Horses are mammals from the Equidae family. These animals have evolved in the past 45 – 55 million years ago, from a multi-toed small animal called Eohippus, into the animal they are today. The modern horse evolved around 5 million years ago.
The domestication of horses began around 4000 BC. Today, some domesticated horses live in the wild and some horse species, like the Przewalski horse (the Mongolian wild horse), have never been domesticated.
Horses have a special anatomy which enables them to run fast and escape potential predators. They have a developed need to escape predators, and because of that, they have developed some unusual skills, such as both being able to sleep standing on their feet, as well as lying down.
The calves can run shortly after they are born. Horses have an average life span of around 25 to 30 years, and reach adulthood around the age of five.
Based on their temperament, horses are divided into three categories: hot blooded, cold blooded and warm blooded. The first category is characterized mostly by their endurance and speed, the second one is represented by ponies and draft horses which are have a milder temperament, and the third are the cross breeds between the first two.
Today exists more than 300 breeds of horses in the world.
The size of horses differs, depending on their breed and their nutrition. Light riding horses are usually up to 163 cm high and weigh up to 550 kg. Heavy draft horses are up to 183 cm in height and up to 1000 kg in weight.
The difference between ponies and horses is mostly in their height. According to the standard, it is considered that if the animal is less than 147cm high, it is considered a pony, and if above 147cm it is considered a horse. Sometimes, there are exceptions to this standard. Some animals which are higher than 147 cm are still considered ponies.
Of course, there are other distinctions between ponies and horses, such as thicker tails, manes, and coat, shorter legs, etc. which the ponies have. Ponies also usually have calmer temperaments.
The pregnancy period of mares lasts around 11 months, and the females usually give birth to one foal. Twins are a rare occasion in horse species. Their foals are usually born in spring time.
Horses have a special designed body and leg anatomy which enables them to run very fast. When they gallop, they reach the speed of around 48 km per hour. Horses are easily frightened and their first impulse is to run away. If they can’t run away they try to defend themselves and their young.
They don’t have muscles below their knees. Horses have hoofs on the top of their legs made of the same protein (keratin), from which the human fingernails and hairs is made of. Their hoofs continue to grow and need to be trimmed, and need to be protected by horseshoes.
Horses are herbivores and have teeth adapted to grazing and biting off grass and other vegetation. Their age can be determined by looking at their teeth because they are worn down by grazing. Males have 40 teeth while females have 36. Their digestive system is also adapted to extract nutrients from the plant diet they have.
Horses are very cautious animals, always on the lookout for predators and possible danger.
Maybe for that reason they have the largest eyes comparing to all other land mammals.
Their eyes are also positioned on the side of their head so they enable them to have an almost 360 degrees vision. They have an excellent vision both during the day and at night. Their vision is bicolor. Horses also have a good sense of smell and hearing.
These animals have an excellent sense of balance. They also have a well – developed sense of touch, and are able to sense even a gentle touch anywhere on their body. They have a great sense of taste as well.
These animals are herd animals, and follow the hierarchy of the herd. The dominant individual which is usually a mere leads the herd. Horses are very social beings and easily form attachments to other horses but other animals as well. They interact well with humans also.
Horses use different vocalizations to communicate. They are considered intelligent animals. They are also very curious.
Horses are known to sleep both standing and lying down. They sleep more peaceful when they are in a group of other horses because some of them guard the others while sleeping. When alone, the horse is under tension and won’t be able to peacefully relax.
Horses spend most of the day on their feet, and not much time lying down. During a period of 24 hours a horse might sleep from several minutes to several hours, and that is mostly in intervals of up to 15 minutes each.
They sleep average around 3 hours per day. The horse needs to lie down to reach a resting phase. If it is not allowed to do that for days, it will suffer of sleep deprivation.
Depending on the type, horses have different temperaments. Hot blood horses are more temperamental, agile, fast, aggressive, energetic, bold, and fast. Cold blood horses are calm, patient, strong, enduring, etc. Warmblood breeds of horses are a combination of the above mentioned temperaments.
The horse is a powerful totem and it is an honor to have it as your spirit animal.
What does the Horse Symbolize?
The horse symbolizes many different things, such as motivation, patience, attentiveness, caution, control, freedom, speed, power, diligence, obedience, sociability, independence, war, group gatherings, community, communication, hierarchy, respect, loyalty, endurance, nobility, strength, love for life, service to others, complaisance, pride, force and progress.
It is also a symbol of speed and fearless movement towards success.
This spirit animal symbolizes passion, sexual energy, desire, strong emotions, drive and love for freedom.
It is a symbol of balance between your instinctive and trained parts of personality.
White horse meaning
White horse has a special place in mythology of many world cultures. White horses are often symbols of gods, heroes, fertility, and they often have extraordinary abilities attributed to them. They often symbolically represent the victory of good over evil.
In Greek mythology, the white winged horse Pegasus was the son of the god Poseidon and the gorgon Medusa. White horses are also depicted drawing divine chariots in many Asian myths.
Gautama Buddha had a favorite white horse named Kanthaka, while he was still prince Siddhartha, before he became enlightened.
White horses are also mentioned in the Bible, in the Book of Revelation. A lot of opposite opinions have been heard over the centuries about the symbolism of the white horses in the Revelation. Many consider them as an announcement of the coming of the Antichrist falsely posing as the Messiah. Others consider it a symbol of humankind returning to the laws of God.
A white horse is also a symbol of life and light.
