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What Do Horses Symbolize Spiritually in Dreams and the Bible?

Last updated: May 10, 2023

By: Miles HenryFact Checked

Horse symbols are prevalent in our culture. Prehistoric cave paintings depict horses, the Bible references them, and they visit our dreams. I think it’s important to understand what horses symbolize, so I researched the subject.

Horses symbolize freedom, power, courage, and wisdom in most cultures. A horse is often interpreted as a sign of liberty in dreams but can have gloomier meanings. In some Christian artwork, a white horse symbolizes death, and a pale horse represents famine in the Bible’s book of Revelations.

People typically know horses symbolize freedom and power, but few are aware of all the other passions they represent. Their spiritual meaning in art, the Bible, or dreams encompass a broad scope, primarily based on their color.

What Do Horses Symbolize Spiritually?

When it comes to symbolism, few animals are revered and widely recognized as horses. They have held a significant place in human history and culture for centuries, and many people believe that these majestic creatures hold deep spiritual significance.

Throughout the ages, horses have been associated with everything from nobility and power to freedom and the natural world. But what do horses truly symbolize from a spiritual perspective?

Here are a few examples of what horses can symbolize from a spiritual perspective:

  1. Power and Strength: In many cultures, the horse is seen as a symbol of power and strength. The horse’s ability to run fast, carry heavy loads, and work hard has made it an enduring symbol of strength and vitality.
  2. Freedom: Horses are known for their wild spirit and their love of open spaces. They are often seen as symbols of freedom, representing our ability to break free from the constraints of everyday life and experience the joy of being alive.
  3. Loyalty: Horses are social animals that form strong bonds with their herd mates and their human handlers. They are loyal and devoted creatures, and many people see them as symbols of trust and fidelity.
  4. Grace: Horses are known for their beauty and elegance. They move with a graceful, fluid motion that has captivated people for centuries. As a result, they are often seen as symbols of grace and beauty.
  5. Spiritual Connection: In some spiritual and mythological traditions, horses are believed to be spiritual guides or messengers. They may represent a connection between the physical world and the spiritual realm, helping to bridge the gap between these two realms.

Overall, the symbolism of horses can vary depending on the culture and context in which they are viewed. However, one thing is clear: horses hold a special place in our hearts and imaginations, and their power and grace continue to inspire us today.

Symbolism and horses

At one point, sacred images of horses were found in the ruins of ancient civilizations all throughout the world. In many cultures, the horse was once a sacred animal that was revered and worshipped. In some cases, they were even seen as gods.

Picture of a thoroughbred stallion.

Their likeness has various meanings based on the animal’s color, posture, and depiction as wild or captive. For example, a wild horse symbolizes freedom and adventure; Ford captured this feeling in people’s minds and hearts when they named their popular sports car “Mustang.”

A horse with a white coat typically represents power and courage. Religious icons depicted riding white horses signal the beginning of a new age or the courage to spread the word. Horses generally embody power, courage, and personal drive that motivates individuals to move forward through life’s obstacles.

Horses transported humans to new destinations for thousands of years, and their spirit continues to reveal unchartered territories. But let’s move from general uses to specifics.

Black and white picture of a girl on a white horse.

What Do Horses Represent in Dreams?

Over a hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud expounded that “dreams express the unfulfilled wishes of the dreamers’ daily life.” This proclamation began the study of dreams.

“dreams express the unfulfilled wishes of the dreamers daily life.” 

Sigmund Freud

Freud believed dreams contain two kinds of information, manifest content, and latent content. The manifest content is the actual objects or information that is in your dreams.

Latent content is the hidden meaning of your dreams based on symbolic representations. Psychoanalysts believe the latent content is represented with symbols to suppress upsetting or traumatic events. One of their goals is to analyze these symbols so the dreamers can cope with them.

Interpretations of dreams are subjective and often take intensive therapy with a psychoanalyst to fully understand. Therefore it’s essential to realize that not all objects in a dream have the same meaning for everyone.

Context and life experiences are key to the symbolic meaning of dreams. Freud finds a link between horses, a father, and the Oedipus complex in studying a boy who feared horses. It seems Freud consistently found a sexual component to any situation.

Carl Jung believed a horse featured in a dream connected our “natural force” of life and represented the courage and power that resides within us. Interpreting dreams is not an exact science, but there are some overriding general principles.

