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"I should probably clarify, that diamond horse I've been telling you about? It's not a sculpture or anything! It's a living horse that actually happens to be made of — actually, I'll just go get her. Butt Stallion! Come here girl! Say hello, Butt Stallion!"
Handsome Jack, Borderlands 2

So, you have yourself a badass, who now needs a badass way to get from point A to point B. Naturally, the Cool Car and the Cool Bike are there for him! The problem? We are in a High Fantasy story, mate and we've got no stomach for that much Anachronism Stew.

Enter the Cool Horse.

An easy way to tell a Cool Horse is to check if it has a name. Especially, if it has a badass name. More especially, if it can run through the entire story without having to rest and eat. Most especially, if it looks badass — a Hellish Horse is cool by definition, as well as if it's involved in Horseback Heroism. Bonus points if, for whatever reason, the hero is the only person who can ride it.

A race who are Born in the Saddle will have plenty of these, though the chief probably has the pick of the coolest ones.

Many Cool Horses can be used in battle without any serious training — which is very much not true in Real Life. Indeed Give Me a Sword often asks for a horse. However, even a Cool Horse is sometimes not above a little Horsing Around for comic relief when he is feeling ornery.

On alien planets, a Cool Horse will usually have a different color... and may also be a machine. Or even talk. See Power Up Mount for video game examples. Compare My Horse Is a Motorbike, when a modern-day vehicle (most commonly a motorcycle) is given Cool Horse traits.

Contrast The Alleged Steed (though an Alleged Steed could become a Cool Horse if it Took a Level in Badass). Can go with Diligent Draft Animal when horses are used for manual labor.

Super-Trope to:


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Survey Corps from Attack on Titan make use of specially-bred horses in their operations. Bonus Material gives more detail on these unique horses, each of which is worth more than the average citizen makes in a lifetime. Their top speed is 75 - 80 km/h (47 - 50 mph), and they are the only means to escape Titans when outside the Walls and in open areas. They are specifically bred to have exceptional stamina and strength, as well as Nerves of Steel so that they do not spook when encountering Titans or when riders activate their gear while in the saddle.
  • X the Kirin, the title name holder and tritagonist of B't X. Bonus points are included for Winged Unicorn, Pegasus, Mechanical Horse, Horseback Heroism, Sapient Steed and Power Up Mount.
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto has protagonist 16-year-old Cesare Borgia with his fierce black stallion Romulus. Historically, he loved horses and was very skilled with them. His first appearance in the manga is his Meet Cute with The Watson Angelo — despite his lack of horse experience, Angelo was made to ride Remus, the brother of Cesare's horse, and lost control. Over the series, his growing skill with the horse shows his character development, and relationship with Cesare. Artist Fuyumi Soryo was known for her horse illustrations before she started this manga.
  • One of many shout outs from Cromartie High School to Fist of the North Star is the fact that Freddie rides an exact copy of Raoh's horse to, in and around school.
  • Dororo: One of the demons Hyakkimaru faces is a possessed female warhorse named Midoro who is forcibly separated from her foal by her cruel master to fight in one of his latest battles. When she is near death, she makes a bargain with an equine demon to use her body in exchange never to lose against any human. The ghostly horse is easily able to go hoof-to-toe with Hyakkimaru. The horse comes under the possession of Hyakkimaru's power-hungry rival, Saburota, who falls under the demon's spell. He uses it to raze nearby villages, and even hammers in spike-studded horseshoes so it could kill more people.
  • Celty from Durarara!! has a headless ghost-horse disguised as a motorbike. Its name is Shooter.
  • Raoh in Fist of the North Star has a massive black stallion named Kokuoh ("Black King"). Its presence in a nuclear wasteland pushes the Fridge Logic even further, but seeing a giant man ride up on a giant horse is just too awesome to not let slide. This horse is so strong that it doesn't die when Kenshiro hits it.
  • In the beginning of Hana No Keiji, the hero, who is reminiscent of Kenshiro, hears of a powerful, giant horse much similar to Raoh's Kokuoh and spends 10 days befriending the horse so he could help him in a war.
  • Invoked by Saturn from Heaven's Design Team, who considers the horse as his masterpiece due to its magnificent appearance. He frequently uses the horse as base for his future design submissions (such as the Pegasus, Unicorn, and Kelpie), which results in failure.
  • Entei from Inuyasha, a flying demon horse with a mane and tail of actual fire.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Master Asia has a horse, Fuunsaiki, which pilots a mobile suit shaped like a giant mechanical horse. A Running Gag in the series' yonkoma parody strips is the idea that Domon Kasshu is only Master Asia's second apprentice in the martial arts. Fuunsaiki is the first, and outranks Domon.
  • The Five-Tails from Naruto has characteristics of a horse.
  • Reign: The Conqueror was a cyberpunk version of the Alexander story, so naturally Bucephalus is present, as an almost demonic creature.
  • In the Rurouni Kenshin anime, one of the filler episodes features a horse who jumps between several stationary boats without pausing in between, and then follows this up by leaping on top of a train.
  • Saber Rider's Steed and April's Nova (in the American version) in Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs.
  • The non-mechanical horses in Sengoku Basara: For example Takeda Shingen's horses (which he dual rides, standing with one leg in each saddle) defy gravity by climbing castle walls. Then there's Masamune's horse, which has Harley Davidson exhaust pipes and bike handles. in 16th century Japan.
  • In Shaman King, Tao Ren sometimes rides a gigantic white horse possessed by the spirit of the warhorse named Hei-Tao who was ridden by his spirit partner, Bason during his living days as a Chinese warlord.
  • Shattered Angels's Kyoshiro has himself a White Horse that transforms into a kind of airborne platform not dissimilar to those present in Kirby Air Ride.
  • Aki's borrowed horse in Silver Spoon is "only" a mortal horse, but wow, can it make a cool entrance. The hero initially mistakes it for a bear. It comes with a reference to the aforementioned Cool Horse in Fist of the North Star.
    • The protagonist is entering Equestrian Club, so of course it features varied horse, most of them qualify for this trope, from large and super-strong Ban'ei horse to agile Hokkaido's small horse to an ugly, temperamental and snarky horse who actually very good in hands of competent rider.
  • The Bounty Hunter's horse in the manwha "Yongbi" is like if Maximus was born in historical Korea. He constantly speaks his mind and has many arguments with his rider. He's also able to determine the worth of a sacred gold medallion just by licking it, forced the staff and other horses to serve him hand and hoof in the palace horse stable, immediately sensed his master was in danger when the the evil emperor sends assassins to kill him in his sleep (it doesn't work), and destroyed part of the palace while holding the sacred medallion before swallowing it to keep it out of the Emperor's hands.
  • Cowboy Andy from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Cowboy Funk" has a Cool Horse to aid in his role as foil to Cool Starship-owning Spike. Said horse, Onyx, is able to do a Dynamic Entry through a thick glass wall, survives several explosions, predicts a bomb — and moves outside its blast radius — before her owner does and is able to operate an elevator on her own. According to Andy she also plays a mean game of chess. Spike is, to say it the least, sceptical.
  • No horses in A Centaur's Life have prominently featured, but they all have six legs, as fitting in a world where all vertebrates evolved from a hexapod ancestor.


