If you’re a horse person – or perhaps even if you aren’t – encountering horses in dreams could be quite a common occurrence. But what does this mean? And how can we interpret these dreams?
To give you the answers to questions like these and more, in this post we talk about 17 common horse dreams as well as their meaning and symbolism to help you understand why you are seeing these animals while you sleep.
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What are dreams?
Nobody really knows why we dream. There have been many suggestions, ideas and theories down the ages, but so far, science hasn’t been able to provide us with a definitive answer.
Some people think that dreams are our minds’ way of sorting and filing our experiences, helping us deal with events or even trauma in our daily lives as well as aiding with memory formation.
Many ancient cultures believed that dreams put us in contact with gods or ancestors, who were then able to offer guidance. Others have thought that dreams were premonitions, giving us glimpses of the future.
Another theory, supported by the likes of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, is that dreams reflect a dreamer’s unconscious mind and that the images are caused by unconscious wish fulfilment or desires.
This means we can interpret the imagery and symbolism of dreams to try to understand what our unconscious mind is trying to tell us.
So now let’s consider what it means if you dream about horses.
What does dreaming about a horse mean?
Horses are a common element in many dreams, but interpreting the meaning can depend on a range of factors.
For example, the meaning may depend on how you view horses in your waking life, and the specific details of the dream, like the color of the horse or the specific circumstances of your dream.
Here are some of the main meanings horses can have in dreams.
Power, strength and health
For many people and in many cultures, horses are seen as strong, powerful animals, so when you encounter a horse in your dream, it may represent power, strength or good health.
If the horse in your dream was in good condition, it could mean that you are also strong and healthy. However, if the horse was weak or ailing, this could suggest that your health is suffering for some reason.
This can equally apply to your mental health as your physical health, and if you dream of a sick horse, it could be an indication that you need to make changes in your life to improve your own condition.
Freedom and independence
In the days before trains, cars and planes, horses represented the ability to travel long distances quickly, giving the rider great freedom to move about. For this reason, horses in dreams may also be symbols of freedom or independence.
It could be an expression of your subconscious mind’s desire or need for independence or freedom – or it could be a sign that you feel trapped in your life. This could relate to a job, a relationship, a place or many other things.
Hard work or dedication
Before mechanization, large draught horses were once the mainstay of agricultural work. They were seen as strong, dependable and hard-working beasts – and dreaming of a horse can also be related to hard work or dedication to a task.
If the horse in your dream seems happy to work, it could symbolize a feeling of contentment and satisfaction in looking after your family or in working towards career goals.
However, if the horse is overworked and in need of a rest, it could be an indication that you also require a break and time to recharge the batteries.
Fun and play
Horses are highly intelligent animals, and like us, they also like to enjoy themselves. For this reason, if you see a frolicking horse in your dream, it could simply be a reminder to take time out and enjoy yourself rather than being too serious all the time.
Sick or dying horses in dreams can sometimes represent death. This might not necessarily mean that you are going to die soon – but that some aspect of your life may soon be coming to an end.
Alternatively, dying horses in dreams may represent death literally, and could suggest that you are afraid of dying.
17 of the most common horse dreams
So we’ve looked at some of the general themes and ideas that horses in dreams may represent, but now it’s time to delve more deeply into the meanings of some more specific horse-related dreams and how to interpret them.
1. White horse
Dreams featuring white horses are among the most common, and they can have several interpretations.
Sometimes white horses can represent positive elements, such as purity, peace or good fortune. For women especially, dreaming of a white horse can indicate healthy relationships or a strong marriage.
However, white horses in dreams can also have less welcome meanings, especially when the horse is seen from a distance. In this case, it could be a sign that somebody is working against you to prevent you from achieving a goal.
2. Brown horses
Brown horses in dreams often represent strength and power or control over other people. They can also mean that you are going through certain changes in your life.
Another suggestion is that the color of the horse is related to the color of earth and nature, so it could be a reminder that we need to keep our feet on the ground if we want to be successful in an endeavor.
3. Black horses
Black horses can also have several meanings in dreams, both positive and negative.
They can indicate success and prosperity, although there is also an element of mystery and secrecy about them, which may mean there are certain relationships in your life that you don’t fully understand and that need more attention.
Alternatively, black horses may suggest that you are overly ambitious or that you are unable to resist or control strong sexual impulses.
