Follow TV Tropes


Sapient Steed

Go To
I can only beat him by sacrificing my knight. He finds it offensive.

"Those old war horses never shut up."

Whether chatty horses, philosophical dragon mounts, or calculating cars, some characters have modes of transportation that talk back.

Useful because it justifies/averts Automaton Horses, as well as providing sage advice, companionship, and enabling some really cool stunts.

Often Hilarity Ensues if the rider accidentally 'forgets' this, treating their steed like a normal animal.

Subtrope of Sapient Pet. Compare A Boy and His X, Living Ship, Sapient Tank and Space Ship Girl. Prone to Horsing Around if you piss them off. Likely to be a case where Only the Chosen May Ride. Often part of a Smart Animal, Average Human duo. See also: Bond Creatures and Mechanical Horse.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • All the B'ts in B't X: All the B'ts are mechanical, intelligent mounts.
  • Hermes the motorcycle from Kino's Journey.
  • The Arbalest's AI from Full Metal Panic! is milestones more advanced than the others because he's capable of learning. Sousuke is thoroughly frustrated with him because, unlike his previous mounts who merely helped operating the mecha, Al does talk back to him if he knows he's right. Once during The Second Raid, the mecha chewed out his pilot, saying that he's not going to operate for him properly until he treats him as a partner.
    • And then in the TSR OVA, when Sousuke was glomped by his half-asleep and half-naked superior in the hangar (scaring the beejesus out of him), Al was humorously commenting on the situation despite Sousuke's repeated orders to shut up; when she woke up and ran away in fright, he told Sousuke to go after her which he rebuffed with a loud "SHUT UP!"
  • Zoids:
    • In Zoids: Chaotic Century, Organoids grant this to regular Zoids by bonding with them. Doing so replaces the Fighter Zoid's animalistic and easily controlled systems with the Organoid's more intelligent mind, as well as improving its stats across the board. Zeke, Van's Organoid, also acts as a mount for Van and Fiona pretty frequently.
    • In Zoids: New Century, this is a hallmark characteristic of Ultimate X Zoids. They're considered legendary due to their rarity, and their special cores are considered "black box" technology due to, basically, being Organoid Zoid Cores inside of normal Zoid bodies. Liger Zero is the first to appear, and its exceptional nature goes unnoticed until after Bit becomes his pilot. Liger can think for himself and adjust strategies mid-fight, even disobeying orders and communicating to Bit through his cockpit computer screen. Berserk Fury is the same, and like Liger only accepts Vega as his pilot due to an uncommon intuition and a rare love for Zoids.
    • In Zoids: Wild, this is true for all Zoids. They will usually refuse to listen to a rider they don't trust, and their true power can only be unlocked by a powerful bond between rider and steed. The most effective Zoid riders are ones who work together with their Zoids to develop new attacks and strategies through collaboration. Zoids can even come up with new moves on their own. The Dark Metal Empire tends to rely on less intelligent common Zoids like Rapterrix for their Mooks due to being more easily controlled, and the Four Dark Warriors use fear to subjugate their Zoids instead. Except Drake, whose Zoid Ruin allows himself to be controlled out of one-sided dedication to Drake until he realizes what a jerk he's been and changes sides.