    Comic Books 
  • Apocalypse, Batman's huge, black warhorse (with batwinged barding) in the The American Civil War Elseworld The Blue, The Gray, and The Bat.
  • The Mighty Thor:
  • In the Silver Age, Supergirl had Comet the Super-Horse, who had the powers of unaided flight, super-strength, super-speed, telepathy, and the ability to turn into a human named Bronco Bill. They were dating. Okay, okay, he was actually a centaur who got turned into a horse by a witch, but it's still creepy.
  • Wild West-era Ghost Rider usually got hellish horses burning with hellfire.
  • Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck has Hortense, Scrooge's mare named after his hot-tempered sister. Smart, fearless, and capable of things extraordinary for regular horse, including mast climbing.
  • As a Western series, Tex Willer has a few. The most notable are:
    • Dynamite, the first and most famous of Tex' steeds, who showed amazing speed, formidable strength and stamina, and, most importantly, far greater smarts one would expect from a horse.
      • After a while Dynamite was replaced with Disposable Mounts, but a 2019 story explained what had happened: as the horse was growing old, Tex procured him a herd and left him to wander free in the Navajo Reservation, though when said herd was stolen he had one last adventure with Tex to rescue them, even saving his life thanks to his smarts (and dying in the process). If Tex is coming from the reservation, chance is his horse is one of Dynamite's descendants, who are also stronger, faster and more resistant to fatigue than most horses.
    • Son of the Wind, a wild mustang living in the Arapaho reservation, so exceptional in everything that the Arapaho convinced themselves he was the personification of their remaining freedom, and would start an Indian war to keep him free.
    • "The Great Race" features a horse race from Tucson to Los Angeles, so any of the horses that passed the selections qualify, but two stand above the others: West Wind, an Appaloosa whose physical abilities are so exceptional that Tex doubted Dynamite could have beaten him in a race, and the unnamed steed of count Sergey Guriev, that West Wind could barely defeat in the race.
  • Lucky Luke's Jolly Jumper. Aside from being Luke's Non Human Side Kick, Jolly can ride on his own with Luke sleeping (and vice versa), thinks of Luke's escape routes by himself (helps Luke is prone to window departures which Land in the Saddle), is a sarcastic smartass, can play chess well enough to beat Lucky Luke himself, can not only do math, but write the correct answer in the sand, and, of all things, fish. How did he get the bait on the hook? "Like everybody: With disgust."
    Cavalry commander: Lucky Luke's horse escaped? Didn't you tie him?
    Cavalry recruit: I could not. The horse tied me up!
  • Bamse's horse Billy Boy is a more realistic version of the trope; he's a fairly normal horse with a normal horse's intelligence and behavior — but no less cool for that, as he's exceptionally strong and fast, and can beat just about any other horse in a race.
  • Black Knight: Dane Whitman has had three flying horses in his career, all three of which are named after characters from The Lord of the Rings.
  • In one issue of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), Spike gets to ride around on Celestia's back. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Celestia is the setting's Big Good Physical Goddess Winged Unicorn, you'll be hard-pressed to find a mount cooler than that.
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: Amy owns a white, winged unicorn.
  • All of Marvel's western heroes had a cool horse who accompanied them on their adventures:
    • Kid Colt's was called Steel. Steel was a very smart and well trained horse and was able to understand simple orders. The horse often carried Kid Colt off to safety when the outlaw was wounded.
    • Nightwind is the horse that was ridden by western legend the Rawhide Kid during the days of the American Frontier. The horse became the Kid's regular companion since the day that Rawhide avenged the murder of his uncle Ben Bart, and later as the Rawhide Kid rode across the west as an outlaw.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1:
    • Serge, the horse Diana keeps as Diana Prince, has a sixth sense about danger that helps Diana save a child from a villain without revealing her second identity as Wonder Woman. Serge never seems to get tired (though Diana can run much faster than a horse anyway) and is really good with children.
    • Rainbow and Stardust are a stallion and mare that are cannily intelligent and roam Texas befouling the plans of rustlers. They've got a soft spot for the Candy family since they've never tried to capture the pair and like to give them apples, and have rescued Etta and the family horses on a couple of occasions.
  • Black Fury is a mustang who wanders around the Old West, bringing evildoers (who he can invariably identify) to justice and fighting off various apex predators. People know better than to even try catching a horse from the herd that Black Fury leads- they will fail, they always have, and he will make you look like an idiot into the bargain. Besides, most of them owe their lives or livelihoods to Black Fury's intervention.
  • Vassago is the war horse of Lady Death.
  • Yakari: Little Thunder is the fastest of all horses the Sioux have; in Yakari and the White Buffalo, he lost the race with Rainbow and Buffalo Seed on his own accord because he wanted to make the former happy.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Princess on the Glass Hill", three magnificent horses are eating all the grass in the field; once he catches them, the hero can climb the glass hill on their backs.
  • In The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa, the title horse of power. It talks, for one, and is smarter than its owner, and can ride to far off lands easily.
  • Hungarian fairy tales often have a talking horse that eats embers, drinks wine, can fly, instantly go from one place to another in a blink of an eye, and provide exposition. They are often referred to as "Táltos" (Shaman), and like many shamans, may possess physical deformities - usually an odd number of legs. The hero usually finds them neglected (or purposely starved) and half dead, and has to nurse them back to health to earn their help.
  • Dapplegrim, of the eponymous fairytale, is so massive that the protagonist can barely climb on him even when he lies down, and his coat so gleaming that sunbeams reflect off it like a mirror. All the protagonist's achievements are enabled by Dapplegrim and his Undying Loyalty, and it's a plot point that his equal can only be found in hell.
  • In The Tale of the Ebony Horse, the adventures of Prince Achmed begin when an evil magician crafts a flying mechanical horse, which Achmed cannot resist trying to ride. It subsequently bears him away into many fantastic realms, and takes him home once he figures out how to make the damn thing descend.
  • "The Death of Koschei the Deathless": The horse of Koschei is large, sapient and incredibly swift stead.
    Koschei was out hunting; as he returned home late in the afternoon his good horse stumbled under him. What is the matter with you, you old nag? he demanded. What made you stumble? Have you scented some misfortune? The horse answered: Prince Ivan has come and carried off Maria Morevna.
    But can we overtake them? Koschei asked.
    You could sow your wheat, wait for it to grow, you could harvest it and thresh it, grind it into flour, bake bread from it in five ovens, and eat the bread, and only then set out in pursuit. And even so we would overtake them, said the horse.
  • "Prince Ivan, the Witch Baby, and the Little Sister of the Sun": Prince Ivan's mount is a magnificent black horse.
    You see, he had never been outside the palace grounds. And he had only ridden a little Finnish pony. And now he sat high up, perched on the back of the great black horse, who galloped with hoofs that thundered beneath him, and leapt over rivers and streams and hillocks, and anything else that came in his way.

    Fan Works 
  • Hope for the Heartless has Mitternacht, the main heroine Avalina's faithful black Friesian. Originally a knight's steed, he became furious with grief due to his rider's death until Avalina tamed him, making him loyal to her only. He follows her to her imprisonment in the castle of the Horned King, becomes the first horse to remain sane after spending months close to the lich and can project Death Glares that keep even the lich at bay. He even drives away Arawn — the freaking Death Lord of Annuvin — from messing with Avalina's dreams!
  • voksen wrote a series of Tangled vignettes with the premise that Max (see below) was secretly a Companion (see below) of the Heralds of Valdemar.
  • Vow of Nudity: After rescuing the sphinx from the mithral mines, Kay'la (a sea elf paladin) learned how to summon Lugnut, a magical fey spirit in the guise of an aquatic kelpie-styled horse.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Cool Horse was de rigueur for the B-Western hero. Silver is the most famous, but equally famous in their day were Gene Autry's steed Champion, Tom Mix's Tony "the Wonder Horse" and, of course, Roy Rogers' companion Trigger. To give an idea of how important these noble equines were, posters for several of Rogers' movies gave Trigger more prominent billing than Dale Evans, even after she and Rogers were married. That Other Wiki has a full article here.
  • Artax from The Neverending Story. Although his death traumatized many a wee kidlet, he remains a beloved equine, especially his resurrection/reappearance at the end of the film racing across the plains with Atreyu on his back. In the original novel, he spoke. Unfortunately, he didn't get resurrected in the book.)
  • Baron Munchhausen in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen rides a horse called Bucephalus.
  • Navarre in Ladyhawke rides a Friesian (called Goliath in the movie and named Othello in real life). The Count of Anjou has a gray Andalusian.
  • Cactus Jack Slade, the protagonist of the western comedy film The Villain, has a horse named Whiskey who is at least five times smarter and more capable than he is. Fun Fact 
  • The western parody Rustlers' Rhapsody features Rex O'Herlihan the Singing Cowboy and his ultra-smart wonder-horse Wildfire.
  • The horse that was ridden by John Rambo in Rambo III, and also by Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — the one where said horse charges a tank and wins.
  • Carter Slade's horse when he goes into Ghost Rider mode in, well, Ghost Rider (2007) is damned impressive-looking, as is...
  • Daredevil, the horse of Sleepy Hollow (1999)'s Headless Horseman.
  • History of the World Part I has Miracle, a horse can time-travel ...sort of.
  • Hidalgo, from the movie of the same name.
  • The Fire Mares of Krull, which can travel really fast, and can fly over cliffs. They run so fast it causes the ground to catch fire where their hooves hit it.
  • Khartoum, Jack Woltz's magnificent stallion from The Godfather, who was infamously killed because Woltz wouldn't give Johnny Fontane, the godson of mob boss Don Vito Corleone, the starring role in a new movie.note 
  • The plot of The Electric Horseman involves the title character's journey to set a champion racehorse free. At one point he rides the horse and outruns police vehicles.
  • Jumanji: The Next Level introduces a new avatar: Cyclone the winged horse.
  • As mentioned in the comic section, Odin's eight-legged horse is briefly shown in Thor. This version is black, however.
  • The special relationship between the Lone Ranger and Silver was one of the things that The Lone Ranger (2013) got basically right, if exaggerated.
  • In Beauty and the Beast (1946), the Beast sends Belle's father home and has her come to the castle in his place by means of a magical white horse, Le Magnifique, which can take its rider anywhere they wish to go.
  • What Tumbleweed turns out to be, despite looking like The Alleged Steed; performing such feats as getting Jim away from the posse by climbing a cliff trail no other horse can follow, and by finding water when the two of them are dying of thirst.
  • In Dead Again in Tombstone, Guerrero rides a massive black stallion with silver tack that is killed by Craven. The stallion gets even cooler when he is resurrected by Dr. Goldsworthy as he is now seemingly bulletproof.