It is on the basis of theory, for instance, that I expect dreams to have a meaning.
I cannot prove in every case that this is so, for there are dreams which the doctor and the patient simply do not understand.

Carl Jung Collected Words 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy
The Practical use of Dream Analysis (1936)

Dreaming about a horse typically suggests you either should establish a goal or that you’re moving towards a goal. The horse is the vehicle that moves you forward to freedom.

The color of the horse, its circumstances, and your interaction with the animal affect its meaning.

horse on the Irish plain

What does it mean to dream of petting a horse?

To dream of petting a horse can be a powerful symbol of connection and trust. Horses are known for their sensitivity and their ability to form deep bonds with their human handlers, making them powerful symbols of friendship, loyalty, and companionship.

In terms of horse symbolism, the act of petting a horse can be seen as a form of communication and affection, one that suggests mutual understanding and respect between the dreamer and the horse. This symbol can also represent a sense of nurturing and care as if the dreamer provides comfort and support to the horse.

Petting horses in a dream may also indicate a need for connection and a desire to give oneself to someone or some cause. This can be seen as an expression of the deep emotional and spiritual connection that horses represent in our collective consciousness.

If the dreamer sees themselves petting and grooming the animal, this may signify renewed energy and vigor. The act of grooming suggests a sense of renewal and revitalization as if the dreamer is recommitting themselves to a particular path or goal.

Overall, the symbolism of petting a horse in a dream offers a rich and complex world of meaning, one that speaks to our deepest desires for connection, trust, and fulfillment. It serves as a reminder of the powerful role that horses continue to play in our lives and the enduring significance of their symbolism and spiritual presence.

What does it mean when a horse bites you in a dream?

If you dream that a horse bites you, it may symbolize that you are struggling with a decision and feeling pressured to take action. The bite in this dream could represent a strong warning or caution to move forward or risk being left behind.

Your unconscious mind may be emphasizing the importance of this decision and the need to make an effort in order to move forward. The horse bite could be seen as a reminder that inaction can lead to stagnation.

What does it mean when you dream of a horse giving birth?

Dreaming of a horse giving birth has many meanings based on your circumstances and the events surrounding the birth. The horse’s color, the birthplace, and the people and animals present all play roles.

The joyful birth of a healthy foal often symbolizes new beginnings and can serve as a message that it is time to move forward. This imagery can be interpreted as a positive omen regarding one’s ability to move through situations and overcome obstacles.

However, when one dreams of a pregnant horse, it can often indicate the presence of problems within their social group. The symbolism of the pregnant horse suggests that there may be underlying tensions or issues that need to be addressed in order to move forward in a healthy and productive manner.

It is important to pay attention to the specific details and emotions present in the dream, as they can provide valuable insight into the underlying issues at hand. Overall, the symbolism of horses in dreams offers a rich and complex world to explore, one that can provide important guidance and insight into our waking lives.

What does dreaming about a brown horse symbolize?

As a universal symbol of freedom without restraint, horses have long been associated with power and endurance. But what happens when the horse is brown? Rather than detracting from these qualities, the brown horse actually enhances them, adding new layers of symbolism and meaning.

In addition to representing freedom and strength, a brown horse also serves as a symbol of humility, hard work, and success. The brown horse’s earthy tones and natural appearance connect it to the land and the hardworking people who rely on these animals for their livelihoods.

These characteristics offer a reminder of the importance of perseverance and hard work in achieving our goals. Dreams of a healthy brown horse eating from your hand can serve as a powerful symbol of the bond you make with friends and family.

The act of feeding the horse suggests a nurturing and caring relationship, and the brown horse’s presence reinforces the idea of hard work and humility in maintaining these connections. This imagery can also suggest a deep-rootedness and a loving nature as if the dreamer is nourishing the relationships that sustain them.

On the other hand, dreaming of riding a brown horse signifies change. This symbol suggests that the dreamer is embarking on a new journey, one that requires the hard work, strength, and perseverance that the brown horse embodies.

This change may be challenging, but it also represents a moment of growth and transformation. The symbolism of the brown horse serves as a reminder that even in times of change, we can rely on our strength and resilience to see us through.

Picture of a dapple gray girl horse

What does it mean to dream of a grey horse?