    Comic Books 
  • Lucky Luke's horse, Jolly Jumper, which is also really smart (sometimes he plays chess, and once he was fishing without Luke's help). At one point, Luke even makes a comment implying that Jolly knows how to pick locks.
  • The iteration of Wonder Woman's invisible robot plane from her post-Crisis series is a sentient thing made by sufficiently advanced aliens as the Amazon's technological advances were jettisoned outside of the purple ray. The craft even makes a Heroic Sacrifice. Pre-Crisis issue Wonder Woman #128 revealed it was originally a Pegasus transformed into a plane by Athena.
  • Shining Knight, one of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, owns a white, winged, talking horse named Vanguard.
    Vanguard: "Justin. I'm a horse. Who's ever heard of a mad horse?"
  • Supergirl: Comet the Super-Horse, introduced in "The Super-Steed of Steel", was an extremely intelligent flying white horse who had several powers like super-strength and telepathy which he used to help his owner Kara out.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Panchito Pistoles' horse, Senor Martinez. He's non-anthropomorphic, but smart enough to be his own person.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Falada in "The Goose Girl", in the original Grimm story and all adaptations, such as Shannon Hale's novel by the same name.
  • The Tuvan epic poem "Boktu-Kirish Bora Seelei": Bora-Seelei borrows her brother's clever talking horse, who thinks up various schemes for Bora-Seelei to win the favor of the magical Princess Angyr-Chechen, who has the ability to bring Boktu-Kirish back to life.
  • The eponymous horse in Dapplegrim is a massive dapple-gray horse, and speaks to his master throughout the story.
  • "The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa": The titular horse of power not only can talk but also is smarter than its owner.
  • "The Death of Koschei the Deathless": The horse of Koschei is intelligent enough to talk, give good advice and brag.
    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.
  • "The Nine Peahens and the Golden Apples": Every time the prince attempts to rescue his wife, the dragon asks his horse if he should chase after them right now or after getting dinner and a good night's sleep.
  • In the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Index tale type ATU 314, "Goldener" or "The Youth Transformed to a Horse", the protagonist (a boy or a youth) is hired by an employer of mysterious origin. One day, while he is away, the hero opens a door and finds a talking horse that warns him that his employer wants to devour him. The boy and the horse escape to another kingdom, and the horse advises him to become a gardener in the king's court, and eventually helps the hero marry a princess. In some variants, the horse is actually the princess's brother, cursed into equine form:
  • As an alternate form of tale type ATU 314, which exists in Iran, Middle East and North Africa, the protagonist is hounded by his stepmother, who tries to kill him. Whenever he comes back from school, his pet horse (or foal, or colt, or a mare) cries for the boy's fate and warns him against his stepmother's treachery.
  • In the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Index tale type ATU 530, "The Princess on The Glass Mountain" (which includes The Princess on the Glass Hill and Russian tale Sivko-Burko), the hero tames three wild horses of magical origin. In some variants, the horses speak: they recognize the hero as their master and give him some hairs of their manes, so they can be summoned.
  • In the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Index tale type ATU 531, "The Clever Horse" (which includes the aforementioned The Firebird, The Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa and Russian literary tale The Humpbacked Horse), the hero is helped by his faithful steed, which warns him against the perils on his journey and is vital to ensure the hero's happy ending with the princess.

    Fan Works 
  • In the My Little Pony fanfic The Son of the Emperor, ponies are intelligent, capable of speech and exist alongside humans. Some even hold positions in the military or are nobles.
  • Vow of Nudity: Kay'la's horse Lugnut is a fey spirit shapeshifted into a kelpie, meaning it can understand Common and generally shows more sapience than a regular horse.
  • And in another fanfic, Wild Sweet and Cool, 'tandem racing' is featured where one (normal-sized) pony rides another; teamwork is, of course, vital.

