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38 Songs About Horses

Updated on September 30, 2017
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FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Celebrate your love of horses with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about them.
Celebrate your love of horses with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about them. | Source

Saddle Up

My parents used to live in Kentucky horse country, so when visitors came they would often take them to a local farm to ride horses. We still laugh about the time when my sister brought home a college boyfriend and my mother took them for a horseback ride.

They all mounted their horses and took off on the trail at a leisurely pace. Every time my mother's horse hit a bump, however, my mother peed a little. Unfortunately, horses bump a lot, and as her horse started to gallop, the floodgates burst open.

By the time they had returned to the stables, both the horse's saddle and my mother's tan britches were completely urine-soaked. She was mortified, especially to have peed her pants in front of strangers. The farm hand pretended not to notice as he took the wet saddle. However, she did have to face my sister's boyfriend for the rest of the weekend.

If you like to ride horses (hopefully without wetting your pants) or simply admire them, why not celebrate these majestic, beautiful animals with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs? We have a long list of songs about horses to start you out.

1. "Wildfire" by Michael Martin Murphy

This haunting soft rock song from 1975 describes a disillusioned homesteader captivated with the tragic story of a girl and her lost horse. The Nebraska girl died in a blizzard one year searching for Wildfire, her beloved horse that had broken out of his stall. Now their ghosts wander free, and the farmer, having lost his crops to weather, imagines joining them in death.

2. "Wild Horse" by Raelynn

The girl in this 2016 country song is a free spirit who doesn't want to be fenced in or tamed. She needs the wind ripping through her hair, riding straight through the open wide, free like a wild horse.

3. "Wild Horses" by Natasha Bedingfield

If you've ever been held back by fear of the unknown, you know what the woman in this 2004 pop song longs for. Rather than letting caution and all of the "what ifs" constrain her, she wants to feel the freedom of wild horses. She wants to jump head first into challenges and open up her heart to love:

Oooh, wild horses I want to be like you
Throwing caution to the wind, I'll run free too
Wish I could recklessly love like I'm longing to
I want to run with the wild horses.

4. "Let That Pony Run" by Pam Tillis

Sometimes there's nothing you can do but let go of the reins. This country tune from 1993 describes a woman who was living a perfect suburban life until her husband confessed that he was in love with a barmaid. The wife divorced him and let him run off, then she moved to West Virginia where she could feel reckless and young atop a beautiful horse.

"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." - Arabian Proverb
"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." - Arabian Proverb | Source

27 Horse-Related Idioms and Their Meanings

Idiom
Meaning
1. don't put the cart before the horse
don't do things in the wrong sequence; prioritize correctly
2. get off your high horse
stop acting as if you're better than others
3. don't look a gift horse in the mouth
don't be ungrateful for something freely given
4. horseplay (or horsing around)
roughhousing, rowdy play
5. straight from the horse's mouth
from an authoritative or reliable source
6. one-trick pony
skilled in only one area
7. eat like a horse (or I'm so hungry I could eat a horse)
eat a large amount of food
8. stubborn as a mule
to be very determined and unlikely to change one's mind
9. hold your horses (or whoa, Nelly)
hold on; wait
10. wild horses couldn't drag (him/me) away
determined to stay; unstoppable; unable to be persuaded
11. dark horse
a contestant who seems unlikely to succeed; a little known entrant in a contest or competition who rises to prominence
12. you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink
you can give someone an opportunity, but you can't force them to take advantage of it
13. one horse town
a small town that is dull and boring
14. donkey's years
a very long time
15. a horse of a different color
that's a completely different subject
16. to back the wrong horse
to make the wrong choice
17. chomping at the bit
to be impatient, eager
18. charley horse
an involuntary muscle spasm, typically in the back of the calf
19. no horse in this race
you don't have a vested interest in the matter; you have nothing to gain or lose
20. beat a dead horse
to waste energy on a lost cause
21. a dog and pony show
an elaborate display as a part of a promotional campaign
22. to put out to pasture
to force someone to leave a job because they're too old to be useful
23. horse sense
common sense
24. pony up
to pay money that is owed
25. ride the white horse
to routinely do heroin
26. horse sense
sound practical judgment
27. horses for courses
people and things have different qualities and skills, thus they are differentially suitable for situations
Do you have a favorite horse-related idiom that should be on this list? Leave us a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

5. "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry (featuring Juicy J)

A dark horse is an underestimated or little known candidate in a competition who defies expectations and performs exceptionally well. In this 2013 pop song, Katy Perry is a woman who warns a potential lover to treat her right because she's capable of anything and everything. She's a woman who is underestimated for her powers yet so enchanting that men can become addicted to her.