  • Piers Anthony:
    • Mortis, Death's steed in On a Pale Horse, who turns into a Cool Car. Seriously.
    • Not to mention Sequiro from the Mode series (who comes from a whole Mode of the beasts), the unicorns from Apprentice Adept, and many other equine creatures...definitely Author Appeal.
    • The Night Mares of the Xanth series. It seems as punny as other things in the setting, but their job of bringing bad dreams is considered Serious Business. So much so, their leader is the Night Stallion (aka Trojan, the Horse of a Different Color). There is also their more benevolent counterpart the Day Mares, bringers of wistful daydreams.
  • Max Brand westerns feature a number of these. The most "superequine" is probably Dan Barry's horse Satan (from The Untamed and Dan Barry's Daughter), whose ability to perform an athletic leap while exhausted after days of hard riding is so impressive that a poor farmer, a dead shot, who's hoping to collect a massive reward on him, instead leaps to his feet, waves his hat, and yells "Gawd bless ye!". His loyalty is doglike and his intelligence and thought processes are almost human. Diablo from Bull Hunter and Sky Blue from Lucky Larribee are others.
  • From Chivalric Romance, Beves of Hampton had a horse not only very fast but capable of recognizing him.
  • Conrad Starsgard (hero of the Giving Radio to the Romans series by Leo Frankowski) finds that his mare Anna is as intelligent as a human, can outrun any normal horse, can kill if necessary and can even understand Polish! She's actually a genetically engineered gift from a time-traveling relative, trying to covertly aid Conrad after he was accidentally sent back to 13th Century Poland.
  • Being stories about adventures in Wild West era, Karl May's stories featured quite a lot of Cool Horses, including in them Hatatitla, Ilstchii, and purebreed Arabian horse, who Winnetou claimed "Even Manitou couldn't ride a better horse than this". Hatatitla and Ilstchii are black stallions of Apache breed that are all of extraordinary quality, and they have the finest specimen. The antagonists in the movie adaptations tend to covet them and try to steal them from our noble heroes.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth (The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings, etc) has a lot of the beasts, both of the slightly super-horsian as well as the Badass Normal variety: First, there is Nahar, ridden by the Vala Oromë, the first and coolest of cool horses. The Mearas, a rare breed of super-horses, kept by the Rohirrim (whose culture revolves around horses) besides their regular horses; the most famous individuals are Felaróf, the steed of Eorl, and Shadowfax, the steed of Gandalf. Even Bill the pony is the unofficial tenth member of the Fellowship until he is sent away at the gates of Moria. Even then he finds his way back to Bree on his own, and is later taken back by Sam. Tolkien just loved horses too much to write about one that was not, in some way, awesome.
  • Jack Aubrey's fine Arabian mare, Lalla, from the Aubrey-Maturin novels.
  • The Belgariad features a species of insane carnivorous horses with claws instead of hooves. One of the characters is disappointed at being unable to ride one, until it's pointed out that carnivorous horses might not be a great idea for a culture built entirely around herding cows.
    • The Sequel Series The Malloreon has Chretienne, who's given to Belgarion by 'Zakath after they become friends.
    • Horse is also pretty much a Cool Horse, given that he's Touched by Vorlons and can apparently travel through Subspace or Hyperspace or something, and is the mount/BFF of Eriond, future God. In case you're wondering, Eriond named Horse himself; at the time, he had a simple but strange way of thinking.
  • Black Beauty. This horse is not only the main character of one of the best-selling books of all time, but is the protagonist of the first story that was ever told in first person narrative from the point of view from an animal, kick-starting an entire sub-genre of animal stories. His story led to more responsible use of the bearing rein (which was then often used to hold a horse's head in an unnaturally high and uncomfortable position) and is also believed to have made a difference in reducing the taxicab license fee of the time, something that was often exploited by those that hired out cabbies to drivers. He also has an in-book moment of awesome when he refuses to cross a bridge that he instinctively knows is dangerous, saving himself and his two passengers by doing so.
  • The Black Stallion: The titular horse's backstory (chronicled in The Young Black Stallion) reveals that he escaped into the wild after a band of horse traders tried to steal him from his humans. Small wonder, then, that he's so temperamental in the original book.
  • Hob and Pearl, from Douglas Hill's Blade of the Poisoner and Master of Fiends. Sure, they're just ordinary horses—and Hob looks more like The Alleged Steed—but they're both written as being rather smart and tough.
  • Morgenstern, Julian's horse from The Chronicles of Amber. Specially crafted out of Shadow to be made of awesome.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Bree and Hwin in The Horse and His Boy are Talking Horses in a country where most horses don't, although whether that makes them cool or just irritating is up for debate. (Bree may indeed be a Cool Horse, though nowhere as cool as he thinks he is).
  • Melynlas, Taran's horse in Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, was not excessively badass but was extremely loyal—so much so that when he was stolen, Taran was able to prove his ownership by being the only person the horse would allow to mount him. His mother, Melyngar, was the prized mount of Taran's friend Prince Gwydion, and she was quite the quadroped badass.
  • The rathorns in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath are a combination of Hellish Horses and unicorns.
  • There is an entire race of cool horses in the The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, known as the Ranyhyn. They can anticipate when they're going to be called, so they're always just cresting the horizon just as they're needed.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian novel The Hour of the Dragon, Xaltotun's chariot is drawn by "weird horses". When he dies, they bring the chariot and, when someone puts the body on board, carry it off.
  • The Hunnuli, in Mary Herbert's Dark Horse series: Big, powerful, distinctive in appearance unless magically disguised, fast as hell, resistant to magic, and telepathic.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
    • Death's horse Binky as well as his other horses. He used to have a skeletal steed, and another made of fire, but they were somewhat impractical due to their tendency to fall apart and ignite their bedding, respectively. Binky by comparison is a white (not grey) flesh-and-blood horse, but none the less ethereal and impressive.
    • In Going Postal, we also see Boris — a Hellish Horse without the look but with enough personality to make up for it; Boris is, literally, aimed at the destination where, upon arrival, Moist von Lipwig has to look for somewhere soft to land, as Boris won't stop... Also, the Golem Horses.
  • Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow") has a great black stallion named "Gehenna" which he bought from local Romani people. One might almost accuse him of trying too hard to qualify for the trope.
  • Parodied with Rocinante, Don Quixote's horse. Let's just say Rocin = horse in bad shape.
  • Faran, the roan from from The Elenium and The Tamuli also by David Eddings, is the incredibly intelligent and capable war horse of Sparhawk the Pandion Knight. Their relationship is less than one of perfect compliance and involves the kind of trickery and coercion one might actually see in a strong-willed horse, and Sparhawk approaches him more as a partner than anything, always treating Faran with respect. One of his tendencies is to bite strangers, such that Sparhawk frequently has to warn handlers. Faran acts like he has a bad temper exclusively because Sparhawk actually likes him to act that way because it's expected of a war horse; the two are fearsome in tandem.note 
  • Epona in the Emberverse. A toned-down example, but she's a top-notch destrier, she ages much more slowly than a normal horse, and only the character mantled in Prophetic Significance can ride her without getting horribly maimed.
  • In Fire and Hemlock, the main character's sidekick acquires one of those via a very strange coincidence. He exchanges it for a car later, though, as a horse is a bit impractical in modern times. (The car is just as bad-tempered, though.)
  • The unicorns from The Firebringer Trilogy are a race of badass warriors who regularly take on (and defeat) large predators such as gryphons and wyverns. Notably, their initiation ritual involves making a journey to the very heart of their worst enemies' homeland to drink from a magical pond.
  • Cerulean, Shal's inherited horse familiar in the Forgotten Realms novel Pool Of Radiance, is intelligent, telepathic, and something of a Deadpan Snarker. He also somewhat obviously puts the lie to the notion that familiars should by all rights be small creatures that their masters carry around with them rather than vice versa, although she can still put him into her (suitably enchanted) pocket if need be.
  • Jimmy Hedgecock's Black taught chickens to dance in Gunfighter's Ride.
  • The Heralds of Valdemar:
  • A Hero of Our Time has Karagyoz, 'Black-Eye', Kazbich's mount that's achingly beautiful, faster and more endurable than any other horse, able to jump over impossible distances, and follows Kazbich around like a dog. Everyone wants to own it; Azamat offers Kazbich first a thousand mares, then his sister for Karagyoz, and Kazbich considers neither offer to be good enough.
  • Hurog: Dragon Bones and its sequel feature a few cool horses, the coolest being Stygian, a battle steed ridden by the main character who is vicious (the horse, not the main character), bad tempered and killed the main character's father. The most awesome part is that the main character immediately renames his badass, evil, ugly horse that everyone wants to put down as Pansy. Other characters are not amused.
  • In Johannes Cabal and the Fear Institute in the Dreamlands there are no horses to be found-there are, however, zebras, which prove to be smarter than their real-world counterparts and fine mounts as well. Cabal dislikes them for some reason without realizing that in his own black and white outfit, to the zebra he looks equally ridiculous.
  • In Journey to the West, the dragon prince Yulong Santaizi transforms into a white horse for Xuanzang to ride. He stays a horse most of the time and doesn't have a huge role otherwise, but transforms back a couple times in dire situations.
  • In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, town hero Brom Bones rides around on a magnificent stallion named Daredevil. The Headless Horseman rides an unnamed Hellish Horse, although since the Horseman is heavily implied to be a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax pulled off by Brom, it's likely the two horses are one and the same. In order to attend Van Tassel's party, Ichabod Crane is able to borrow a tired old plough horse named Gunpowder, who despite being initially very unimpressive, performs surprisingly well in the climactic chase with the Headless Horseman.
  • Rex — from Lovely Assistant by Geoph Essex — is both a Cool Horse and a cool horse. While he doesn't actually speak to Jenny, he makes his every sarcastic opinion perfectly clear (especially whenever she attempts a dismount). Plus he's, you know, indestructible and really fast. (Presumably, the other Grim Reapers' horses are the same way.
  • Kelpies from Loyal Enemies are extremely durable, fast and capable of lifting heavy weights. The best thing about them, though, is that they walk on snow, sinking in only slightly no matter how much weight is put on them, which is absolutely useful as the action of the book takes place in winter and involves copious amounts of traveling. Their secret is that they aren't actually horses, but river currents that take the form of horses on land and remain such as long as they are kept bridled.
  • Martín Fierro: When he is conscripted, Martin Fierro takes his best clothes and his best horse to the Frontier: The "Moro" (a horse with gray hair) that is a beautiful horse that had won a lot of races and had made a lot of money for Fierro. The "Moro" is so cool that The Commander steals it from Martin Fierro.
  • The Messenger Series: Centuries ago, Favour was instrumental in defeating a terrible evil, becoming a symbol of courage, beauty and strength to the village he saved. Now he is an immortal time-traveller, appearing whenever a new hero is needed. He therefore has the appearance to match: as the most beautiful of all horses, his dappled coat has a pearlescent glow, like ice on fire, and his tail streams like the silver froth of a waterfall.
  • Orlando Innamorato and Orlando Furioso feature Bayard, a Sapient Steed who can stretch to fit four riders, Rabican, a flying horse born of wind and fire, and the original hippogriff.
  • Blackjack from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Also Rainbow the Hippocamp (ie: literal sea horse). Mrs O'Leary is a giant hell-hound but she can be ridden through shadows (don't try it if you're afraid of the dark). From The Heroes of Olympus, we have Tempest (a storm spirit who happens to look and act like a horse) and Arion, immortal son of Poseidon and Demeter conceived while they were both in the form of horses, capable of breaking the sound barrier across land and and sea. The fact that the latter is Percy's half-brother is a bit of a shock to say the least.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil there are an number of cool horses: the Fae ride murderous, carnivorous unicorns (the Winter Court) or white pegasi (the Summer Court). The Black Knight, Amadeus, and the Squire, Catherine, ride undead warhorses they reanimated themselves and which can be filled with explosives and blown up when the need arises. Catherine later upgrades to an undead pegasus which - despite beeing dead - retains a level of sentinence, viciousness, and loyality.
  • There's a number of Cool Horses in Romance of the Three Kingdoms the most well known being Red Hare, who was capable of running a thousand leagues in a day, and wouldn't let anyone ride him until Lu Bu and then Guan Yu proved themselves worthy.
    • He and others also appear in the Dynasty Warriors series and is the fastest of them all, and once unlocked anyone can ride him. Even Xiao Qiao.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Stranger, Sandor Clegane's warhorse. Huge, black, powerful, and viciously savage, he's gentle as a lamb with Sandor but will lash out at anyone else who gets near him. Notable victims include two hapless priests, one lately left with a broken leg and the other short an ear. He's named after the much-feared god of death and outcasts, which has particular relevance to the misanthropic Sandor.
    • Dany's silver is a beautiful mount of exceptional quality, bred by a warlike equestrian culture who never name their mounts.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Ryshadium are bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter then normal horses, and they are also pseudo-Bond Creatures, they choose their own riders and are apparently picky about it: there are only a dozen men in all the Alethi warcamps that have one. Ryshadium are so grand that Dalinar compare upgrading to one of these horses as being similar to a knight going from plate to magical Powered Armor. The in universe explaination for their size and intelligence is that each one has it's own bond with Spren, strangely Music Spren to be specific. An in-universe researcher even speculates that Ryshadium are sapient.
  • Tortall Universe:
    • All the post-Immortals horses. Since they have heightened intelligence thanks to Daine, it makes them all the more badass. Peachblossom, Kel's battered warhorse in the Protector of the Small quartet, practically defines this trope. If you try to pet and/or mount him and your name isn't Kel, Tobe, Stefan, or Daine, he will either bite your arm off or try really hard to.
    • Two centuries earlier, in the Beka Cooper books, Lady Sabine's warhorses Drummer and Steady. Try to hurt their lady, get kicked in the head repeatedly. Try to stop them from getting to their lady when they've figured out that she's in danger, watch the whole stable staff get killed. They're also trained to detect common poisons by smell and will refuse any meal that's suspect. So it's not that surprising when Pounce confirms Lady Sabine's family has magic similar to Daine's that specifically works with horses.
  • Twilight Dancer, The Warded Man's warhorse. His horseshoes and the horns on his barding are warded, enabling him to fight corelings.
  • The War Gods:
    • The Sothōii coursers are the result of magical genetic engineering. As such they are bigger, stronger, faster and tougher than normal horses, as intelligent as humans, have the ability to magically bond with humans, and are able to talk telepathically to each other as well as their human companions and some mages.
    • "Normal" Sothōii horses also qualify, since while they are not as cool as the coursers, they are descended from the less successful results of the same experiments that produced the coursers. As such they are quite a bit faster and with more endurance than a normal horse, and are more intelligent that normal horses although not to the same levels as the coursers.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Lan rides an impressive warhorse called Mandarb, which means "blade".
    • Bela, the old cart horse, is the only character aside from Rand al'Thor to appear in all the books and has become an Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Athansor, from Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. He's an angel in horse form trying to leave Earth.
  • In Gulliver's Travels, the Houyhnhnms are a species of sapient horses who are supposedly highly civilized and rational, even as they commit genocide against the filthy barbarian humans who also live on their island. Gulliver easily accepts that he is inferior to the Houyhnhnms.
  • In Woof Woof Story, a lich planning to conquer the world pieced together the perfect warsteed out of dead Cool Horses' corpses. Fortunately for the world, Mare (as the heroes call her) is a gentle soul who wants none of that. When she awoke in a graveyard a bit earlier than scheduled, she walked off to steal carrots from a nearby farm, and the lich was killed in his attempt to get her back. Now she lives a very happy life on that farm, doing the work of two ordinary carthorses with ease.
  • The Enchanted Pony Academy trains young Glitter Ponies to serve as royal advisers and mounts. All Glitter Ponies can do ordinary magic like telekinesis or weather control, and on top of that they also have unique gifts like healing, turning invisible, and Super-Strength. When Princess Alana's father expresses relief that his daughter has found a suitable "pet", she corrects him: her beloved Electra is far, far too cool to be considered a mere pet.
  • In Harry Potter, Thestrals are carnivorous bat-winged horses who obligingly bear the (completely new to riding) heroes through the sky to the Ministry of Magic.
  • In The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, the mule, Junia, saves the main character's life on multiple occasions, twice beating off a man attacking her, and rescuing her from animals more than once.
  • The Adventures of Strong Vanya: Waron, Vanya's black horse, is "faster than the wild Steppe wind, the best and most loyal horse under God's Sun". Waron proves its worth when a Grand Duke Dimitri's minion sets the Steppe on fire to kill Vanya, and Waron manages to outspeed battlefield.
  • Under Heaven: Shen Tai spent most of two years burying soldiers left on a battlefield. A princess that hears about it gifts him Sardian horses, a.k.a. 'dragon horses'. "Legends said they sweated blood."
    You gave a man one of the Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five of those glories to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank — and earn him the jealousy, possibly mortal, of those who rode the smaller horses of the steppes.
    The Princess Cheng-wan, a royal consort of Tagur now through twenty years of peace, had just bestowed upon him, with permission two hundred and fifty of the dragon horses.
    That was the number.
  • King Arthur's horse from The Faerie Queene, Spumador, is said to be "born of heavenly seed" and as it barrels through an angry Half-Human Hybrid army, it is compared to horses who drew Apollo's sun-chariot.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Brisco's horse Comet has an almost human level of intelligence. He even manages to unlock a combination lock!
  • "Blackadder, Blackadder, he rides a pitch-black steed..." In The Black Adder it goes by the name of Black Satin.
  • The Frontier Circus episode "Lippizan" centres around Ben's quest to find a replacement cool horse for the circus's blind equestrian after he accidentally causes the death of her horse. At the the end of the episode, the horse - King - single-handedly fights off a wolf pack.
  • In GARO, a Makai Knight that defeats 100 Horrors and passes a test earns the ability to summon a powerful horse made out of metal, called Madouba.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Isildur has Berek, his faithful stallion. Berek can feel his owner's own emotions and reflect them in his own behaviour.
    • Galadriel has a white horse that she presumably receives from Elendil.
  • Parks and Recreation: The most beloved resident of Pawnee is Li'l Sebastian, a miniature horse. Even the most cynical residents melt with joy when he's around. Outsiders can't understand the appeal.

