Horse - Dream meaning and symbolism
Main symbolic meaning
- The horse usually symbolizes the human's ability to control and curb the wild force of nature (horse rodeo is a clear example of that effort), physical energy, dynamic and natural sexual instinct.
- Nowadays the horse is also symbol of aristocracy, because horses are no longer used to pull ploughs or heavy carriages. Yet you can find the horse in many equestrian sports from which is also derived logo of Ralph Loren POLO (by the way owning a pair of good running shoes is usually thousands of times cheaper than owning a good running horse) or logo of the very expensive brand Hermès Paris (horse with carriage).
- The horse dream meaning also refers to honour, nobility and high-mindedness, all that based on the tradition of knights (French "chevalier"). The horse has typical snorting and fiery breath, but it is also elegant and swift as the wind. This symbolic meaning illustrates the Burberry London logo (equestrian knight).
- The horse is partially symbolic also for the freedom (wild horse) combined with strength. This principle is well embodied in the logos of car manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mustang or Porsche.
- To dream of horse may also refer to your endurance and patience (striving power). Unlike the Lion, the horse is herbivorous. When hunting the lion must develop an immense speed, but only for very short period of time, while the horse needs to steadily and diligently graze grass few hours. As the illustration of such strong and lasting vitality you can take a look at the symbolic horse surrounded with green (the colour of grass) of the Lloyds bank.
The domesticated horse was the first mean to transcend the natural limits of space and time. From that perspective the moment when first horse was saddled up around 3000 BC was of the most importance.
The horsepower is a unit of measurement of power not by accident. The symbolic meaning of this animal is deeply rooted in our culture even though horses are no longer used for travelling (hansom cab, carriage), hunting (bison, fox), military (cavalry) or agriculture (plough). In the 21st century you can meet horses mainly on horse races (derby) or on ridings (dressage, show jumping, Spanish riding).
Today horse is a powerful and noble animal in the first place. The modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. A light riding horse (equestrianism) may weight circa 460 kilograms (1.010 pounds) and the heavy draft horse around 850 kilograms (1.870 pounds). It is believed that the Spanish introduced horses to the Americans circa in the 15th century.
The dream horse is symbolic for taking the control over our emotions, ambitions and unconscious strength. With the help of the horse you can use your natural power to easily achieve your goals (thanks to the horse you can be sooner in a distant city than just when walking only).
Wild, runaway or tamed horse
The essential factor in your dream is the if the character of the horse. Is it wild or tamed? Wild horse or runaway horse – the dream meaning is usually connected with the symbolic of sexuality (driving force of the libido; fertility; the erotic double meaning of the verb "to ride") or other ferocious impulses of the unconscious. Tamed horse is close to the mind-body balance. Its dream meaning hints, that you are able to control your passion and desires well. Mind and body are in desired harmony.
Horse riding / horse race
The horseback riding represents a situation, where you saddle up and curb your deep powers and ambitions, or let loose sexuality. The dream interpretation usually mirrors your real ability (or fear of) handling the strong desire, e.g. the desire for success, for achievement, or sexual aim. It is symbolic for "who has the upper hand" – is it you or the horse? In other words: is your life controlled and driven more by your rational and conscious mind (you as the rider) or by your unconscious animal powers (the horse)? The horse race may be also symbolic for the competition and rivals.
Riding the horse backward means to be unable to control the situation in your life properly. The dream reminds you that you do not know, where are you heading (you are only in tow of unconscious wishes, the direction is unknown).
Horse bite / horse attack / horse chasing or kicking me
To have dream about a horse bite or being attacked by a horse is symbolic for the large disagreement of your conscious and unconscious wishes. You feel threatened by your deep ambitions. In fact, your soul is divided: secretly you would like to do something else than you wish openly. Some deep aims are not in accordance with your conscious mind, therefore you feel the unpleasant bite or the attack. The dream materializes the symbolic quarrel between your instincts and rationality.
Horse giving birth / pregnant horse
To see a pregnant horse or horse giving birth in your dream means to have positive attitude and confidence to your deep aspirations. You admit that your unconscious is the fruitful (give birth) and valuable (pregnant = creative and fertile) part of your life.
Death horse / drowning horse / horse on fire
The dream is a mirror of the waking life. To see a horse dying (either by drowning, in a burning stable etc.) is symbolic for the heavy suppression of the unconscious strengths and aims of the dreaming person. Ask a question: "who is causing the death or the suffering of the dream horse?" Is it you? Is it someone else? Will the life be more enjoyable or less satisfying without the horse? Is the suffering necessary? How can you avoid similar pain in your real life? Or another meaning: the sick or dying horse may also point out that your real physical condition is deteriorating.
Carriage / plough
Dream of a heavy carriage or plough is significant for the employment of your inner potential and talent. Important is the atmosphere – is the horse able to pull the load easily or with difficulty? The dream metaphorically depicts your perception of adequate utilizing or unacceptable exploiting of your powers. Think about your waking life – are you not enslaved and "working like a horse"?
Horses either foretell or carry death according the classical Greek folklore. For a sick person to dream of a horse was a sign he or she would die. But today we do not see such clear relation to death anymore.
Mythology and culture
- Pegasus – the Greek winged horse. It came into existence by Poseidon and Gorgon Medusa. Poseidon, god of sea and quaking earth, gave the horse to mankind, but Athena of wise counsel gave us the bridle, the symbolic mean to master and tame the wild power.
- Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon and Phlegon – the horses drawing the Greek Sun-god's chariot. Its whiteness is dazzling and the symbol of majesty. The horses were driving the sun across the heavens every day.
- Unicorn – the legendary horse that has been described since antiquity as a beast with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. It is a symbol of purity, grace and spirituality.
- Epona – the Celtic protector of horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules.
- Centaur – a mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse.
- Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation. The four riders are often seen as symbolizing conquest or pestilence, war, famine and death.
- Falada – a magical horse who can speak and knows the right way (from the Grimm's tale The Goose Girl).
- Trojan Horse – Greek huge wooden horse, where Odysseus hid his soldiers.
To take a look on famous horse paintings or sculptures can be very helpful for finding the inspiration when exploring and interpreting your dream.
Paintings and sculptures
- Lascaux, Cave painting of a dun horse, 15.000 BC
- Leonardo Da Vinci, Leonardo's Horse, 1482
- Albrecht Dürer, The Small War Horse, 1505
- Raphael, St George and the Dragon, 1506
- Caravaggio, Conversion on the Way to Damascus, 1601
- Velazquez, A White Horse, 1634
- Jacques Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1801
- Gilbert Stuart, Washington at Dorchester Heights, 1806
- Theodore Gericault, An Officer of the Chasseurs Commanding a Charge, 1812
- Édouard Manet, The Races at Longchamp, 1866
- Edgar Degas, Race Horses At Longchamp, 1871
- Eadweard Muybridge, The Horse in Motion, 1878
- Frederic Remington, A Dash for the Timber, 1889
- Franz Marc, The Large Blue Horses, 1911
- wikipedia.org - List of films about horses
- horsenetwork.com - 50 Best Horse Movies
- horsechannel.com - 30 Best Horse Movies
- imdb.com - My Top 20 Horse Movies
- carlykadecreative.com - Best Horse Movies: Top Ten Horse Films - Carly Kade
- Night of the Horse 2015
- The Spanish Riding School Live 2014
- Superhorse Powering the Kentucky Derby
- Wild Horses as Native North American BBC
- Born in the Saddle - BBC