Horse Symbolism & Meaning
Horse symbolism and meaning touches the very heart and soul of all who love to run free.
Feeling a little fenced-in as of late? Are you called to explore unknown places? Horse, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Horse helps you see that your soul is racing toward total freedom while teaching you how to travel the entire universe at will. Delve deeply into Horse symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can support, enlighten, and inspire you.
Horse Table of Contents
- Horse Symbolism & Meaning
- Horse Spirit Animal
- Horse Totem Animal
- Horse Power Animal
- Native American Horse Symbolic Meanings
- Horse Christianity Symbolism
- Horse as a Celtic Animal Symbol
- Horse Dreams
- Horse Far Eastern Symbolism
- Horse Tattoo Meaning
- Horse Spiritual Meaning
- Back to all Mammals
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Horse Symbolism & Meaning
Horse symbolism changes depending on whether the Horse is wild or tethered. When the Wild Horse enters your awareness, often there is more than enough energy to motivate you and carry you through anything. As you read through the in-depth collection of Horse information, take some time to meditate on it. Consider what kind of spiritual gifts Horse bestows on you and how you should work with the creature’s Energies.
A Wild Horse brings vitality and freedom in on its galloping hooves. There is no constraining Horse when it runs with the wind, but the creature also enjoys the company of family and friends. It’s always more fun to gallop together in a setting where individuality never gets lost. That’s why Horse symbolism speaks to your social nature and how you connect with those you hold dear.
Carl Jung suggested Horses symbolize personal power, the things you master in your life, and your natural gifts. Horse is a creature representing success and self-actualization. When you know what drives you and puts the awareness of your motivations to work, you can get much further and faster than you ever imagined possible.
When tame, Horse represents those parts of your personality you restrict and confine, like sexual urges. The tame Horse also symbolizes service and trusting relationships. If Horses show up in images where they’re in a stable or tied up, it could be a message that something is holding you back and limiting your autonomy. It may also speak of low energy levels and the need to pay attention when using your physical resources.
Horse can only carry so much baggage before it gets weary from the burden. The creature’s appearance as a Spirit Animal Guide might mean it’s time to let go of items you no longer need. When the Horse trots into your life, sometimes it’s there to urge you to figure out what you need to put down to lighten the load in your soul.
White Horses’ role in global mythology is significant because the creature has intimate symbolic ties to heroes and Solar Deities. Horses also appear in various phrases or idioms like, “Straight from the Horse’s mouth,” associating Horse with accurate or unadulterated communication, and “Get off your high horse,” implying condescending behavior.
Horse Spirit Animal
As your Spirit Animal, Horse appears to you as an omen, one indicating a call for freedom is galloping into your world. If you find yourself in an unhappy relationship or what feels like a dead-end job, Horse’s mantra is “Stop horsing around; it’s time to choose a new path forward!”
Likewise, Horse’s repeated appearance is a message for you to allow Horse Energy to gift you with the power and endurance you need. The Spirit of this trusty steed can carry you down the right path to breaking free of whatever bonds hold you back for achieving mental clarity, growth, or success.
Horse is a benevolent Spirit Animal Guide that facilitates your spiritual awakening and growth by teaching you how to establish an energetic symmetry between independence and duty. There is a time to rest, a time to run, and a lot of living in between. Horse urges you to enjoy the sweet apple that drops from the tree, partake of those sweet moments in your life, before taking your next challenge.
Horse Spirit loves to work with the winds. As an Animal Spirit Guide, Horse is an excellent Teacher about personal energy and working with Air Elementals. No matter where Horse Spirit takes you, you will always have a sense of balance—of how to ride and not fall or fail in your duty.
Remember that Horse is a messenger to and from the Angelic Realm. If you have a specific prayer, whisper to Horse and let the creature safe-keep and carry your it to a Guardian Helper.
Horse Totem Animal
People who identify with Horse as their Totem Animal enjoy freedom of expression, and it will seem nothing short of miraculous. Horses are Animals of adventure, power, friendship, and family. With Horse as a Totem Animal, jumping life’s hurdles comes easy to those who walk in this powerful creature’s Energy.