Dark horse meaning.
A dark horse is usually considered an unknown person which slowly comes to the spotlight, often because of being successful in some endeavor where that is highly unlikely.
The term first referred to a horse unknown to gamblers which surprisingly wins the horse race. In politics the term dark horse is used for candidates who are considered outsiders but they end up winning the elections.
A dark horse is also a symbol of death and darkness.
The Meanings of Horse as a Spirit Animal
The horse spirit animal has many different meanings. Here are some of them:
Endurance and strength. The horse totem animal is giving you the strength and endurance to overcome any obstacle you come across on your path to achieve your desires. It encourages you to stand up to anything and anyone between you and your goal.
Freedom. The horse totem animal teaches you of the importance to value your freedom and enjoy it as much as you can. It also gives you the gift of expressing freely your opinion and confronting others if you think differently.
Motivation. The horse spirit animal motivates you to keep going towards your goals regardless of all the obstacles you are encountering along the way.
Sociability and community. Horses are mainly sociable animals and are known to get along well with other horses and animals, and even humans after getting to know them. The horse totem is giving you the gift of sociability and teaches you of the importance of beign a part of a group and community because you can rely on their help and support in difficult times.
Service to others. Domesticated horses are very useful animals and they serve to help people with difficult tasks they wouldn’t be able to do without their help. With the horse as your totem animal you are most likely a person who enjoys serving others and helping them without receiving anything in return. The horse totem animal is teaching us the gift of serving others and taking joy in that act.
Pride. Horses are symbols of pride. As a totem animal they teach you to be proud of yourself and always keep to your stands.
Hierarchy. Wild horses living in herds have a strict hieararchy they follow. The horse totem animal teaches you to respect your superiors or respect the rules of an organisation you belong to.
Caution and attentivenes. Horses are very cautious animals and notice everythign that goes around them. They even deprive themselves of sleep so they could escape a potential danger. This spirit animal is teaching you the gift of caution and attentivenes so you can prevent bad things from happening to you.
Horse as Your Totem Animal
If the horse is your spirit animal you are most likely a person who goes through life difficulties with ease. You don’t let them get to you and you do all you can to overcome them.
Someone might say you are timid, but you are only cautious and pay attention not to get yourself in some danger or to avoid it in a timely manner. You are observant and attentive and nothing passes by you. You have an eye for details and you have a great power of observation.
With a horse as your totem, you most likely communicate openly about your desires and you are not afraid to say your opinion.
You are an adventurous person always seeking some action and movement. You are powerful, agile and confident in your abilities to overcome any obstacle you come across. You estimate the situation and you rather remove yourself from a difficult or dangerous situation if you can.
If you don’t have another choice, you stand up and fight using all your abilities until you win the battle.
If a horse is your spirit animal you are brave, freedom loving person, who enjoys the company of others and easily gets along with almost anyone. You enjoy social gatherings and exchanging opinions with others. You are also appreciative of your social group and know that you can always rely on them.
You also have a very gentle and helping nature and you are ready to offer your help selflessly to anyone who needs it.
You are proud and honest. You are a loyal person who stands by the ones you love and you are ready to protect them at any cost.
You are also very passionate and have strong sexual urges. Sometimes you can behave overly instinctive and not being able to control yourself, especially around potential romantic partners. You are full of energy and drive to succeed.
What if the Horse Appears in Your Life?
A horse appearing in your life could be a reminder that you need more freedom in your life. Maybe you need to gain strength to endure and overcome some hardships and the horse’s appearance is encouraging you to do just that.
The horse appears in your life in times when you need more balance and harmony. It teaches you to balance your activities with rest, your giving with receiving, etc.
Horses are also messengers from the angelic realms and bring you messages of peace and tranquility. You only need to relax and expect the best to happen.
A horse in a stable could point out to an area of your life where there are some blockages, which you need to remove. It could also indicate lack of energy and exhaustion. This horse is reminding you to use wisely your energy.
The horse totem animal helps you to utilize your spiritual energy in the best possible way. It could help you develop your spiritual gifts and your spirituality in general.
A horse appears in your life in situations when you need courage to confront some issues you have.
When to call on Horse?
You should call on horse spirit animal when:
- You need to be patient or cautious in some situation;
- You want to develop further your spirituality;
- You need a boost of your sexuality and passion or help to control your sexual urges and instincts;
- You need endure in some situation to accomplish some goals;
- You need more courage and strength to confront some situation;
Dreams about Horse – Interpretation and Meaning
When a horse or horses appear in your dreams, those dreams could have many different meanings.
If you dreamed of a weak or injured horse, that dream could indicate your current emotional state. If the horse was ill-treated in your dream that could be a message to you to begin taking care of yourself before you can take care of others and their needs.
If you dreamed of a white horse, that dream could indicate developing your spiritual awareness and your spiritual gifts, like your intuition. A black horse in a dream could indicate the shadow part of your personality you hide from others.
That can be some instincts and urges, you are afraid to admit of possessing, even to yourself. A black horse could also indicate something mysterious and unknown.
If you saw a horseshoe in your dream, that could indicate soon experiencing a strike of good luck in some important area of your life, usually related to your health and relationships. Your health might improve or you might begin a new romantic relationship soon.
If you dreamed about betting on a horse, that dream could be a sign of taking some unnecessary risks in business or in romantic relationships. This dream warns you to think before taking some action.
If the horse was talking in your dream, its words could be a message from your subconscious you need to take seriously.