The Importance of Ponies

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Bg-horse by techgnotic

Horse Power In Art History

Power & Grace In Motion

Above and beyond that, a unique aesthetic beauty unmatched by any other living creature in creation. There is the reality of the horse and there is the idea of the horse. Combined in a single construct, a special art has existed to celebrate the horse since the first human artists used the stone walls of their cave dwellings as the first canvases. Watching Werner Herzog’s 2010 documentary on the Chauvet Caves in southern France, Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), gives one a sense of the powerful bond of human and horse, of the capture of early humanity’s imagination by the idea of the horse from the very beginning. The horse is amongst those first things of importance enough to be recorded in the earliest art.

The Horse as ubiquitous iconography remained strong from the time of people just leaving their caves right up to the symbolism and mythological art of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The horse was for a time crowded off stage by religious themes during the period of dominate Christian and Byzantine art, but came galloping back with full force to prominence in the Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci attempted to create the largest horse sculpture of all time, but his preliminary clay model was destroyed by invading French soldiers in Milan in 1499, and the project was abandoned.

Chauvet Cave (30,000 B.C.)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art—Clottes, Jean

While Modern Artists

Such as Franz Marc & Edgar Degas continued celebrating the horse as a main motif, a new iteration of the “horse metaphor” was being born in America in the art of both Native Americans and “cowboy artists” like Frederic Remington, the horse being so central a player in the evolution of the American West.

Franz Marc

Blue Horse I (1911)

Edgar Degas

Before the Race (1882–84)

Frederic Remington

A Dash for the Timber (1889)

Black Horses

by drfranken


by lucaszoltowski

In Modern Times

The automobile has replaced the horse as the adolescent male’s first obsession and prized possession. Ever choosing quantity over quality in the assessment of value, males crave “horse power” – the number of “horses” in their hot rods’ engines. Adolescent females, conversely, have continued in their love affair with the horse, taking riding lessons at the local stables and poring over YA novels in which horses sacrifice their lives for their young charges.  Mature females prefer “The Horse Whisperer,” which captures the essence of the female love of horses. It’s not how powerful the horse is, nor how determined not to be broken by a male trainer – it’s the special quality of a sympathetic and intuitive nature that horses are imagined to possess, a gentleness that coexists alongside their massive physical power.  It is the horse as model for ideal relationships with men, for men to be powerful and protective yet gentle and knowing.

As with “The Horse Whisperer,” the Horse in our modern day lives possesses little utilitarian purpose as farms and ranches are replaced by automated production complexes. The Horse has become a metaphor in what it symbolizes: freedom, power, duty, loyalty, nobility. Most people being born now will never experience actually touching a living, breathing horse. So the Horse is returned to the mythic dreams of the modern equivalent of illustrations on cave walls. Horses are for movies. Horses are for holiday parades and rodeos. Horses are for heroic novels and comics. And, especially, Horses are returned to the hearts of children as magical creatures. Bigger and stronger than the scariest adult, yet a sensitive controllable friend, a guarantor of safety and a source of unqualified love.

My Little Pony

The tiny colorful plastic toy horse, was introduced by Hasbro in 1983. The Ponies have now progressed through four distinct generations. There have been a number of animated features about the Ponies. There have been video games, TV specials and many imitators. Fans have created customized Ponies. A veritable cult has grown up around My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic. Adults – men as well as women – are rabid fans. On DeviantArt, the search tag “Friendship is Magic” registers over 300,000 results, and art groups have been formed, such as “MLP-FiM” and “MLPFriendshipIsMagic”.

Why My Little Pony?
Why Now?

Maybe the overwhelming onrush of modern daily life makes us yearn for the simple serenity of childhood delights – like little our first animal friends in the form of toys.  The horse, of course, is a perfect “friend,” being already mythologized as always loyal and true.  Society has us in quite a bind as technology evolves so much faster than we can possibly keep up with in a healthy way. The technology Genie is not only out of the bottle, he has wired us all up and turned us into teched-out marionettes. That’s when it’s important to stop everything for a while and spend a little time out by the MLP Corral.

A Word On Bronies

Did we say males have abandoned their horse love for car love?

Well, not all of them. Males are increasingly becoming a semi-underground fan component of the My Little Pony phenomenon. They are the “Bronies.” They have their websites (like and their conventions.

They create fan art and fan fiction. Their Ponymania centers more around theFriendship is Magic TV show than the actual plastic toys. The times are perilous. Sometimes a friend is more valuable than a fast car. The Bronies love their Ponies. The human connection with the horse comes full circle.

Community Quotes


“I grew up watching the racehorses with my grandad on the weekend tv, sitting at my table drawing them best I could at 6 years old. It spurned a deep love of horses, I had a bedroom full of horse toys, walls covered in horsey posters.