But being able to jump hurdles is only one small part of Horse Totem magic. The Animal has a laser-sharp focus, one that aids them in determining how and when to jump over such obstacles. It’s rare for Horse to remain stuck in a rut. Horse Totems are all about going in a new direction! Is it time to move on? Should you get a new home or travel to places unknown? Carry a Horse Totem when you seek answers to those kinds of questions.
Horse Power Animal
In Shamanism, the Horse Power Animal carries the Medicine Person between the Worlds. A Horse helps you connect with spiritual energies and abilities. Horse also supports you in seeing things in a different light, which opens the path to visionary gifts and a renewed connection with the Earth.
Horse Medicine teaches you to be true to yourself. As an Animal Spirit Guide, Horse reminds you to remain attentive and live in the present. The creature also supports you in expressing the gratitude in your heart toward those with whom you are your life.
Native American Horse Symbolic Meanings
What does a Horse symbolize in Native American cultures?
Native Americans call Horses “God Dogs.” The name alone illustrates the reverence they have for this creature. The team of a rider and a horse is something Native Americans see as based on tremendous respect.
Horses figured into battle symbolism as a token of power, authority, and success. Artwork depicts Shamans on the back of flying Horses when making safe passage to the Spirit Realm. They may also represent the ability to overcome a difficult situation.
Horse is an important animal in many cultures and this is especially true in Native cultures. Horse gave Native people the ability to travel farther and helped win victories in war.
It’s easy to forget that Horses that were native to North America actually went extinct. In the fifteenth century, Spanish colonizers brought Horses evolving from a different lineage, Equus, which are the ancestors of what are now considered North American Horses.
Though Native People regard Horse with reverence and see Horse to have similar symbolic meaning as cultures around the world, their connection to Horse was re-established when these animals were brought to North America. Like Conquistadors and other European explorers, Horse also served an important purpose in aiding Native people in war and became a symbol of wealth.
Horse is also a symbol of the voyage, journey or work that Horse historically helped humans with. This is especially true in warfare. In many Native cultures, it is understood the fate of the Horse and Human are intertwined. It was common for a Native person who survived battle to honor or memorialize a fallen horse by carving the Horse’s image on a stick that would later become an important part of the ceremonial Horse Dance.
Are you dependent on others to accomplish your goals and complete your journey? Horse may remind you that your success is attributable to those around you who help to lift you up and carry you through transitions you couldn’t make on your own.
Horse Christianity Symbolism
What does a Horse symbolize in Christian traditions?
White Horse symbolism may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Horse symbolism in Christianity. The Biblical reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may also come to mind.
In Revelation, Horse symbolism is used to convey the four signs of the coming rapture that signals the return of Christ. These references also occur in Ezekial and are described as punishments from God.
In Revelation, the Seven Seals of Solomon or Seven Scrolls are described as being held in the right hand of God. When Jesus, in this section described as the “Lion of Judah,” opens the first four Seals, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear as riders upon the backs of distinctly colored Horses. A White Horse, Red Horse, Black Horse and “Pale” Horse.
In some accounts, the White Horse carries a figure with a bow who represents conquest. Thus White Horse Symbolism is associated with victory as the figure wears a crown as well. Ironically, this figure is both associated with Christ and anti-Christ.
Upon the second, a Red Horse, rides a figure brandishing a sword. This Horse and rider are associated with warfare. The third, a Black Horse, bears a rider representing Famine. Finally, the Pale Horse bears Hades and is associated with death.
The Pale Horse- sometimes depicted as light green or grey- is recognizable to those who have seen Pamela Coleman-Smith’s rendition of the Death Tarot Card. Some Christians pay little mind to the dire forecasts in the final section of the Bible, but to other sects of Christianity, Revelation takes on a significant and sometimes literal, interpretation.