In the album "Under the Grey Banner", from Dragonland, at the end of the song "At the Inn of Eamon Bayle" we're introduced to a mare black as the night and swift as the wind, that in the next song ("The Black Mare") will carry both the protagonist and his elf companion to the Elven lands.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Norse Mythology, Odin's horse Sleipnir has eight legs and can fly. Loki is his mother. Try not to think about that too much.
  • Older Than Feudalism Cool Horses in Classical Mythology:
    • Poseidon's hippocampi and Helios' fire steeds.
    • Xanthos and Balios, the immortal horses owned by Achilles in The Iliad.
    • Pegasus, the winged horse of Bellerophon.
    • Bucephalus, the steed of Alexander the Great,; the raging black stallion that only he could tame. Alexander even named a town after him.
    • Areion, belonging to and possibly sired by Posseidon, was immortal and could also talk.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Lu Bu's personal steed, Red Hare, was said to be capable of running 1,000 li (roughly 500 km / 310 miles) in a single day, and crossing running water and mountains as easily as flat plains. It increased Lu Bu's already badass legend, and then Guan Yu's when he inherited it. Red Hare was such a Cool Horse that Lu Bu murdered his step-father to get it. A saying of the time was "Among men, Lu Bu. Among horses, Red Hare.", referencing that both were considered the be the most badass of man and horse of the day.
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • Morvarc'h, the coal-black steed of the legendary Breton king Gradlon, could gallop across the tops of ocean waves as if he was running on dry land.
    • Grey of Macha and Black of Saingliu, twin steeds of Cú Chulainn. Born at exactly the same time as their master.
    • Enbarr of the Flowing Mane was another water-walking horse, owned by (fittingly) the ocean god Manannan Mac Lir.
  • Arthurian Legend: Sir Gawain had a part-supernatural-being horse, Gringolet. (Also called Kincaled depending on who you ask.)
  • The four horses of the Apocalypse. After all, you've gotta be a pretty damn cool horse to put up with riders like War, Pestilence, Famine and Death.
  • The The Shahnameh has Rakhsh, tamed by the Persian hero Rostam because he's the only horse in the world strong enough to bear his weight.
  • Burāq, the steed of the prophets according to Arabic(not Qur'an) tradition which is able to travel through the seven heavens and back to Earth in two days. Normally just getting to the first heaven takes seventy three years.
  • Middle Eastern mythology is full of legends about the prized Arabian horses. Many involve races across great distance in the desert where the horse turns up to a destination, right as rain... with a rider dead from exhaustion/starvation/thirst.
    • Stranger still, some of these stories may be true. There's a reason Arabians dominate endurance races and that riders fail health checkpoints as often if not more often than their horses do.
    • The Al Khamsa, the five mothers of the Arabian breed, the story goes Muhammad took 500 mares out into the desert. After about a day he allowed them to drink at a oasis, but when they were half way there he recalled them all, only five went to him.
  • The North Caucasian Nart Sagas have Zhaqa, a giant horse fit for a actual giant, and whose name literally means "grave mound". His speed and strength is only matched by the mare who bore him.