    Films — Animation 
  • Donkey briefly in Shrek 2. Otherwise he isn't actually a steed.
  • Cyril Proudbottom from The Wind in the Willows segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
  • Tangled has Maximus, who goes from being the horse of the captain of the guard at the beginning to being the captain of the guard by the end. He's separated from his rider very early on but pursues Flynn throughout the whole film and even wields a sword with his mouth. He's about as badass as a horse can get. He doesn't talk, but has vocalizations provided by you-know-who.
  • Frozen:
    • Played with with Sven the reindeer, who doesn't talk, but instead is "voiced" through Kristoff in the manner a dog owner would imitate their pet talking. He does display considerable intelligence and even tries to directly force Kristoff to return to Arendelle.
    • Hans' horse (named Sitron by virtue of Ascended Fanon) also displays intelligence in his short time onscreen, "bowing" for Princess Anna and later waving at her (seeming oddly interested in her as he does so).
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame had Achilles, who could sit on command, and would happily do so on pursuing guards.
  • The characters in BIONICLE 2 don't realize that the Kikanalo beasts are this, until Nokama's Mask of Translation activates and she starts having a conversation with them, after which they offer to carry her and her partners around. Although it turns out the Kikanalo could understand what they were saying anyway.
  • In Turning Red, Mei in her giant red panda form gives rides on her back during Tyler's birthday party.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Dragon-bird from Book of Brownies is sapient, fully capable of communicating with the brownies, and visits them frequently during the weekends after the adventure is over offering his friends a ride.
  • Dilvish's steed, a steel horse that's the embodiment of a demon, in Roger Zelazny's Dilvish, the Damned.
  • Eshinarvash and other Wise Horses from the Firekeeper Saga series of books are sapient and intelligent, they only lack the ability to speak to humans other than Firekeeper (and, later, Derian). The people of Liglim can work around this somewhat, through use of rituals and divination they use to read omens of the future.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Silmarillion, the hound Huan allows Lúthien to ride him. Although his nature is never quite clear, he is very much in animal form, obviously sentient and even speaks three times.
    • The Lord of the Rings: Shadowfax (Gandalf's horse) is at the high end of reasonable horse intelligence. He regards it as his business to see that his rider doesn't fall off, so no saddle is needednote , and at least once he meets Gandalf as if he knew he would be needed. Old Bill, the pony the hobbits buy in Bree, also seems to be fairly bright for a horse.
    • The Wargs often ridden by Orcs are an allied race with their own language and culture, not domesticated animals. Similarly the Giant Eagles that occasionally give the heroes rides.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia, some horses and most unicorns talk; this is most prominent in The Horse and His Boy. The two main horses in that book have quite humorous personalities, especially with Bree trying to figure out what is acceptable for a talking horse, having grown up among dumb ones. Although it is slightly subverted when it's noted that in Narnia talking horses are only ridden in times of war and that suggesting they be ridden except in great emergencies is very rude.
  • The NeverEnding Story has Falcor. Artax also talks in the book.
  • Late in Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Number of the Beast, Zebadiah Carter's spaceship "Gay Deceiver" becomes sentient and is able to talk intelligently.
    • Dora (spaceship, Time Enough for Love and subsequent) certainly fits this trope if Gay does.
    • Also in Time Enough for Love, the talking mules - genetically engineered, with the most intelligent being capable of understanding human speech and producing simple words. (When one such mule dies, the protagonist and his wife bury it and put a tombstone on the grave.)
  • A Spell for Chameleon and The Source of Magic, the first two novels in Piers Anthony's Xanth series. Bink rides Cherie Centaur, who is intelligent and can speak (like all centaurs). Unlike most versions of centaurs, those living in Xanth generally have no qualms about serving as steeds for their two-legged companions and can usually be expected to give rides to bipeds in any story featuring them (pretty much all of them). Mare Imbrium carries a few riders, as does NIMBY...
    • Also, in the Incarnations of Immortality series, Death's Pale Horse "Mortis", who can also transform into a pale car (whose license plate is MORTIS), is sapient and sometimes tells stories about past riders.
  • Mercedes Lackey likes this trope
    • Heralds of Valdemar series: The Companions are Standard Issue. Those Heralds recruited late in life have occasionally expressed their annoyance, especially as said steeds are mentally bonded to their riders. They usually get over it pretty quickly; the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, and if you don't think so, you're not the sort to be Chosen anyway. Strictly speaking, Companions aren't horses, and tend to get quite insulted when somebody refers to them as such. They're high-level Guardian Spirits who have taken on a four-legged form as a matter of convenience.