4. Wild horses
Horses running wild epitomize freedom, and seeing wild horses in a dream could represent your need for freedom and independence.
This kind of dream could indicate that you feel as though you are being repressed, or that you need more outlets for your creativity. It could also be a sign that you yearn for adventure or something new and exciting in your life.
Dreams about trying to ride wild horses can represent the challenges you face in overcoming obstacles to achieve your goals.
5. Riding a horse
Riding a horse is unsurprisingly a common theme in many dreams and can be a representation of strength or power over other people.
However, it could also be an indication that you have a tendency to be overbearing or bossy with people – or that you can be manipulative in pursuit of your goals.
Freud thought that much of what we dream about is related to sex, and he might have interpreted dreams of riding horses in these terms. For example, riding a horse that is difficult to control could represent a difficulty in controlling your sexual urges.
6. Crossing a stream on a horse
Crossing a stream on a horse is usually a positive dream and could indicate your ability to deal with or overcome difficulties or challenges.
7. Falling off a horse
Falling off a horse in a dream is usually quite easy to interpret. It can represent losing control of some aspect of your life or that certain things are happening in your life that feel beyond your control.
This kind of dream can also reflect the feeling that you need to regain control of parts of your life that are becoming too chaotic.
8. You being the horse
Our dreamscapes can throw up a whole range of unlikely situations and can sometimes make it possible for you to become a horse.
This kind of dream can be enjoyable while you’re experiencing it, but it can also be difficult to interpret when you awake.
The best way to work out what this dream means is to work out how it relates to you personally while also paying attention to other details such as the color of the horse and thinking about their symbolism in other horse dreams.
9. Dead horse
Dreaming of dead horses can be distressing and can sometimes border on nightmares. As we already mentioned, this kind of dream may be related to a fear of death, but it can also represent the end of a certain period of your life.
If you have a dream like this, try not to be too afraid. Rather, interpret it as representing the end of one phase of your life and the start of something new. It could also be an indication that it’s time to let go of people or things that are no longer important in your life.
Another interpretation of dead horses in dreams is that they are a symbol of bad luck. It could mean that you have recently suffered misfortune – or if you believe dreams can tell you about the future, it could be a warning that you are about to encounter some bad luck.
10. Dying horse
A dying horse could indicate that you are going through difficulties in your life and that you need to take action if you want things to improve. However, it also means that it’s not too late to act and that if you do something now, you may be able to achieve a positive outcome.
11. Horses attacking
If you are attacked by horses in a dream, it can mean you are not being honest with yourself about something or that you are unwilling to accept the truth.
When you dream of horses attacking, it should serve as a warning that you need to face up to the truth to resolve certain issues that you would prefer to hide from.
12. Horse pulling a carriage
Horses at work can represent endurance and tenacity, but they can also be symbols of challenges and difficulties.
Dreaming of horses pulling a carriage or a cart can indicate that you will need to work hard at a problem if you hope to overcome it.
13. Flying horse
Dreaming of flying is common – as are dreams of flying horses. A flying horse is the ultimate expression of freedom, and so having this dream can indicate a need for more freedom in your life.
14. Talking horse
If a horse talks to you in your dream, you should take note of what it tells you since the horse can represent wisdom and knowledge. It could also be an expression of your subconscious trying to pass a message to you, so think carefully about what the horse says.
15. Selling or buying a horse
If you witnessed someone selling a horse in your dream, it could be an indication that you need to be careful over some kind of business transaction.
If you bought a horse and were deceived, it could also be a warning that you need to be careful about being tricked in real life.
16. Betting on a horse
Betting on a horse in a dream may represent a risk that you are currently taking in real life. If the horse wins, it may be an indication that you feel confident about the risk – but if it loses, it could show you that you are stressed or worried about the outcome.
17. Being kicked by a horse
In real life, receiving a kick from a horse can be disastrous, and in a dream, it may also represent something terrible that’s happening to you at the moment.
It could represent worries about your health, or it could be due to a project that seems to be failing. In any case, if you are kicked by a horse in your dream, it’s a sure sign that you need to evaluate certain aspects of your life and perhaps make some necessary changes.
Many horse dreams with a wide range of meanings
As we have seen, there are many common dreams involving horses – and there are many others we haven’t had space to discuss here.
When interpreting a dream about horses, think about the specifics and the details of the dream and how the dream might relate to something in your life – since dreams about horses may be your unconscious mind’s way of giving you an important message.