There are many routes to go down when you are looking into getting a tattoo. But many people like to look at the natural world for inspiration.
Even within the confines of that larger topic, there are a huge number of directions you can take.
One particularly popular option for a nature tattoo is to get a horse image.
There is a lot of history and symbolism behind the horse as an image and a creature, and before you put ink to skin it’s best to know as much about that as possible.
Read on to find out all you need to know about horse tattoos: their history, symbolism, the meanings behind the creature as an icon, and more.
History Of The Horse
The horse is an integrally important animal for the human race, and a creature that we are especially close to in many ways.
Between the horse and the dog, it is hard to determine which animal is the most important for us human beings.
This animal too might be a kind of best friend for us, so it is no wonder that it remains a popular image in symbology, tattoos and more.
Many of the early settlers used horses in order to transport goods and people, and our modern world would not have been built so easily without them.
In recent years, they have become used and – some would argue – abused through the sport of horse racing, but there is no doubt that they remain one of the most best-loved animals out there.
The Character Of A Horse
We can understand better exactly what a horse symbolizes by looking at how people generally regard its character.
As it happens, there are many qualities that tend to crop up when people think of horses, and you can reasonably and routinely expect the following to be amongst the top responses.
- Death – especially for black horses
This is very varied, of course, but it gives us a good sense of the kinds of things that people tend to associate the animal with.
If you are keen to have a tattoo that expresses any of the above or a few of them at once, then a horse tattoo is likely to be a good choice.
Of course, as with many other kinds of tattoos and art of all kinds, you can always add your own meaning on top of these too, and it might well be that you tend to think of horses in a slightly different way.
That is important to remember: it’s your tattoo, after all, and what matters most is that it makes sense for you and that you are happy with it.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of these elements of horse symbolism in a little more detail.
The more you understand all of this, the more you are going to feel that you have a strong sense of what your horse tattoo really represents.
Horse Designs In Detail
The symbolism of your horse tattoo will vary depending on the specifics of what tattoo you get, what details you want to include, and a range of other factors.
Let’s look at some of these right now to give you a fuller idea of what you should be aiming for, or so you know what your basic options are.
Flying Or Winged
If you want to have a flying or a winged horse for a tattoo, this brings with it its own ideas of symbolism.
Generally, this will remind people, consciously or not, of the Ancient Greek mythological creature of the Pegasus.
The Pegasus was pure white and winged and brought lightning and thunder to Mount Olympus, so there is a lot of powerful imagery there, as well as bravery.
If you opt for a Celtic look instead, then you will have different kinds of qualities being brought forward in your tattoo.
For instance, the Celtic look tends to have a flowing mane, or it might have interlocking Celtic parts, sometimes appearing to be made from wood.
A lot of people feel that the Celtic style design comes to symbolise power and strength in particular.
The tribal look is always a popular choice, and that is true here as in many other kinds of tattoos. But what will it do in terms of the symbolism of the tattoo?
For most people, it will probably bring to mind Native American traditions with their mystical vibe, and this might specifically be used to represent your totem animal, should that be something that applies to your spirituality.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to have the entire animal – you could just have a horseshoe design, and this is actually one of the most popular designs out there anyway.
A horseshoe is known to symbolize luck and prosperity, so that might be something you want to aim for.
However, some people argue that it actually represents a change in fortune, which might just as well be from good luck to bad – so be careful!
If you would like the flaming horse effect, bear in mind that this is generally regarded as excess of power.
That might suit you down to the ground, but do make sure that it is really the vibe that you want to give off first. As long as it is, you’ll get a lot out of this design.
You’ll also want to consider where best to place a horse tattoo, and you have a few popular options here.
If you are having something large and intricate done, you might want to opt for the back for example, whereas if you want to do something smaller you could simply focus on your inner thigh or your arm.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider here, but all in all a horse tattoo is a great choice – especially if you happen to agree with much of that symbolism.