6. "Wild Horses" by Garth Brooks

The cowboy in this 2000 country tune keeps making promises to his girlfriend that he'll quit the rodeo, but he's not a man of his word. He explains that wild horses keep dragging him away.

There are also insinuations of his infidelity. Although the girlfriend keeps forgiving him, he knows that one day, her patience will run out:

Wild horses keep draggin' me away
And I'll lose more than I'm gonna win someday
Wild horses just stay wild
And her heart is all I break
Wild horses keep draggin' me away.

Don't you want to tell his girlfriend to let this bucking bronco go?

7. "Runaway Horses" by Belinda Carlisle

Some people soothe our souls while others re-energize us, providing mystery and a whirlwind of excitement. The narrator in this 1990 pop song has found a partner who is so exhilarating that he makes their ride through life feel like an adventure—just like runaway horses.

8. "No Reins" by Rascal Flatts

Held back too long by a no-good lover, the protagonist in this 2007 country song has finally broken free and left him in a cloud of dust. Like a painted wild mustang, she can run free and live her life with no fear, no fences, and no reins.

9. "Red Headed Stranger" by Willie Nelson

An intriguing story of love and loss is at the heart of this 1975 country song. A cowboy comes into town atop a black stallion with a bay pony trailing behind them. The grieving man is looking to pay respects to his deceased wife who is buried nearby. The pony is precious to him, as it belonged to his dead wife.

When a woman in a bar attempts to steal the pony, the stranger fatally shoots her. However, he escapes punishment:

For you can't hang a man for killin' a woman
Who's tryin' to steal your horse.

10. "Just Like Them Horses" by Reba McEntire

Reba wrote this 2015 country song about her father when he died, and it's bound to leave a lump in your throat. It describes letting go of someone you love dearly. She likens it to opening up the gates when the time has come and allowing horses to run free beneath the sun.

11. "White Horse" by Taylor Swift

Having been disillusioned by promises her ex-boyfriend made, the narrator in this 2008 pop tune lets him know that she sees him for what he is. The guy who tried to paint himself as Prince Charming turned out to be an unapologetic liar.

Smarter now, the narrator cautions him that he's blown his chance at love with her:

I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now it's too late for you
And your white horse, to come around.

12. "The Horse Nobody Could Ride" by Joey + Rory

When toughness fails, try tenderness. In this 2010 song, a wild young mustang is labelled "the horse nobody could ride" because she refused to break for any of the cowboys. She threw each of them off.

Then along comes a man who uses a kinder approach. He gains her trust and promises not to hurt her, and she rewards his patience. Together they ride away.

13. "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" by KT Turnstall

This enigmatic rock song from 2004 is about looking back on the choices you've made in your life and reconciling the consequences with your feelings. The black horse may be a symbol for death. The songwriter has remarked that it's a song about having to dig deep to find out who you want to be.

14. "Three White Horses" by Andrew Bird

In this bluesy 2012 tune, the relationship between the narrator and his lover is ending. White horses symbolize vulnerability and purity, and he thinks about the impact of saying farewell. Even though they are separating, their spirit and the relationship they share will always be with them.

15. "The Horses" by Daryl Braithwaite

This tender 1991 pop song is a cover of a Rickie Lee Jones song that she wrote for her young daughter. The narrator is a watchful parent who comforts their child by telling them that even when they are no longer together in person, they'll always be together in spirit:

That's the way it's gonna be, little darlin'
You go riding on the horses, yeah
Way up in the sky, little darlin'
And if you fall I'll pick you up, pick you up.

16. "Ballad of a Runaway Horse" by Emmylou Harris

This 1993 version of Leonard Cohen's "Ballad of the Absent Mare" tells the story of a cowgirl and her horse. He has escaped the stall that pens him in. Worried, she searches for him, not knowing that he is hiding nearby watching her. The horse is no longer tame and yearns to be wild and free. The girl decides to go with him.

17. "Another Horsedreamer's Blues" by Counting Crows

Margery, the protagonist in this 1996 rock song, is a lonely girl with an unfortunate home life. She bets on horses and self-medicates as a means of escaping her sad situation. She dreams of one day being free like horses.