It is believed by these factions of Christian followers that each of the Four Horsemen will set upon a different quarter of the world and wreak havoc at a particular time which will signal the end of days. To some, this is literally taken as a harbinger of the end of civilization or doomsday era. To others, this is more symbolic as a time of greater awakening and enlightenment that will first require us to symbolically experience a death-and-rebirth like process.
This is also associated with purging, cleansing and judgment and the return of Christ. Thus even in casual vernacular, the phrase Four Horsemen has come to be synonymous with a beacon, warning or dire events that signal the need for a serious wake up call.
We can also look at the Four Horsemen and their distinct Horses as symbolic of deeper upheaval. A White Horse, in this sense, bears either a righteous victor or pompous conqueror. It is no surprise then, that we have come to refer to someone who needs to get off their “high Horse” as someone who has assigned themselves status they don’t deserve.
When you see a White Horse, you may automatically think of victory or purity, but in this sense, White Horse is also a warning about being on the lookout for those who only want power for their own purposes. A Red Horse can be a symbol of aggression and destructiveness associated with warfare.
The Black Horse in this case corresponds to hunger and as the rider is sometimes considered a food vendor, this adds to the sense of desperation and disparity associated with the world being on the brink of turbulent awakening, as Revelation suggests.
But another interpretation of the rider of the Black Horse is that this is the bringer of justice. The rider holds scales that would have been used to weigh bread, so the Black Horse is also associated with doling out justice and consequences or judging who deserves what type of consequences.
The Pale Horse may signify literal death or situations in which mass casualties occur. Yet this Horse can also signify a journey toward growth and rebirth or some kind of release of the Ego in favor of greater enlightenment.
In addition to the depiction in Revelation, the symbolism of Horse in the Bible is quite frequently that of War Horse. In more recent times, modern Christians may look at Horse as a symbol of the Spirit and the desire for freedom or as a symbol of faith, strength and purity.
Horse as a Celtic Animal Symbol
What does a Horse symbolize in Celtic lore?
The ancient Celts’ understanding and acceptance of each Animal’s way of life was so absolute that the Horse Totem held a Divine place in their culture. As Mystics and Shamans, the Celtic People viewed all life as intertwined, connected at the source, as seen in Celtic knotwork.
In Celtic lore, Horses have strong associations with the Deities like Epona and Macha, both of which manifest as Horses who protect the Earth, show you the future, and guide humankind with sure-footedness. Epona’s name means “mare“, and She is the only Celtic Goddess some Romans worshiped.
She is very similar in form and function to the Welsh Rhiannon, who rides a Pale Horse and governs fertility. There are other kinds of Horses among the Celtic Divine beings like the Water Horse companion to the Sea God Manannan Mac Lir. Thus, the Celtic Horse became symbolic of the ability to bridge the gap between people and Spirits, both great and small.
Horse symbolism and meaning were also associated with strong and courageous warriors. The power, strength and stamina of Horse are associated with Horse Spirit Animal in Celtic lore.
There are also tales of a Druid tradition of contenders for leadership sleeping inside of the skin of a dead horse before being ascended to the throne as King. Therefore, Horse, in Celtic symbolism, is also associated with royalty and power.
Some also tell of a Pooka Horse, a being that lured travelers to their deaths. Thus Horse can be associated with trickery, as is also the case with the Greek Trojan Horse.
Though modern scholars question and criticize Robert Grave’s theories of the Celtic Zodiac as a system based on the power of different trees or later iterations of Celtic Zodiac Animals, there are many references online which may not be truly authentic to systems used by ancient Celtic people.
Still, if you are open to exploring Horse Spirit Animal meaning as part of this system, in some accounts, Horse Zodiac people are born early July through early August and are considered to be quite powerful and determined. Horse Spirit Animal meaning in this case is associated with courage and willfulness.
A horse symbolizes stamina, charisma, and sexual energies. When a horse appears in a dream, it might point to your future success, as if you are riding into town after a victory at war. If the Horse shows no movement, consider whether a situation you are in is no longer worth the energy. Ask yourself, “Are you beating a dead horse?”