  • The Lone Ranger's horse, Silver, who appears in every adaptation of the story (television, film, comic books, etc.) He even had his own comic book at one stage.
    • To a less extent, Tonto's own horse, Scout, qualifies too.
    • In the animated version that ran in the '60s, Silver once pulled the Lone Ranger out of quicksand — reaching his head back to grasp in his teeth the coiled lasso hanging from the saddle (is that even anatomically possible?), he flung the loop end into the Ranger's hands (the other end was already tied to the saddle). It'd take Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin to top that!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons, as usual.
    • Paladins have a special ability to summon a "special mount." This grew until they can get an epic mount from the outer planes that is attuned only to them. It doesn't have to be a horse per se, but it usually is. Until Third Edition, a Paladin could only summon the thing once every ten years. Considering Paladins need every stat but Intelligence, there is a very good chance that the paladin's mount is smarter than they are. Of course, with Paladins often being cast as Lawful Stupid, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
    • Nightmares in Dungeons & Dragons are a fiery option for the Evil Counterpart of paladins, the Blackguard.
    • Unicorns and Celestial Chargers (Half-Celestial Unicorns) are also out there.
    • There's also the pegasi, the hippocampus, griffons, hippogriffs, riding dogs, dinosaurs, worgs, dragons... Asperi and comet steed. There's no shortage of creatures to ride around on.
    • Eberron has magebred horses, and the Valenar have horses descended from ancient druids.
  • Rifts also has a couple of these, such as the Psi-Pony and Megahorse, plus several Horses Of A Different Color, and even Mechanical Horses.
  • Archaon the Everchosen from Warhammer had Dorghar, Steed of the Apocalypse.
    • Prince Tyrion rides Malhandir, the Father of Horses. It has a move of 12 which means it can charge 24... The same range as an arrow from a longbow.
    • Daemonic steeds are an option for some Chaos units.
    • Brettonian units naturally get lots of cavalry, some of which are mounted on pegasi.
  • Imperial Guard roughriders in Warhammer 40,000 ride into battle with lances tipped with high explosives, against all kinds of aliens, demons, giant robots, and so on. While the horses themselves don't get much love, they must be pretty cool to deal with that.
    • Mogul Kamir has an Automaton Horse given to him by the Mechanicus as thanks.
  • The Iron Kingdoms have some of their own — namely the Karpathan destriers bred in the harsh north of Khador, quite possibly the biggest, strongest and meanest breed of horse in Western Immoren. These things can ride into battle with full heavy barding while carrying a large man wearing a suit of extremely-heavy, steam-driven Man-O-War armour.
  • Since you play a knight in Pendragon, having one of these is essential. The charger that every player character starts with is plenty cool already, and as the game's timeline moves on, even cooler ones become available.
  • In Anima: Beyond Fantasy one can find the Illona, a race of super horses "a la" the Rohirrim Mearas said to have been Sylvain mounts. They're very expensive and hard to come-by (unless you're the Empress, that is) as well as said to maintain a strong bonding with their riders.
  • Unstable Unicorns runs on this trope, with cards like Majestic Flying Unicorn and the like.
  • Exalted has demigod horses fathered by Hiparkes, the god of horses. Rihanna convincing one to let her on its back was the act that showed her to be worthy of a Solar Exaltation.
  • The One Ring: Riders of Rohan start play with a palfrey and can learn to train horses to perform tricks or gain special abilities.