18. "Beer for My Horses" by Toby Keith (featuring Willie Nelson)

At age 70, Willie Nelson became the oldest person to top the country music charts with this 1993 hit. Lamenting that there are too many gangsters and bad guys on the street these days, the old timer narrating this song advocates handling evildoers like they did in the old days.

He wants the law to round them all up and deliver swift and decisive justice old the way they did it in the Old West. Then all the good guys can meet back at the local saloon where there will be whiskey for the men and beer for the horses.

19. "Run for the Roses" by Dan Fogelberg

The unofficial theme for the Kentucky Derby, this 1981 soft rock song describes a colt who was born to compete in the famous horse race. The horse uses all of his breeding and training to reach his full potential and fulfill his fate.

20. "A Horse with No Name" by America

Every fan of oldies rock music knows this iconic 1971 ditty, but many ponder what it's about exactly. Some say it's about drugs (which led it to be banned by some radio stations). However, that's been disputed by the songwriters.

The tune describes a journey through the desert on a nameless horse. The narrator eventually allows the horse to go free when they reach an oasis after nine days. In the solace of the desert, the narrator notices the nature around him and feels happy to escape both people and the rain.

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." - Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." - Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom | Source

Even More Songs About Horses

Song
Artist
Year Released
20. Girls & Horses
Templeton Thomson
2006
21. The Wild Horse
Rod Stewart
1988
22. Chestnut Mare
The Byrds
1970
23. Fallen Horses
Smash Mouth
1995
24. All the Pretty Ponies
Kenny Loggins
1994
25. American Horse
The Cult
1989
26. Horses
Tori Amos
1996
27. Live Like Horses
Elton John
2000
28. Wild Horses
The Rolling Stones
1971
29. Dark Horse
Amanda Marshall
1995
30. Jenny's Got a Pony
Los Lobos
1990
31. Which Way Does That Old Pony Run
Lyle Lovett
1989
32. Only the Horses
Scissor Sisters
2012
33. Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)
Big & Rich
2004
34. Back in the Saddle Again
Gene Autry
1939
35. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?
U2
1991
36. She Rides Wild Horses
Kenny Rogers
1999
37. Crazy Horses
The Osmonds
1972
38. Tennessee Stud
Johnny Cash
1994
Do you know a song about horses that should be on this playlist? Leave us a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

What's in a Name? Locations with Names Associated with Horses

show route and directions
A markerBareback Bend, Texas, USA -
Bareback Bend, Cibolo, TX 78108, USA
get directions

B markerBridle Lake, Canada -
Bridle Lake, Nipissing, Unorganized, South Part, ON P0A, Canada
get directions

C markerColt, Arkansas, USA -
Colt, AR 72326, USA
get directions

D markerGalloping Mountain, Canada -
Galloping Mountain, Central Kootenay K, BC V0E, Canada
get directions

E markerHand County, South Dakota, USA -
Hand County, SD, USA
get directions

Hand is a unit of measurement for how tall a horse is

F markerHorse Creek, Wyoming, USA -
Horse Creek, WY 82061, USA
get directions

G markerKicking Horse River, Canada -
Kicking Horse River, Columbia-Shuswap A, BC, Canada
get directions

H markerPony, Montana, USA -
Pony, MT, USA
get directions

I markerRider, ND, USA -
Rider, ND 58645, USA
get directions

J markerSaddle Lake, Canada -
Saddle Lake, AB T0A, Canada
get directions

"The way to heaven is on horseback." - Unknown
"The way to heaven is on horseback." - Unknown | Source

© 2017 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA

      Krzysztof Willman - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad that you found several songs you enjoy. Have a wonderful week!

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 weeks ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" is my favorite on this list but there are so many great choices here. I didn't even realize there were so many songs about horses.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA

      Louise - Thank you for you kind comment! Have a great week!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 2 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      There's so many good songs in your list I love and sing along to. Thanks. I love reading your musical articles!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA

      Devika - Thank you for your kind comment.

