Some scenes are simply made to be stiched from a couple of horizontal frames. I’ve shot panoramas not only in the areas of vast landscapes, but also as close up photographs. I’ve used long focal lengths but most of the time I worked with wide-angle lens. Horizontal panoramas can be shot hand held, but using that technique you can’t never be 100% certain that photos will be aligned together perfectly.
A tripod enables us to freely pan the camera sticking strict to one surface so we can be sure that photos can be stiched together correctly. In most cases there is no need to be equipped in a panhead. A simple ballhead or 3d would be enough; what can be found helpful is an extra spirit level attached on your camera’s hot shoe.