Probably the horse with the most symbolism worldwide.  This is probably due to how rare an actually white horse is.  Most of the ones we see in media are grey or dilute.

The scarcity of white horses is, in part, due to something called Lethal White Syndrome (LWS) which is a genetic disorder caused by the Frame Overo gene(O). The gene is most prevalent in the American Paint Horse, it's recommended to potential breeders to their horses tested and to not breed those that test positive for the.  Those born with LWS have pink skin and blue eyes, they also don't have a functioning colon because the nerves don't work, this causes the foal to die of colic within 72 hours. There's no effective treatment. 

Fortunatly there's other whites out there.  Most of the non grey horses are Dominant white or white spotting(W) of which there are 27 variations.  They are connected to utations on the KIT genes(all horses have KIT) and can cause anything from flashy white markings(W20) to a white coat.  Unlike grays, horses with this gene have pink skin and are born white.  White usually appears as a spontaneous mutation which can be inherited.  This has created multiple  families in various breeds like the thoroughbred, quarter horse, Icelandic, Freiberger, Arabian(only one surviving family), and others.

Sobino horses can be white if the carry a homozygous SB1 gene.  Horses with Leopard complex can also be born white. There are no cases of Albino horses though some horses with the creme gene look like it.

Some famous white horses are

  • one of the horses who played Silver from the Lone Ranger
  • one of the horsed who played Topper from Hop-along Cassidy
  • Yukichan,, a Japanese racing champion

There's a diverse mythology surrounding horses, especially white horses. They are sacred to many gods and aide many heroes. 


The Celts had had various deities associated with horses, Rhiannon specifically is said to ride a white horse.  She may have been inspired by Epona.

The Slavic god Svetovid rode a white horse as well.  Because of this some Slavic people used them for divination.  They did so by leading a stallion through fences and seeing which foot it stepped forward with at each post.

In Hungary, White stallions were sacrificed to Isten.

The Zoroastrian Tishtrya/Tir is sometimes represented by a white stallion.  White horses are also said to pull divine chariots.

In Hindism white horses sometimes stand in for the sun. 

Uchchaihshravas is a 7-headed flying horse who is the king of horses and mount of the sun god, Surya.

Hayagriva, an avatar of Vishnu and god of knowledge and wisdom had the head of a horse.He had a dinosaur genus named for him. Another avatar of Vishnu is Kalki, who will be riding a white horse while he's saving the world.

 Ashvamedha, were a white or grey stallion is killed after a year of wandering around with an escort of warriors.During this time the kinks enemies would try to kill or capture the horse

In Christianity Pestilence rides a white horse. St James and St George, a patron saint of horsemen, ride white horses, 

In Islam Al Buraq has the body of a white horse and the prophesied (Twelver Shia) Mahdi will ride one.

.In Chinese Buddhism the Baima, a white dragon/horse who carried famous monks on journey. For example Journey to the West.

The Vietnamese city of Hanoi has a white horse as its patron saint. It was a river spirit who helped found the city.



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