  • Barbie has High Stepper, a motorized toy horse she can ride.
  • My Little Pony is perhaps the best example for toys, being an entire line of miniature multicoloured horses, often with accessories and magical powers, all aimed entirely at preteen girls.
  • Also from Hasbro are the FurReal line of animatronic ponies. You get a four-feet tall robot horse made of plush fur, plastic and iron, runs on six D-cell batteries, and actually moves and neighs like the real thing. Yes, you can actually sit on their back and they will react accordingly. However, for cost reasons, they can’t walk about.

    Video Games 
  • Epona, Link's steed in multiple The Legend of Zelda games beginning with Ocarina of Time, is much beloved by fans. She's so cool that, in Twilight Princess, if you speak to her as a wolf, her dialogue is words of encouragement. She's not in this because she's simply been trained to do what you say - she's in this because she wants you to succeed in your quest. Not only this, but during the final battle, she manages to keep pace with Ganondorf's Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane red-eyed Gerudo stallion while carrying twice as many riders.
  • There are several equine Pokémon, and almost every region has at least one species or evolution line.
  • Agro from Shadow of the Colossus. She shrugs off so much abuse, she must be the 17th Colossus.
    • Given the sheer size of that thing, it may be true. Agro is larger than some draft horses.
    • Toward the end of the game, Agro falls into a huge crevasse, a fall that would most definitely kill the player. After the final battle, it is revealed that she is still alive, and she has managed to limp her way over a mile back to the temple.
  • Super Robot Wars: Elzam von Branstein of the Alpha and Original Generation series once owned a black stallion named Trombe and generally calls his personal mechs by that name. This culminates in the Ausenseiter, which transforms into a horse for his partner Sanger's Dyzenger to ride. HASHIRE, TROMBE!
  • In Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, a horse statue comes to life, and it lets the Prince ride through the air in a couple of cutscenes.
  • Paladins in World of Warcraft can learn to summon a cool horse at level 30. The Alliance Paladins (Humans, Dwarves, Draenei) get one with gold and blue barding, while the Blood Elf (Horde) paladins get one in bronze and red.
    • At level 60, Alliance paladins go through an epic quest chain to get an Even Cooler Horse, which has horns and glows gold. Blood Elves go through a different quest (which involves desecration of a church and the massacre of its guards, no less) to get one that glows red and looks like it feeds off kitten blood.
    • Warlocks learn to summon a flaming steed at level 30. At level 60 they have an epic quest to learn to summon an epic, flaming, scaled, horned steed.
    • Death Knights will get a spectral horse with flaming blue hooves.
    • Plus there are cool horse drops from bosses — Deathcharger (a skeletal horse with purple barding) and Midnight (which has flaming green hooves and buckteeth... okay, not so cool).
      • The Headless Horseman's horse, a spectral mount with flaming green hooves, who can run on air.
    • You can buy (with real money) a Cool Winged Horse from Blizzard online store.
      • More than merely Cool, it's a living constellation, translucent so you can see the stars glowing within.
    • The Forsaken have Cool Horses as their default racial mount: they're skeletal, ghoulish steeds decked out in tattered gear and sporting the Glowing Eyelights of Undeath. The level 40 variations include tarnished armor and twisting horns.
    • There are also several in-story Cool Horses. Most notably, Invincible the steed of Arthas Menethil aka the Lich King. Invincible died while saving Arthas' life from... well nobody really knows exactly what as poor little ten year old Arthas was unable to say (but an Old God would be a good bet). Years later, Arthas raised him in undeath. You can obtain Invincible's Reins (which allows you to summon Invincible) after defeating the Lich King, but the drop rate is one of the lowest in the game.
  • Elden Ring gives the Player Character a spectral steed named Torrent, enabling them to more easily traverse the open world and Double Jump around enemy attacks.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In Daggerfall, the Iliac Bay god of war, Ebonarm, is said to ride into battle upon his "golden stallion", War Master. Ebonarm himself is a Black Knight, never seen without his dark ebony armor, and has an ebony sword permanently fused to his right arm.
    • Oblivion introduces Shadowmere, a ludicrously fast immortal black mare with red eyes, who, if you let her, will thoroughly kick the shit out of any enemy in-game. You could also knock her out and store an infinite amount of items in her, effectively making weight limits on what you can carry pointless. Shadowmere then returns in Skyrim, as something...more...than a normal horse.
    • Skyrim adds Arvak in its Dawnguard DLC. Arvak is a skeletal horse glowing with purple flames, and is a summoned creature, making him functionally immortal.
    • In the series' backstory, the Redguards of Hammerfell have a cool horse breed known as the Yokudan Charger. It came over with their ancestors during the migration from Yokuda, is well adapted to Hammerfell's desert climate, and is said to make for one of the best war steeds in Tamriel.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The Boss rides around Cold War era Russia on an Andalusian for absolutely no apparent reason aside from being too damned badass for normal transportation. Plus, Naked Snake loves horses so much, he wants to... do stuff to it.
  • God of War:
    • Helios's fiery steeds are all lesser gods.
    • Poseidon's Leviathans are a part of his god form.
  • Each of the Four Horsemen from Darksiders has one:
    • Ruin from is the horse of War. It's a black horse with hooves and fetlocks of fire.
    • Darksiders II gives us Despair, the mount of choice for Death. Instead of Ruin's red motif, Despair has a greenish-blue colour scheme.
    • Rampage is Fury's horse in Darksiders III. He is a black horse with a white-blue mane and tail.
    • Mayhem is Strife's horse. He is a White Stallion.
  • Final Fantasy has its share:
  • The player gets a magnificient horse in Red Dead Redemption. If you're in a foul mood you can even shoot and skin it! In the Undead Nightmare expansion pack, Not only are there four "Horses of the Apocalypse" running around, trailing things like locusts and fire, but if you break 'em all in, you get a chance at the ultimate mount: a unicorn. A unicorn that emits a cloud of butterflies when it's grazing and leaves a rainbow behind it as it runs.
  • The second stage of Shinobi III begins with Musashi riding a horse to the sound of Itaden while fighting enemy ninjas who come from giant kites. Musashi also rides the horse alongside the sunset at the ending.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online allows you to buy and ride a horse (or a pony, if you're a hobbit or dwarf) after buying the Riding skill for Turbine Points (or if you're a VIP, after you've gotten the skill through a quest gotten at level 20). They're a very nice way to get around Middle-Earth in general.
  • In Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack, resident insanely rich Big Bad, taunts you over the ECHO network that he has recently bought a horse made of diamonds, because he's rich. It's an actual, living horse made of diamond, which he names Butt Stallion, in honor of you.
    • In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, Butt Stallion is the queen that you're trying to save.
    • In Tales from the Borderlands, Fiona can find a statue of Butt Stallion as part of the museum tour of Handsome Jack's old office on the Helios space station. As part of a way to distract the guards, she can shoot the statue. It bleeds. Depending on if Rhys sided with the Handsome Jack AI, a later scannable item can reveal that after Jack's death, Butt Stallion because depressed and eventually went completely inert, turning into the statue in the office tour.
  • The carriages in BioShock Infinite are pulled by robotic Steampunk horses.
  • Cool Horses are the entire basis of pet game Valley of Unicorns.
  • The Good Queen of Tsioque rides one on her way to battle the Phoenix, the horse equipped with a unicorn-style mask.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition gives the Inquisitor a vast array of mounts, including several kinds of horses (and a number of non-horse creatures, like dracoliches and giant nugs). The "Flames of the Inquisition" DLC specifically includes a magnificent barded charger, which comes with its own awesome armor.
  • Paladins puts its champions on horseback whenever they start the match and respawn so they can get to the battle faster. The horses come in many different varieties, such as the standard brown, the black-coated Onyx Stallion, the Infenal Warhorse, the Candy Unicorn, the red-armored Scarlet Charger, and the icy Frostmare.
  • In League of Legends:

    Visual Novels 
  • Stormseeker, the grey stallion in Sword Daughter, clearly owes some inspiration to Tolkien's Shadowfax and is described as a "prince of horses." He's as intelligent as a human, helps the protagonists by request rather than by command, and has supernatural powers, including the ability to cover much more distance than the length of his strides should account for and to help anyone running alongside him do the same.
    Gavin: How else can you catch up with a storm?

