Horse symbolism represents freedom, endurance, and spirit. These beautiful animals carry deep meaning, with each culture having a different spin.

What Does a Horse Symbolize?


Freedom is one of the most common associations with horses. They are animals that love running in fields and valleys. A horse galloping is the most common depiction of the animal in art, including photography, music, film, and television.

Horses symbolize strength and endurance that can only come from being free. So, seeing one might mean you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic or overly constrained in your current circumstances. It might be time to make a change, perhaps a significant one.


Horses are also often used as a symbol of endurance. This likely dates back to when they were used for traveling across the country and pulling carriages.

They were the workhorses of journeys like the Oregon Trail. Healthy horses can travel as far as 100 miles daily while carrying a rider. And certain types of horses can run up to 55 miles per hour.

If you’ve seen horses lately, it could indicate that you are in the middle of a struggle and need to stick with it for the long haul. It might also be a sign that you are heading in the right direction, but you still have a long way to go and must endure.


Like endurance, the horse is often used as a symbol of determination. This determination is why horses had to be “broken” to accept humans as riders.


Spirit is something horses, particularly the younger ones, are used to symbolize. It’s common to see colts and even some older horses frolicking and playing out in the fields where they live in the wild or are out grazing.


Horse Symbolism and Spiritual Meanings


In Buddhist culture, horses represent effort and energy and are indicative of one of six major positive emotions in Buddhism. As wild horses can be tamed, so can the mind, according to Buddhist beliefs. Horses are risk-takers, and you may need to leave your comfort zone to move forward.

Chinese Mythology

The horse is one of Chinese mythology’s most commonly depicted animals, second only to the dragon, and they signify wealth, nobility, prosperity, military prowess, and success. Other Asian cultures also revere the horse. Koreans associate it with strength and bravery. 

Native Americans

In Native American cultures, horses are considered medicinal animals. Believing horses are medicinal has a practical reason as well as a mythical one. The burdens became lighter when populations could tame and ride horses. Travel was far less demanding, taking days instead of weeks.

Native American legend tells a tale of different colored horses visiting a medicine man, delivering the message that the value is not in where we end up but in the journey taken to get there and what we learn along the way.

Horse Color Meaning

Brown Horse Symbolism

If the horses you’ve been seeing are brown, it could indicate you’re too invested in the material aspects of life. Brown horses signify you need to trust the universe to provide everything you need.

Roan Horse Symbolism

Seeing horses with a roan color indicates you are stuck, and something is blocking your progress. Often, seeing these horses signifies that you have become complacent, thinking superficially that you are happy while knowing you are not.

Black Horses

Seeing a black horse could have a few different meanings. It could mean you are seeking death, taking risks that put your life at stake. But it can also signify rebirth.

If you’ve seen black horses and you’ve been contemplating your place in life, it may indicate that one door is closing so another can open. It might be a sign that it is time to move on from where you are to where you should be instead.

Palomino Colored Horses

Seeing palominos or gold-colored horses indicates that the sun is rising on a new day, and you need to rise with it. Trust yourself to know the right path to move forward into the light and seek the life you desire.

White Horse

White horses typically indicate faith, spirituality, and purity. But it isn’t the only interpretation of this majestic animal.

They also signify knowledge, reason, and justice. Seeing a white horse means mastering one or more of these skills. You may be called upon to teach these concepts to others.  

Gray Horses

Gray horses could mean you should keep hope because things are about to improve. But they can also indicate that you are involved in shady dealings with nefarious people.

Reflect on what is happening in your life. Take stock, determine if some questionable things are happening in your life, and evaluate them as impartially as possible.

Bay Colored

Seeing a bay horse could mean you are progressing toward your goals and moving in the right direction. It’s a sign that you should keep moving forward on your path.

Red Horses

The red horse signifies anger and danger. If you’re seeing red horses, it may be a sign you are combative or vengeful. It might also mean you are dealing with someone who bears you ill will or is jealous, and you should exercise caution.

Black and White Horse

A black and white horse can indicate a balance between extremes or indecisiveness. You shouldn’t change for others, but seeing a black and white horse could also suggest that you are not being true to yourself. Consider all the options and determine the best way to move forward. Take stock of your life and determine whether your path is correct.

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