Considering if the Horse is real or not is also important to your dream message. An inanimate Horse, like a toy or figure, alludes to a Trojan Horse, which is something undesirable that may slip into your life through an unexpected opening. Ask yourself if you are leaving yourself vulnerable in a relationship.
When a Horse talks to you in a dream, look at the message as a gift straight from Horse’s mouth. If you see a multicolored Horse, it suggests transitioning situations where you assume one thing will happen, but you’ll end up with a different outcome. If the Horse seems to sniff the air with ears perked upright, perhaps it’s time you tune into your environment to pick up on subtle energies. At a minimum, use your “horse sense” or common sense to work your way through events or complex situations.
A horse symbolizes one’s ability to move through situations. Therefore, the Horse’s movement is telling; if the Horse is standing still, it suggests a period of rest, contemplation, or planning. If the Horse is prancing, it suggests slow movement forward with projects or relationships. When the Horse is galloping or running, it means rapid progression and leaping hurdles with ease.
If the Horse is wild, it stands as a symbol of freedom, but if bridled, or tamed, it signifies funneled and focused energies. The Wild Horse may call to you to allow yourself some playtime. The bridled Horse promises a challenge ahead, requiring your direct focus. If the Horse drags a cart behind it, you are carrying too many emotional burdens or taking on the problems of others.
Also consider the color of the Horse you see in your dreams. If you dream of a White Horse, symbolism from this vision may include purity, victory, strength and adventures. If you dream of a Brown Horse, the symbolism may have more to do with practical matters, physical healing or the need to lean on your own Earthy nature. Consider the importance of color meanings when trying to discern Horse meanings.
Learn more about Horse Spirit by reading What Do Horse Dreams Mean? on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com!
Horse Far Eastern Symbolism
Among Spirit Animals, Horse is quite consistent in meanings across very different cultures. In Far Eastern cultures, Horse remains a symbol of wealth, victory, status, nobility and success.
In Buddhist belief system, Horse is the carrier of Prana and is associated with Dharma. Buddhists also see Horse as a symbol of devotion. There is a story that when Buddha set out on his journey of asceticism, his Horse realized he would no longer be “needed” and died of a broken heart.
Horse is also used as a symbol to represent how humans can gain control of our minds. The Wind Horse depicts the flight of thoughts and ideas that constantly distract us from our tasks and path. But when we envision our higher consciousness as being the rider who “tames” the flighty Horse, then we can feel ourselves restoring balance between the flights of fancy that shift our attention and our need to gain control of our own minds.
Thus, as a Spirit Animal, Horse can be a reminder that we need to rein in our own minds and not let thoughts carry us away in different directions. As a Spirit Animal, Horse keeps us focused and reminds us that while we may want to freedom to run in different directions, this is not always what is truly best for our mind.
In the Chinese Zodiac, Horse represents nobility, courage and strength. Those born under this Zodiac sign are considered good leaders and also hard working and solid.
In Chinese lore, a Half-Horse, Half-Dragon creature known as a Kilin or Qilin, is associated with peace, harmony and spirituality. Their meaning can be similar to that of the Unicorn. In some tales, they avoid walking on the ground so as to not harm any other creatures. Instead, they are said to float or walk on clouds.
They are associated with good luck and prosperity and are considered auspicious symbols. Horse spiritual meaning in Chinese culture, then, is also connected to fortunate circumstances.
Some accounts in Hindu lore are less flattering. Krishna is said to have killed a demonic being in the form of a Horse, for example.
Horse Tattoo Meaning
When you see a Horse tattoo, you can rest assured the person bearing it has a free and independent spirit. A Horse tattoo may relate to someone’s love and obsession with these creatures.
Horses captivate the imagination and remind us of our wild side. Both in terms of sexuality and our desire for freedom to roam without restrictions.
A Horse Tattoo may also be symbolic of one of the Four Horsemen, giving an edgier meaning in the case of those who are interested in studying great awakenings and End Times mythology.