    Web Animation 

  • Windstriker, Miko's horse, in The Order of the Stick. See above about paladins and D&D.
  • Shiratz (actually an AI) and the G.E.M.'s in UNA Frontiers.
  • Takan'dor, Arid's huge, jet-black war horse in Planes of Eldlor.
  • Madame Outlaw: Faust, the gang's stallion, is finicky and bad-tempered, but strong enough to do the work of multiple horses.
  • Vane's mount Diamonds in Next Town Over, who is already a hardy horse before becoming a zombie cyborg horse.
  • Looking for Group has the Bunny, which served as a mount for Richard when he was transformed into a baby (a "Little Dick," if you will).
  • In The Wallachian Library, Death is implied to not only be the White Mare of the Riders of the Apocalypse, but that she's also the supernatural entity described in the Apocalyose, not her Rider.
  • Suzie's loyal steed Popcorn in Zombie Ranch may not have the most badass name, but despite his rickety appearance he's survived shotgun blasts, tramplings, and who knows what else. It probably helps that he's been undead the whole time.
  • In Princess Princess, Amira has a steed that charges through solid walls if Amira claims that there's a cookie on the other side.

    Web Original 
  • In The Adventure Zone, Taako can summon a glorious talking, spectral, possibly unkillable unicorn named Garyl.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Ax's horse Widowmaker aka Dubya.
  • Bad Horse from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Just don't try to ride him... or he'll make you his mare!
  • How to Hero features a horse that is on fire and also a ghost. The guide posits that its offspring would make excellent racehorses.
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame" all heroes in the army of prince Arius, including the prince himself, ride to battle in large, armored steeds.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • Lady Rainicorn, and Lord Monochromicorn.
    • Sir Slicer's horse in 'Blood Under the Skin'.
  • Rainbow Brite had Starlite, who was "the most magnificent horse in the universe" — at least, according to him. Well, he could talk and fly (okay, technically he walked on rainbows) and had rainbow colored hair.
    • Then there's Skydancer, Stormy's horse. Though he couldn't talk, he could fly unaided, and when he ran he trailed rain and lightning shot from his hooves.
    • There’s also Krys' horse ON-X. Unlike the other two, he was a robotic black steed who could speak.
  • Parodied with Twinkle the Marvel Horse on Dave the Barbarian, who has the technicolor hair and flowery tack of your average girly fantasy pony, but talks like Christopher Walken and speaks endlessly of his morbid dreams about screaming maggots of death and doing unmentionable things to penguins.
  • Arguably Appa, from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not a horse, but a huge, 10-ton, six-legged flying bison. With an arrow on his head. How is that not awesome?!
  • Strawberry Shortcake:
    • Honey Pie Pony and the other Strawberryland fillies from the 2003 version. Apart from Honey Pie Pony, some appeared in the series, while others did not.
    • There was also "Maple Stirrup" in the 1980s version. Which got a passing mention in a game the 2003 series version (to be specific, mentioned in one of the story books in the GBA game Ice Cream Island Riding Camp).
  • Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (or Starla and the Jewel Riders, depending on where you live) is an example of this trope (with Sunstar, Moondance and, in season 2, Shadowsong).
  • The "cybersteeds" in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.
  • Galtar and the Golden Lance: Galtar rides a horned, blue horse-like creature named Thork, who was brave and strong and intelligent.
  • Bravestarr has the ever-loyal Thirty Thirty. Though technically an equine alien, he could shift between a bipedal and quadrupedal form with ease and carried a BFG called Sara Jane.
  • Wildfire, from the series of the same name
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: She-Ra had Swift Wind, a winged unicorn who could talk. Swift Wind's alter ego was an ordinary looking horse called Spirit. However, even as Spirit he was strong, clever and still had the ability to speak.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Played with in the episode "A Dog and Pony Show". The fact that Equestria is populated mostly by ponies usually keeps the characters from being considered this trope in-universe, but this doesn't stop Spike from trying to ride Twilight into battle to save Rarity (complete with a "Hi-ho, Twilight! Away!"). Twilight is not amused. Of course, this does not prevent her from indulging him anyway.
    • Spike also once tried this with the horses pulling the carriage taking the gang to the Grand Galloping Gala. Caramel and Lucky Clover weren't very amused.
    • Spike indulges in this once again, more successfully, in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" In the shared dream, after turning into a Dragon Knight, he picks a giant-sized Derpy Hooves as his flying mount, who enthusiastically play along.
  • Zorro: The Chronicles: Tornado is not only fast and strong, he's perfectly capable of fighting off criminals all by himself.
  • Centaurworld:
    • The simply-named Horse, a grey warhorse fierce enough to crush the skulls of her enemies, brave enough to jump stakes, and loyal enough to die for her rider. Over the course of her quest, she also develops a super-tough cartoony physique that, while it makes her look like "two beach balls had a weird kid", also makes her immune to falls and grants her magic that lets her dive into people's memories.
    • Becky Apples can be best described as a psychopath on hooves, fully willing and able to storm a castle of minotaurs all by herself. She has her own (large) killcount scratched on her bridle, defied her rider's control to jump a chasm that said rider thought was impassible, and bucks the Big Bad's human half down a fatal drop in the finale, clearing the way for someone else to deliver his deathblow. If not for her complete disregard for humans, she would be a perfect horse; as it is, the army only gets her to cooperate by bribing her with apples. To top all this off: in a setting where a horse's choice of rider says a lot about who they are, the only rider Becky has ever stuck with is a literal princess.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: While not a literal horse, the Horse Miraculous gives its wielder the power to teleport, along with a horseshoe weapon that can be used like a boomerang and the typical Miraculous-wielder powers of super strength and agility. The Miraculous even manifests itself as a pair of Cool Shades.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: The Horse Talisman grants the wielder healing and regeneration abilities. In Season 2, when the talismans' powers are transferred to real animals, the healing powers are given to a talented British race horse called Royal Medicine.

