Shosei mode, 30 rounds in a row for the 3rd time will net you that horse. Just play on the easiest difficulty and go straight for the leader to save time. If you want to get all unique mounts at one go, play 100 rounds in a row (the only way to get the Giant Elephant).
My EBA "ALL 300" "Jumpin' Jack Flash" multi-screen video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvLCnKqYWzA
Battle starts from lowest difficulty and ramps up.
in battle, you may select from four scenarios. top left and bottom right = Comrades. this mode makes it easier to recruit allies. bottom left = materials. this makes it easier to amass build and weapon materials. top right = reputation. this makes it easier to amass rep.
reaching a certain amount of rep will unlock the next cap for comrades and maxing comrades will unlock the cap for rep.
locations will be built (unlocked) when reaching certain amounts of reputation.
the place opposite from the weapon shop lets you send an army out to certain areas to gather stuff for you. some areas are primarily build materials and other areas are weapon materials. this can also get you weapons, animals, and allies. you send them out with money and you obtain the items by talking to the person after battle.
the place opposite from the town's entrance is a farm, you can get money from here after ending battle. if you put an officer here, from time to time, the officer may have materials for you (if you talk to them)
in the Shosei menu, the top option is for your officer's setup. the second option is for the town's setup.
in the town setup, the top lets you put build materials toward improving the buildings or the town itself. each 10 levels will improve the building quite a bit. max level is 50. the second option lets you put a certain number of officers to various buildings. if you put someone into the training area, they will get experience during your battle excursions (you can put the same person that you have set as your bodyguard)
officers that you set as bodyguard start with one skill and can gain a second skill through relationship/bonds.