A Horse may also be a symbol of wealth, success, a journey or conquest when depicted as a Tattoo.
A Black Horse can represent power, magic, mystery, also judgment, death, transformation and initiation. A Golden Horse can be associated with Solar energy, vitality and creativity.
If someone has a tattoo of Pegasus or a Unicorn, the spiritual meaning of Horse can also be applied. In the case of Unicorn, there is also an association with innocence and purity.
Horse Spiritual Meaning
When it comes to Horse Spiritual Meaning, this animal can convey the power of royalty, nobility, conquest and can come to represent the concept of journey, travel and vehicle.
Both the body as the vehicle for the Soul, as well as the concept of a journey or aspect of your path on the whole. Horse’s Spiritual Meaning can speak to your connection with the wild aspect of yourself that refuses to conform or be limited. The part of yourself that would rather be independent than fit in.
Horse spiritual meaning can also be connected to a change on the horizon in your life. This is demonstrated by careful examination of Horse imagery in the Tarot. Though Horse shows up in a number of cards such as Death, when you examine the Horses in the Knight cards, you can derive additional meaning.
Assuming the traditional elemental correspondences, each of the Knights in the Tarot depicts a rider on a Horse in different stages of momentum. Drawing from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Knight of Wands, or Fire element, shows an exuberant Knight with a Horse in motion. The Knight is upright and the Horse’s forelegs are lifted in the air. Clearly, we can see that action is occurring and progress on the journey is being made.
The Horse is usually depicted as Orange or Red, thus the connection to War Horse is made.
The Knight of Swords,or Air element, in contrast, is charging ahead speedily on a White Horse. Thus conquest and speed are suggested.
The Knight of Cups, or Water element, rides a White Horse who is walking but at a slower pace, the energy in the card is not as frenetic and suggests arrival or approach.
The Knight of Pentacles, or Earth element, rides a Black Horse. This Horse is the only of the four to stand still in the common depictions. Also, recall the Black Horse is hunger or judgment in Revelation. Yet the Earth element is abundance and harvest.
Thus the Knight of Pentacles’ Black Horse suggests that the energy of stability, growth and abundance requires patience and less erratic movement than the other Horses. Put another way, you may be called to Hold your Horses if you want to succeed in career or finances.
In myth and lore, Horse symbolism is often associated with Divine Feminine energy or connected to gentleness and intuition. Yet the spiritual meaning of Horse is also associated with strength and perseverance.
In some traditions, Horsehair is associated with healing. A Grey Horse is considered lucky on the day of your wedding and a Horse with the symbol of a Star on their forehead is also considered a sign of good luck.
In Guinea, the Horse’s tail is used as an offering for abundance. Near the northern parts of Africa, the tradition known as Fantasia, consists of men riding Horses while dressed in ceremonial garb. This is a ritual related to choosing a marriage partner.
Rameses the Second was said to have dined with his Horses, not his generals, because he preferred the nobility of his Horses. Thus the regal nature of Horses can also be seen as part of Horse spiritual meaning.
Is your life about to take a surprising twist? Are you not gaining ground on the journey the way you expected to? Horse’s spiritual meaning, whether you see Horses on Tarot cards, in dreams, or through synchronicities, speak to the phase your journey may be taking.
Ewhaz, one of the Norse Runes, literally means Horse. This is a rune that reminds you to trust yourself and connect the wisdom of your body and mind. Because Horses are so sensitive and intelligent but also physically strong, they are considered a symbol of the best of the traits humans strive to develop. Horse spiritual meaning relates to our intuitive, sensitive side and our courage and fortitude.
Horse’s Spiritual meaning can also bring you into alignment with your desire for freedom, independence and to show your courage and nobility.
Horse Symbolic Meanings Key
- Freedom & Service
- Life and Death (White Horse/Black Horse)
- Time & Space Travel
- Mind, Body, & Spirit Alignment
- Paths to Otherworldly Realms