Grey horses symbolize wisdom, patience, and clarity. Dreaming of a grey horse is typically a sign of caution. It’s a warning to take your next step carefully. If you intend to make a big decision, be patient and contemplative.

What does a red horse mean in a dream?

Dreaming of a red horse invokes passion, whether it be love, hate, or anger. Red horses symbolize fear of the unknown and the accompanying anxiety of a life-altering decision you have to make.

What is the meaning of seeing a white horse in dreams?

A solo white horse in a dream symbolizes peace and tranquility, and much like a white dove, it also represents your deep spirituality and consciousness. It’s a positive sign of love for the people in your inner circle, family, and friends.

White horses symbolize a balance of power and wisdom, but a white horse may symbolize death in a religious context. I will cover this in more detail later.

Picture of horses in a pasture with one standing in water.

A horse dream and water, what’s the meaning?

If you dream of a horse struggling in deep water, it’s typically a symbol that you will encounter a situation that will test your survival ability. A big test is coming, but you can overcome it and grow from the ordeal.

What Is the Biblical Meaning of Horses?

Biblical horses symbolize war, power, and glory. They are referenced as symbols of force, strength, and the status of a King or Country. When peace comes over a territory, the horses are put away. For example, Deuteronomy 17:16 states: The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”

By refusing the King to acquire great numbers of horses, God prevents him from suppressing Egypt’s people. In King’s, the Bible explains that horses were freely used in Isreal; in other words, battles were fought indiscriminately.

Today we likely would replace the symbol of a horse with a gun or arms. For example, by replacing horses with guns in Deuteronomy above, the meaning is clear, “The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of guns for himself or make the people return to Egypt for more of them.”

Although horses typically symbolize war in the Bible, it also represents determination and a new beginning. Isaiah 63:13, “Who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.”

In Job 39:19-22, horses represent the courage and steadfast faith in God, which provided the strength Job relied on to persevere through his hardship. The horses in Job bring to mind overcoming obstacles.

What does the white horse represent in the Bible?

Typically a white horse is the symbol of victory in the Bible. See Revelation 6:2, “I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a conqueror in order to conquer.”

To many Bible scholars, Revelations’ white horse is a positive symbol of righteous but devastating war.

What do the four horses of the apocalypse symbolize?

The Four Horses of the Apocalypse, as described in the Book of Revelation, symbolize different aspects of the end times. The white horse represents conquest, with its rider often seen as a conqueror or a messianic figure. The red horse signifies war and bloodshed, illustrating the violence and conflicts that arise during the apocalypse.

The black horse stands for famine and scarcity, highlighting the suffering caused by hunger and the careful rationing of resources. Lastly, the pale horse denotes death and pestilence, with its rider embodying the inescapable force of mortality that follows in the wake of war, famine, and disease. Together, these horses and their riders signify the catastrophic events preceding the final judgment.

What does the pale horse in the bible symbolize?

The pale horse is in Revelations and carries Death with Hell following him. Some believe this is the coming of a plague that will destroy at least one-quarter of the world’s population before the devastation is stopped.

See Revelation 6:7-8; it states: And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

But what color is the pale horse? I think “pale” refers to sickness as a likeness to a sick person’s yellow color.

Below is a YouTube video about the Biblical meaning of horses in dreams.

What is the biblical meaning of riding a horse in a dream?

There is a lot of debate about the meaning of dream symbols, but one thing is for sure: dream interpretation is a highly personal process. So, take some time to reflect on what this dream means to you specifically.

Some believe that the biblical meaning of riding a horse in a dream is a sign of good fortune and the dreamer’s ability to overcome obstacles. This interpretation is based on the story of Balaam and his donkey.

In the story, Balaam is riding his donkey when it suddenly stops and refuses to go any further. Balaam gets angry and beats the donkey, but an angel appears and tells him that the donkey has saved his life by stopping him.

Riding on top of a horse could also represent that you have control over your life situation and you are confident about your ability to overcome all obstacles. You have great enthusiasm and energy to reach your goals.

Seeing yourself fall off the horse is symbolic of being knocked down by some problem or setback in life. The good news is that this symbol also represents getting back up again after experiencing difficulties.

With all this said, there may be value for Christians who choose to believe that God can speak to them through their dreams just as he did for Joseph so long ago, but let us not forget his warning about being careful how we interpret them lest we find ourselves on the wrong side of things.