When I was old enough I went to lessons and rode other peoples horses. As an adult I still draw them, ride them, collect them and Love them just as strong. Mythical horses such as unicorns expanded the adoration into fantasy, escapism of the mind, where being around the actual horses had an escapism of the body. You don't worry about work or bills, you breathe in the fresh hay, listen to the munching jaws, look into the soft eyes, rest a head and feel their breath. It's as close to fantasy and escapism as you can get in real life.

Here is this giant dangerous beastie, and you have a connection with it, soldiers trusted their mounts to carry them into battle. Little children trust their mounts to take them around a field, the circumstances may be different but the essence is there.

Horses are what dreams are made of.”


“My love of horses was fed by tales of my grand-grandpa and grand-uncles who had cavalry mounts and have seen the first WWI first hand, and my other grand-grandfather was a horse merchant—so its in the blood.

Horses are amazing creatures, a prey animal that has developed such a unique relationship with people, that it rivals the one we have with the dog. It's one of the few prey animals that has such a bond and intimacy with its humans along with reindeers that were also used as riding animals, and camels. I'm over and over amazed how a horse can put aside (sometimes forced sadly) its fears and its primal instincts to listen to a human being, care for them, carry them and put up with all sorts of weird devices on it, because they trust us. They're intelligent social beings that are just as capable of many amazing things when understood and given the chance, which ads to their appeal and one of the reasons why they're a favorite with the visual arts aside their inspiring looks. If it was just about beauty and majesty, we'd be seeing more tigers in art then we usually do.

What horses mean to me, peace and getting away from worldly problems, being with horses or drawing them is meditation to me. ”


“My horse comes before my boyfriend, my friends, my possessions. My mother is same way and my father knows that she'd leave him after 30 years if he made her choose between him and her horses.


“When I was a little girl I never had any interest in dolls or barbies so my family would buy me my My Little Ponies, which were my favorites of the favorites. As I grew older and discovered art I found myself drawn to equines, mostly unicorns. Equines have been my driving force where my art has been concerned, they are my artistic foundation and my rock. While I haven't been fortunate enough to have had real horses in my life, I've been able to feel connected to them through my art.


“There’s no cure when you're bit by the ‘horse bug.’ You can't help but be completely enchanted. For me and many others who were ‘bitten’ but don't have the means to own a horse ourselves, art is the next best thing as it allows you to make a world where you are with horses all the time, bringing them to life.


“Horses taught me to be the person that I've always wanted to be by teaching me how to speak with my body, how to listen with my eyes, how lifetimes can begin and end with a breath, and that sometimes life's greatest pleasures can be as simple as finding patch of cool grass on a warm day. Incorporating their lessons into my art just seemed like a natural extension of the impact that they have on me on a daily basis.



“Horses have had a huge impact on both my life and my art. When I first started riding, I was not at the best of times in my life and had moved many times and it was taking it's toll. I was a victim of bullying and never felt accomplished and swore my dreams of riding would disappear like my world was. Once I started riding I found myself and began seeing the world in a new way. I've always been artistic and was drawn in by the grace and beauty of these majestic animals and tried my best to put it down on paper. Now here, 5 years later, I have my own mare who is the love of my life. I have a deviant account full of equines that has helped me grow as an artist. I will be forever grateful for my mare who has come into my life and saved me, and the inspiration for the art that sets me free.

Questions for The Reader

  1. The horse represents power and freedom for many who are horse owners or riders. What other powerful representations does the horse portray for you?

  2. Did you go through a childhood phase of obsession with horses?

  3. If you are a fan of the My Little Pony universe, can you describe the attraction and addiction of participating in and losing oneself in that world?

  4. If you ride horses, how would describe the experience to someone who has never been on a horse?

  5. Have you ever imagined what it is like to be a horse, running free through the meadows?

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MissMartyMcfly's avatar
1) For me horses represent a break from the troubles of everyday life. When I'm with horses, I feel free.. I just can't explain it, it's just purely magical!

2) I was actually quite the opposite! My parents have always owned horses whilst I was growing up and bought me multiple ponies but I just wasn't interested.. However, recently I rescued a mare (Last August) from a rescue centre and never looked back! She gave me lots of confidence and my first taste of the drug like hobby (I mean how addictive it is ;)) And due to this, I've got my second horse about 4 days ago! T-Jay :D (I have a slight obsession with horses due to having 5 irl heh) 

3) Eh. I like some of the artwork but the show doesn't really interest me..

4) Freedom. The fresh air flowing into your face and the beautiful melodic sound of the horse's hooves! The feeling of being with such a powerful animal that you share such a strong band with is just wonderful! The looks of children's faces as you ride past, their voices saying "Look at that horse" in their astonished tone.. EVERYTHING IS JUST AMAZING <3 hehe

5) Always.. Often in classes, or when I'm stressed about tests I just wonder what it's like to be free like them... Or when I'm standing with them in the field just enjoying the silence, it's so nice..

I'm sorry I rambled on a bit hehe I just love to express my passion for horses