    Real Life 
  • Race Horses:
    • Phar Lap, probably one of New Zealand's (or Australia's) most famous celebrities. There are unsupported allegations that he was so fast that when he was brought to the US, he was poisoned by the mob.
    • Makybe Diva. Don't laugh at the name, she won the Melbourne Cup three times in a row.
    • Surpassed by Black Caviar, the Australian filly who has now retired with a 25-race winning record.
    • Man o' War, who ran twenty-one races in his two-year racing career, and won twenty of them. The one loss was due to being faced the wrong way when the race started, and even then he caught up from dead last to finish second. He set three world records, two American records and three track records, and was the sire of the also-famous War Admiral and the grandsire of Seabiscuit. Towards the end of his second racing season, almost nobody was willing to race their horses against him, even with Man o'War carrying absurdly heavy handicap weights; had he raced for a third season, he would have had to carry a heavier handicap than any horse has in the official history of racing.
    • Seabiscuit himself, of course, the short, funny-looking horse with an underdog background and winner of some amazing races who became a national icon during the Great Depression.
    • Secretariat was so awesome, ESPN named him as the 35th greatest athlete of the 20th century. No, really. His trainer said that he displayed an almost human-like curiosity, frequently looking up at planes passing overhead, and upon his death, it was discovered his heart weighed 22 pounds (10 kg) — more than twice as large as an average horse of comparable size. How many other racing sports do you know of, in which a major long-distance world record still stands that was set in 1973? (Secretariat's 2:24 in the Belmont, which he won by thirty-one lengths.)
      • For that matter, any horse that wins the Crown (Winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.) qualifies. From the creation of the youngest of the three races (Kentucky Derby, 1875) only 13 horses (including Secretariat) have won all three races, the first such achievement occurring 1919. Naturally, this leads to impressively long "Drought" periods, the most recent of which lasted for 37 years (1978-2014). It was widely thought in the 2010s that there would never be another triple crown winner. The reasons for this are that horse owners would frequently change out horses for the Belmont Stakes, which is last of the three races run and the longest (1 1/2 miles vs. 1 1/4 mile and 1 3/16ths mile at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes) is difficult for horses that are more suited for the first two races and many of the horses in Belmont are fresh for the race, while Triple Crown Challengers may still be recovering from the first two runs. It's still a very impressive feat as winning any one of these three races would give a horse a good claim to Cool Horse status. Winning the Triple Crown means your a Cool Horse's Cool Horse.
    • Zenyatta, a five-year-old Thoroughbred mare who is undefeated, tied for the longest winning streak in the history of modern bookkeeping (19), and the defending champion of the Breeders' Cup Classic, arguably the most important race in American Thoroughbred racing. Not only is she the defending champion of that race — she is also the first filly or mare to win it. Ever. Even her first and only loss (her last race, also the Breeder's Cup Classic), is awesome. After lagging 18 lengths for most of the race, and while having dirt kicked in her face, she made possibly the most spectacular run to finish second by the slimmest nose ever. She was in front of the winner, Blame, one stride before the wire, he pulled slightly ahead, then she passed him again one stride after it. Cooler still, she then went on to win Eclipse Horse of the Year over the only horse to defeat her on the track.
    • Eclipse, the most famous racehorse in history. Born during a solar eclipse, he raced and won eighteen times and his bloodlines run in every top-quality racing horse in the world. Like Secretariat, he had the "X-factor" — a larger-than-normal heart.
    • Cigar. 33 starts, 19 wins, 4 places, 5 shows. He earned more than eight million dollars, and had a sixteen-race winning streak that included the Breeder's Cup Classic.
    • Red Rum is the only horse ever to have won the Grand National three times (and on both of the other occasions when he entered it, he finished second). Over a decade after his death, a polling company found that he's still the best-known horse in Britain.
    • The longest winning streak in thoroughbred history belongs to Kinscem, a plain (even ugly) bay filly foaled in Hungary in 1874. She raced across Europe against males and females and was undefeated in fifty-four starts. To cap it, Kinscem produced several daughters who while not quite as successful as their dam were still winning racehorses and successful broodmares. She even has a park named for her in Budapest, a statue in her honor, is still a Hungarian national heroine, and reportedly was once stolen by Romani people — when caught and confronted about why they stole the ugliest filly in the stable, they said that the others were just horses, this one was going to be special. She even has a kidnap story! Kinscem was a very Cool Horse.
    • Many Japanese racehorse examples were carefully collected and... turned into anime girls for the Uma Musume Pretty Derby franchise. Listing all 60 here would be overkill, but some key horses are:
      • Silence Suzuka, who was so strikingly fast that he kept winning races in 1998 by immense distances, starting out in the lead with no other horse being able to overtake. Unfortunately, this did not end well; in one of those races, while in that kind of lead, the horse broke down on flat ground. A bone in a front leg shattered in several pieces, possibly "tired out" by Suzuka running far too fast far too much. For a racehorse, there was only one option after that. But first, the horse, in an act of apparent equine heroism, did not fall over; he slowed down gradually, having to use the broken leg in a lot of pain, in order to save his jockey, Yutaka Take. After this, Take drank to the point of passing out, which was not normal for him.
      The jockey for Suzuka, Yutaka Take said in a interview once that usually it would not be unlikely for a horse to fall down after breaking its leg while running, but Suzuka did not because he did not want Take to get hurt. Suzuka was known for being a gentle and friendly horse. He also seemed to know what the jockey riding him wanted and would follow orders well.
      • El Condor Pasa, who was actually American-born, but Japanese-owned and racing first in Japan. He started with an unbeaten record of five races, before losing one (Mainichi Okan 1998) to Silence Suzuka. A rematch was highly anticipated but never happened, because Suzuka was critically injured in a race before that (note that unlike the anime, El Condor Pasa was not in Suzuka's last race). El Condor Pasa went on to win the prestigious Japan Cup before being sent to France, where he won a couple more races and came a very narrow second in L'Arc de Triomphe.
      • Haru Urara, a subversion of sorts. She never won a race, but she kept fighting on, eventually attracting a very significant fandom for her pure pluck. Eventually, a documentary about her was created, which includes some animated sequences. So now she has the distinction of being animated twice.
  • Personal steeds and warhorses:
    • Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, and supposedly a huge black stallion that could not be tamed by anyone but the 13-year-old prince. Because of his unusually big head, he got the rather unglamorous name "Ox-head".
    • George Washington had his trusty steed, Nelson.
    • Toes, the horse(s) of Julius Caesar. The original mount was given to him as a joke as it had an odd mutation where it had splithooves and therefore could not be shod or ridden effectively. Caesar bred a line of warhorses off him.
    • Babieca, famous warhorse of the Spanish hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (a.k.a. El Cid). Legends have it that when the Cid died, his corpse was strapped to the horse and sent charging into battle. (Of course, nobody bothered asking Babieca if he was cool with the idea.) Babieca is also said to have lived to the age of at least sixty.
    • Trigger, Roy Roger's horse. According to The Other Wiki, he knew 150 trick cues and is considered the most famous horse in film history. In fact, Golden Cloud (his original name) appeared as Maid Marian's palomino mount in 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood prior to being cast as Trigger. Now that is a Cool Horse!
    • Although not a horse, Simpson's donkey Duffy may count. During WWI, at the battle of Gallipoli, she helped Simpson carry wounded Australian soldiers back to the trenches for treatment. When Simpson was eventually sniped by the Turks, she carried on with him and the wounded soldier on her back.
    • Matsukaze, the legendary horse of the legendary samurai Maeda Toshimasu, better known as Maeda Keiji. Matsukaze was said to be bred from the finest bloodlines, but was so wild that no one could ride him. Through unknown means, perhaps because he was rather wild himself, Maeda Keiji managed to tame Matsukaze and they were inseparable from then on. Matsukaze was said to be incredibly strong compared to other horses and could carry his master's large frame for days. It is also said that when Maeda Keiji died Matsukaze ran away and was never seen again.
    • Traveller, the main horse of Robert E. Lee, known for his courage, strength and stamina in combat and admired by just about everyone who came in contact with him. He also outlived Lee by several months.
    • Cincinnati was the most famous horse of Ulysses S. Grant, himself a noted and skilled equestrian, who quickly decided this horse was his favorite. Grant kept several horses during the war, though (as cavalry officers did) - Cincinnati being only one, and his usual battle mount was actually a horse named Jeff Davis. However, since Grant rode Cincinnati on the way to the Appomattox Court House to accept the Confederate surrender from Lee he's usually the horse Grant is depicted riding in paintings and statues.
    • While Napoleon wasn't great a horseman as much of the owners of the above examples, his favourite mount, Marengo - is worth mentioning. He famously carried Napoleon for half a day during the Battle of Marengo, one of Napoleon's closet victories. The horse lived a charmed life, getting wounded eight times, made 80-mile runs in Spain in less than five hours, and survived the infamous retreat from Moscow (which many of his fellow steers didn't).
    • Coperhagen, the Duke of Wellington's own mount ably carried his master to ultimate victory at Waterloo after seventeen hours and almost kicked him to death when he was patted on the flank by accident.
    • Chetak, the noble steed of Maharana Pratap of Mewar. When his master was wounded at the Battle of Haldighati, barely clinging to life and almost unconscious in the saddle, Chetak, acting of his own accord, carried Pratap away from the battlefield and into the hills, saving his life.
  • Proving you don't have to be ridden to be a Cool Horse, Cuddles the miniature horse was the first trained "guide horse" to take up duty as an escort and companion for a blind man. Like other guide animals, Cuddles assists his person in navigating both indoor and outdoor surroundings, warns him of steps or poor footing, and follows some 23 verbal commands.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte's cavalry arm had one special unit called the Grenadiers á cheval - literally "Horse Grenadiers" - whose 5'11 foot tall riders (far taller than the average man at the time) rode on giant black horses.
  • Marine Staff Sergeant Reckless. She was a pack horse for the US 1st Marine Regiment during the Korean War who carried recoilless rifle ammunition to the troops at the front line and evacuated wounded to the rear, all while under fire. She eventually became adept enough at her task that she memorized the supply routes and could work solo without a handler. For her service she was given official rank and was awarded several decorations, including two purple hearts and a good conduct medal.
  • Bill The Bastard, who was a horse in the Australian Light Horse in the First World War and served at Gallipoli and the Battle of Beersheba. A very apt and Australian name, Bill was unrideable by anyone except one man, Major Michael Shanahan. Bill proved his worth though, when he and Shanahan rescued four soldiers who were trapped by enemy gunfire, and Bill carried the four riders and Shanahan out - at the same time. When Shanahan was severely wounded by a bullet while mounted, Bill very carefully walked to the nearest medical station - a veterinary unit.
  • Clever Hans: a cool horse, and an interesting lesson in human-animal interaction. Clever Hans was a popular sideshow attraction in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, apparently able to perform arithmetic by answering questions (both oral and written) from his handler, Wilhelm von Osten. What Hans was actually doing was reading the body language of von Osten and others around him; for example, if asked "what is seven plus eight?" Hans would tap his hoof until he saw, right after his fourteenth tap, that everyone flinched, almost imperceptibly and completely involuntarily. This told Hans that his next tap was the correct answer. This "flinching" is almost impossible for humans to detect, but among domesticated animals with limited vocal capacity, it's a primary means of communication.

Look at my horse, my horse is amazing!


Video Example(s):


Raoh & Kokuoh

Raoh decides to challenge Kenshiro whilst astride his steed, the elephant-sized stallion Kokuoh. Kenshiro, however, wants Raoh to fight him one-on-one, and delivers a charge-stopping punch to Kokuoh's jaw. For being hit by a practitioner of a technique which can readily make people's heads explode, Kokuoh takes it rather well, merely being stunned for a few moments.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MountedCombat

Media sources: