Horse Tattoo Meaning

  • Grace
  • Free spirit
  • Beauty
  • Nobility
  • Strength
  • Liberty
  • Black Horse:
    Dark, enigma, death, night, esoteric knowledge
  • White Horse:
    Light, serenity, rebirth, sun, day, birth and new life

It’s impossible to imagine our culture without horses. They were essential for different activities: hunting, battles, moving villages, farming... Native American culture and legends are deeply connected with horses. They were not only usual domestic animals, but also devoted friends for their masters. In different cultures they are still spiritual guides and totem animals. All the colonization has been made on horseback. Our modern culture reflects the importance of the horses, too — the power of the modern cars is measured in Horsepower. And of course, who can forget uncounted parties and holidays spent riding a Merry-go-round horse?

You can ink horse tattoo as a symbol of your native culture, spiritual connection with the animal or as a part of the design, together with other symbolic elements. Here we considered the most popular horse tattoo designs variations and their meanings.

The most widespread meanings of the horse tattoo

In Greco-Roman culture horses were associated with war symbolizing strength, victory, courage and domination. They were created by Poseidon (Neptune) and were dedicated to Hades (Pluto) and Ares (Mars). Horse was also a symbol of rebirth and new life — every October Romans sacrificed it to the god Mars. The horse’s tail was saved till spring as a symbol of the new beginning.

In Hindu the Horse is connected to Varuna and as this is equated to the cosmos. Moreover, one of the Vishnu incarnations is a white horse. In Buddhism, the Buddha left this world riding a white horse, and a winged horse is often represented holding the Book of Law. The Horse is also one of the Chinese zodiac symbols; it represents practicality, love, devotion and stability.

The other great symbolic meanings are wealth, status and power. They are connected with well-known Pharaoh Horses. Nevertheless, sometimes Pharaoh Horses tattoo could be considered as thematically similar to Sailor’s Grave tattoo design.

The next important horse tattoo symbolism is the one in Native American culture. It combines the power of the Earth and wisdom of spirit winds. For Native Americans, the Horse is a helper, messenger and keeper of spiritual knowledge. Wild horses have also been associated with freedom and liberty.

In Celtic culture, horses have been protected by the goddess of Fertility, Epona. They were also associated with the god of the Sun, symbolizing honor and power.

Tribal horse tattoo design is made using curls and curves to represent the shape of the animal; black and gray colors are preferred in this style. Drawn in tribal, horse tattoo perfectly represents power, strength and free spirit of an animal.

Of course, one of the greatest horse tattoo designs is the Flying horse tattoo. It is mainly associated with life changes and new heights. The most well-known flying horse is Pegasus from Greek mythology. It is usually associated with the Muses and thus innovations, creativity and art. It is believed to give wings to new ideas.

The other known design is a horse shoe tattoo. If you don’t have enough luck and prosperity in your life, you can attract it with this tattoo. The position of this symbol is also important, but the opinions about the right one differ: in Northern Europe (Ireland and England), the horseshoe must be pointed upwards, but in southern countries its end should point down.

Flaming horse tattoo is the symbol of untamable nature of the animal. Combining the wildest natural element, the Fire, and strong free animal, the Horse, you create an especially expressive design with much more meanings: freedom, invincibility, strength and uncontrolled power. The other, more traditional tattoo with similar symbolism is the galloping horse tattoo. Galloping horse is the most known pose strongly associated with animal’s spirit. This tattoo represents wild power, grace and wilderness.

Thinking of a race horse, you must imagine the most gorgeous breed — Arabian thoroughbred. These horses are at the top of the most popular breeds. Horse tattoo representing the majestic Arabian horse is strongly associated with speed, agility, grace and beauty of a running horse. The design also represents your need to be free to make your own choices.

We should surely mention the other impressive horse tattoo design — horse rearing up with front legs in the air. What comes to mind when you thinking about this image? Animal’s pose is fierce and aggressive, being associated with protest and rebellion. This design fits perfectly if you want to point out your need to be free, to make your own choices and mistakes.

If you decided to have a horse tattoo — you definitely made a good choice.