The bond between horse and man has long been revered and even worshipped through many cultures over millennias, often being a manifestation of the spirit.
Freedom, independence, loyalty, strength, nobility, these are some of the many traits that horses have come to represent and virtues to strive to uphold. For these very reasons, horses have had an exalted spot across many religions most notable being Indigenous American, Celtic, Chinese, Christian and in ancient Roman and Greek mythology.
Although there are a number of general connotations that are given to horses, there is actually quite a distinct difference in the meaning and symbolism between a wild horse and a tamed one. As you might expect, wild horses are often symbolic of freedom, independence, strength and even promiscuity in some contexts. Few stories are more riveting than that of the wild spirit that can’t be tamed or broken. However, wild horses continue to be emblematic of personal drive, to success and self-determination.
Lladró’s Galloping Herd Horses
Horses often represent the balance between one’s own desires and duty, as is expressed in the tamed horse. As horses have been a fixture of war for millennias, it is easy to see how traits such as loyalty, control, restraint and responsibility have come to be so closely linked to domesticated horses as those are the values often prized amongst soldiers. Tamed horses have been prized possessions historically often being common as wedding presents or show of good faith in diplomacy. The Andalusian Horse or Spanish Pure Breed exemplifies this, as a breed so highly regarded and sort after both for its prowess and what it signifies.
THE WHITE HORSE
The solitary white horse has become a recurring image in culture particularly in fantasy, classic literature and film. Often taking on many connotations of purity, courage, holiness and virtue, in many ways being a reflection of the rider’s character. This is particularly evident through much of European literature like with the knight in shining armour atop his noble steed or the virtuous princess riding astride a pure white mare. But how did they come to represent this?
The European mythos of the White horse is an amalgamation of images from the Bible, Ancient Greek legend and also Celtic being some of the most prominent. With Christ returning to Earth atop a white horse in the Book of Revelations or the mythical Celtic warrior Rhiannon who rides a white horse into battle. It is easy to see how these myths have combined to shape our perception of what the white horse represents.
Horses have come to be associate with steadfast resolve, wild spirits, willpower, companionship and duty. They are a reflection of the spirit and like the spirit, they come in many different forms and are representative of a vast array of sentiments. In their appreciation for this noble beast, Lladró’s range of horses is extensive and varied in order to give that meaning that so many look to horses to embody.