Picture of white horses in a field.

Are Wild Horses a Symbol of Freedom?

Wild horses symbolize freedom, romance, limitless opportunities, and unbroken spirits. Ford found naming their most famous sports car after the legendary wild horses that roam the American plains to be the perfect symbol of American freedom.

And the legendary fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang, which helped win World War II and establish America as a superpower, captured the essence of the romance and fierceness of these American icons.

Wild horses symbolize the future and motivate us to move forward, succeed, and be the best we can become.

What Does the Horse Symbolize in Native American Culture?

Native American horses were symbols of nobility, wealth, power, and spirituality. Horses originated in North America but went extinct over 10,000 years ago.

It wasn’t until Spanish explorers in the 1500s re-introduced horses that Native Americans began their relationship with these animals. Before this, Native Americans typically didn’t travel far from their birthplace, and horses brought mobility.

Relatively quickly, a deep bond developed between Native Americans and horses that symbolized the western frontier. Because of the benefits horses provided, they were highly regarded and viewed as spiritual figures.

To Native Americans, horses embodied freedom and symbolized a tribe’s wealth. To read more about horses in North America, you may like this article I wrote: Are Horses Native to North America? The Fossils Tell a Story

Picture of a two year old in training

What Does a Flying Horse Symbolize?

Flying horses symbolize liberty and free spirit, breaking the chains that bind and soaring to new heights. But because a winged horse is mythical, it evokes a connection between physical reality and spiritual reality.

With its feet planted firmly on Earth, the winged horse represents your reality and understanding of the task at hand. But when the horse has its wings open and flying, it signifies your spiritual state.

Horses as a Deity

The horse has long been a sacred animal to humans and for good reason. For centuries, we have relied on them for transportation, agriculture, and warfare. In many cultures, the horse is seen as a symbol of strength, power, and virility.

As such, it is not surprising that horses have often been deified by humans. In ancient Greece, for instance, the goddess Diana was often associated with horses. In China, the horse is one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac.

And in Native American culture, the horse is often seen as a sacred being that embodies the spirit of the Plains. Whether we see them as gods or as mere animals, there is no denying that horses have played a significant role in human history.

For example, the 4th-century ceiling painting above the eastern Great Buddha of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, shows white horses drawing a chariot driven by Surya-the sun god. And In China, sacred images are often painted on the ceilings of temples and sacred places.

One particularly stunning example is a painting of the sun god being pulled by horses at the Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves in Xinjiang, China. The image is said to represent the power of the sun god, and it is believed to bring good luck and protection.

From these early paintings, we can see that the horse has long been held in high esteem. In many cultures, they were considered sacred animals and were often depicted in art and literature as symbols of strength and power.

In ancient times, horses were relied upon for transportation and war, and as such, they were clearly set apart from livestock used for meat. Today, while we no longer consider horses sacred creatures, but they still hold a special place in our hearts. For many of us, they are our loyal companions and confidantes, and we could not imagine life without them.


Horse symbolism is a powerful and enduring force in our collective imagination. Whether in our waking lives or in our dreams, horses have been associated with a wide range of qualities and spiritual meanings throughout history.

From their strength and power to their grace and beauty, horses have captivated us with their majesty and inspired us with their symbolism. In the Bible, horses have been used as symbols of war, conquest, and spiritual guidance, while in dreams, they may represent freedom, passion, and the pursuit of our deepest desires.

Regardless of the specific interpretation, one thing is clear: horse symbolism continues to hold a special place in our hearts and minds, reminding us of the beauty, power, and mystery of the natural world. Whether you are a spiritual seeker, a lover of horses, or simply curious about the power of symbolism, the symbolism of horses in dreams and the Bible offers a rich and fascinating world to explore.


What does riding a horse symbolize?

Riding a horse symbolizes strength, control, and free spirits. It represents the ability to navigate challenges and overcome obstacles with grace and power. It can also suggest a journey or adventure, one that requires courage and determination to see through to the end.

Horse symbolism in art.

Horses are one of the earliest subjects of cave paintings and were thought to be a source of power with connections to the gods. In some sculptures and paintings, they symbolized fertility, omens, and freedom.

Do horses dream?

Yes, studies have suggested that horses experience REM sleep and potentially have dreams during this stage, just like humans.

Miles Henry