    • profile image

      DDE 2 weeks ago

      I like horses! The photos are beautiful and the country and western songs are unique to me. I am not familiar with these songs and like how you presented

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Shyron, I've been thinking a lot about you. I hope you are doing okay. I have added The Tennessee Stud (Johnny Cash's cover version) as #38. Please take care of yourself.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Thank you, Peg. Wildfire just had to be the first one. It's such a memorable song. My mother always used the phrase "hold your horses," too. I always thought it evoked an Old West image. Thanks for stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Dianna - Thank you for your kind comment. Your granddaughter must really love horses. They are such large, kind creatures. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Flourish, I could only think of two songs that are not on you wonderful list, One is "The Old Grey Mare" that one is older than I am and

      "The Tennessee Stud"

      The Tennessee stud

      was long and lean

      the color of the sun

      and his eyes were green

      he had the nerve and he had the blood

      and there never was a horse

      like the Tennessee Stud. (Eddy Arnold 1959)

      Blessings

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      This amazing collection of horse songs has me captivated. That first Michael Murphy selection was the best version I've ever heard of that song. Who knew there were so many songs with horse sense? My dad was always using horse idioms like "hold your horses" or "whoa Nellie." I loved seeing these explanations.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 weeks ago

      Horses are so beautiful. I enjoyed reading about your adventures here (your mom's story is so precious). My love for horses has only increased through the years as my granddaughter's passion has led her into competitive riding.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Mary - Who knew there were so many horse-related songs? Crazy, huh? Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Shaloo - Thank you! Have a great day.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 weeks ago from Brazil

      I had no idea there were so many. I'm also pleased to see that they aren't all country and western songs.

      I like your addition of horse related idioms, English is such a colorful language.

      Nicely formatted article.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 3 weeks ago

      Interesting playlist!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Jo, Thanks for always stopping by with an encouraging word. Have a wonderful week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      Larry - Thank you. I like that one too! Have a great week, my friend.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Great list!

      I'm especially fond of Beer fo My Horses.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 3 weeks ago from Tennessee

      Another great list, Flourish. I don't know how you keep coming up with these lists.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      MsDora - We have such a fascination with wild horses. I never realized how many horse songs there were until now. I hope you are safe and doing okay, given the relentless storms.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Such lovely stories! Listened to Reba's song. The imagery is compelling: "look in my eyes and open up the gate, then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun just like them horses." Touching!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Richard Green - There sure are a lot of them! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Dunbar Green profile image

      Richard Green 4 weeks ago from New Mexico

      Love this article! I especially like the table of horse-related expressions. Good work!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Heidi - I like that Katy Perry song too, although I'm sure she is no dark horse herself. Glad you enjoyed the horse sayings, too. Have a wonderful week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Louise - This one was very challenging to write. Thank you for always being so loyal stopping by to comment. Have a great week!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      I didn't realize there were so many horse songs either! Love the list of horse phrases. Also, my fave from the list is Katy Perry's "Dark Horse." Kind of bizarre in true Katy Perry style, but that's why she's so memorable.

      Happy Monday!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 4 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      You've certainly done your homework. There's so many good songs, although I'm glad you put Willie Nelson in there. I do love him.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Rasma - I remember really enjoying Donnie and Marie but don't recall this song from The Osmonds (I was a few years too young). I'm adding it to the list. Thanks for the suggestion. Have a wonderful week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Linda - My mother is a very proper lady so that made is worse. That's why we still laugh about it. Thankfully, she has a sense of humor about herself. Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Linda - That must have been a beautiful sight to see! I live near the Outer Banks and have had the chance to see the wild horses at the seashore. Absolutely beautiful. I wish there was a good way to control their population. They are a sight to see on the ocean. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

      Didn't realize there were so many songs about horses. Love horses and my favorite is Run for the Roses. From a long time ago there was also a song by The Osmonds called Crazy Horses. Hope you have a great new week.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The introduction to this article is very interesting, Flourish! A Horse with No Name is the only song that I know from your list. I enjoyed reading your idiom list as well as the rest of the article.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish - What a fun compilation. I had no idea there were so many songs about horses. Last week we drove to Nevada, and while going through eastern Oregon and Nevada saw several herds of mustangs. What beautiful animals!

      The song "Back in the Saddle Again" always reminds me of the movie "Sleepless in Seattle." If you've seen it, I'm sure you remember the scene with Tom Hanks.

      I hope you have a great week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Bill - They are majestic and beautiful animals, and I wish we could treat them with better respect, especially as they grow older. Thanks for stopping by!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Asif Iqbal Samad - Thank you for the song suggestions. I added two of them above! Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      My picks came in 19th and 20th, so there's that age thing again. :) I love horses. If they aren't the most majestic animal on the planet, they are darned close. I think I need to go ride one soon, thanks to your reminder.