 HP.

Many civilizations have unique cavalry units. A particularly noteworthy one, in my opinion, is the Mameluke, the Saracen unique unit. It is an anti-cavalry unit that can also deal with most other types of unit. A group of five can kill a Paladin in a bit more than one volley. (They throw swords.)