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Equine and Equestrian Tropes

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This index is for tropes that are about or are closely related to horses, donkeys, zebras, mules and other equines. It also includes tropes that or frequently come up in relationship to horseback riding.



  • The Alleged Steed: A broken-down horse destined for the knackers yard or the glue factory in the hero's possession.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: The stereotype that all young girls love horses and ponies.
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  • Automaton Horses: When horses never seem to need basic care (food, water, shelter, etc.), or humans treat them like they don't.
  • Born in the Saddle: Cultures that revolve around riding animals, primarily but not limited to horses.
  • Chariot Race: The premier equestrian event of Roman times.
  • Cool Horse: A badass horse.
  • Diligent Draft Animal: The horse is a draft animal that uses its strength to perform work and transport loads.
  • Eastern Zodiac: The horse is the seventh animal of the zodiac.
  • The Grand Hunt: A formalized hunt for sport.
  • Headless Horseman: A headless, undead rider who rides around seeking a replacement head.
  • Hellish Horse: A monstrous-looking horse.
  • Hippogriff: A mythical creature that is half bird of prey, and half horse.
  • Horse Archer: Someone who shoots a bow while on horseback.
  • Horseback Heroism: Good guys riding horses.
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  • Horse Jump: Jumping over things while riding on horses.
  • Horse Returns Without Rider: Person sets out riding a horse, and then the horse returns alone, implying something bad happened to the rider.
  • Horsing Around: Horses with an attitude.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: The instance of a very large rider riding on a very small animal.
  • Invulnerable Horses: In combat scenes, horses and other mounts never seem to be shot, killed, or injured even when it would be likely for them to be.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Horses have a tendency to get along with cats, often sharing their stalls with them.
  • Land in the Saddle: Leap down off the roof, wall or balcony you're on — or out of a window — and land in the saddle of your waiting horse.
  • Mechanical Horse: A robotic horse.
  • Moody Mount: A horse, dragon, dinosaur, or other creature that is being used as a mount has a mind of its own.... and doesn't like its rider.
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  • Mounted Combat: Fighting while riding on horses.
  • My Horse Is a Motorbike: When motorcycles are depicted as the modern version of horses.
  • Nuckelavee: A horse-like monster from Orcadian mythology.
  • Only the Chosen May Ride: A horse or other rideable creature that can only be tamed and ridden by the one it chooses.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The different depictions of centaurs (half-human, half-horse creatures) in fiction.
  • Our Hippocamps Are Different: Equines with mermaid-like fish tails, and potentially other piscine traits.
  • Our Kelpies Are Different: Shape-shifting horses that lure people to a watery grave.
  • Pegasus: A horse with wings originating from Greek mythology.
  • Pony Tale: A story about a female horse rider.
  • Rainbows and Unicorns: Rainbows and unicorns associated with one another.
  • Rearing Horse: A horse rearing back so its front hooves are off the ground.
  • Sapient Steed: Horses or other mounts that can talk.
  • Somewhere, an Equestrian Is Crying: Factual inaccuracies about horses in a work of fiction that make the story work better.
  • Stubborn Mule: Stubborn, recalcitrant, and uncooperative mules or other equids.
  • Unicorn: A horse with a singular horn on its head.
  • Unicorns Are Sacred: When harming a unicorn is a sign of great evil.
  • Upper-Class Equestrian: Horses and horseback riding portrayed as hobbies for rich people.
  • Virile Stallion: When horses are associated with manliness and unbridled masculinity.
  • White Stallion: When only the leader gets to ride the white horse.
  • Winged Unicorn: A unicorn that has wings.
  • Zebras Are Just Striped Horses: Zebras portrayed as behaving like domestic horses.

Useful Notes

  • Equestrian Sports: Information about real-life horse-related sports.
  • Horse Racing: Information about real-life horse racing.
  • Mounted Combat: Information about the real-life practice of battling while on horseback.