Four Horses From Mythology

So I’m not sure how many of you know this about me, but I’m a total sucker for mythology. When I first became obsessed with reading – it was vampires. But I didn’t just read stories about them. When I was in seventh grade, my new passion were books that involved mythology. I mostly read about Greek mythology, Roman mythology was second. However, I love to learn about any culture’s mythology.

So long intro there, but the point is that when I saw this guest post up for grabs, I totally snatched it for my site, just for nostalgic reasons. Enjoy this brief overview about horses from mythology!


The world of myth and legend is full of tales featuring incredible creatures, and the horse is a common occurrence. This isn’t surprising, of course, as the main mode of transport, aside from elephants and camels, was the humble horse. Horses have appeared throughout the lexicon of ancient stories, from all walks of life.

Here are four of the most famous horses from ancient legend.


The winged horse Pegasus is perhaps the most famous of all the mythological horses, or indeed mythical creatures as a whole. Pure white in colour, Pegasus, features heavily in two of Greek legend’s most enduring tales. The horse enables Bellerophon to ride to take on the monster Chimera. Legend has it that Pegasus was born from Medusa’s blood after she was decapitated by Perseus. So Clash of the Titans was way off the mark!


Prince Siddartha’s favourite horse was Kanthaka, and was the most skilled of the royal horses. The Prince later became Gautuma Buddha, the enlightened teacher of the Indian subcontinent and father of Buddhism. When Prince Siddartha decided to renounce the life of the royal palace, it was Kanthanka that took him away to become an ascetic, rejecting wealth and physical comfort. It was Channa, a royal servant, who made Kanthaka leave Siddartha’s side, by riding him far away, ensuring the young prince had no comforts around him. It’s believed that after being parted from his master, Kanthaka died of a broken heart.

Al Borak

Meaning ‘The Lightning’ in Arabic, Al-Borak was the horse that was believed to carry the prophet Mohammed to the Seventh Heaven, which, like Pegasus, was a white winged horse. This mare was different in its description, with the legend saying that the horse had a human head, but with strong, horse’s cheeks. Al-Borak was delivered to Mohammed by an angel, and the horse was initially nervous of Mohammed, but the angel told Al-Borak of the prophet’s standing, and allowed him to mount.


The best of all of Odin’s steeds is Sleipnir, literally translated from Nordic means ‘slipper’ to reflect speed. The animal was very strong and fast, which is undoubtedly due to the fact he has eight legs. Sleipnir’s parentage is somewhat questionable, however, as he was born of a mare and the Trickster God, Loki in horse form. Sleipnir could ride on air and sea as well as land, and could enter and return from the land of the dead.

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