      • In the same series, the Hawkbrothers are allies of dyheli, which they ride instead of horses. Sapient deer with Psychic Powers make better mounts in the Hawkbrothers' native forests, and allow themselves to be ridden as one of the assets they bring to their partnership with the humans.
    • Her urban fantasies feature Elven Steeds, who can also turn into cars. Or motorcycles, or whatever they feel like, really. They are quite intelligent but don't actually talk. In Born to Run one of the Elven Steeds communicates telepathically with its rider to plan how to distract one of the villains.
    • In Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, any magical animal can talk, and some of those can be ridden. People who have acquired the ability to speak to animals can talk to regular horses too, but they seldom have anything interesting to say.
  • In Christopher Stasheff's Warlock of Gramarye series, Rod Gallowglass's horse is actually a cybernetic body and a basketball-sized computer. His name is "Fess" and he's effectively epileptic, since there's a connection that overheats and blows when he encounters something he isn't programmed to deal with — like magic. The reset button is in the pommel of the saddle.
  • In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, the almost immortal Whinno-hir breed of horses understand speech and frequently establish mental links with chosen Kencyr people. They do not speak, but can make themselves understood; they appear to be near human in intelligence. They appear to be able to take human form for brief periods. The carnivorous, armored unicorn-like rathorns, meanwhile, appear to be as intelligent as dolphins or chimpanzees; while they do not have anything like speech, they can still convey fairly complicated concepts over a mental link or with e.g. body language.
  • The smallest dragons in the Temeraire series play this straight, while most of the others (including the title character) straddle this trope and Living Ship. Their intelligence varies between individuals and breeds, but in some cases they may actually be smarter than their captains — dragons seemingly have a natural affinity for mathematics, while the British aerial corps tends not to have much time for classical education.
  • Coursers in The War Gods series by David Weber. Even given citizenship, but they can't talk to any except their bonded riders or Magi.
    • One of them bonded with a Champion (the series equivalent of Paladins) and as a consequence ended up becoming a Champion himself.
  • Inverted in The Belgariad with Hettar, a Horse Lord, capable of speaking to horses and understanding them in return. Since it's not tied to a specific mount, he can do it with any horse he happens to be riding.
    • Garion also figures out how to do it, though the horse he tries it on is young, and not too bright, so it doesn't work too well.
    • Hettar's ability is akin to telepathy. He tries it once with the steeds of the bad guys. It turns out they just look like horses. He's able to contact them, but really wishes he hadn't.
  • Faran in The Elenium is a foul-tempered warhorse who only Sparhawk can ride. He's very intelligent, but also highly opinionated and quite fond of showing off. Aphrael once told Sparhawk the main reason Faran acted the way he did was because Faran knew that's what Sparhawk wanted in his steed.
  • Cohen the Barbarian has a talking horse in the Discworld short story "Troll Bridge". He hadn't known it was magical when he got it, and if he'd known it was going to complain all the time, he wouldn't have bothered. He's got rid of it by Interesting Times.
    • Binky, Death's Horse might be up to this level, but it's never actually stated just how much more intelligent he is than normal. He doesn't talk, though.
    • Camels, even if they can't talk, are still brilliant mathematicians and intelligent enough to pour disdain on their owners.
  • In Eragon, dragon-riders can talk to their dragons. Dragons can also talk to other people if they connect to that person's mind.
  • In Terry Pratchett's The Dark Side of the Sun, some of the Mechanical Horses are Class 5 robots, making them human for all intents and purposes.
  • Anna and her descendants in Leo Frankowski's Conrad Stargard series are guessed to be about as intelligent as a 6-8 year old. Within the books, it's indicated that they might even be smarter than that, but have been hiding their abilities since they're essentially genetically engineered slaves.
  • The titular alien dragons of the Dragonriders of Pern series are telepathic and intelligent. They can speak to other dragons, fire lizards (their genetic precursors), their own riders, and the very rare humans with greater telepathic potential who can communicate with all dragons. One difference in dragon and human mentality is that dragons don't have a very strong grasp of the past or the future and mostly live in the here and now.
  • The Titanides of the Gaea Trilogy do not mind being ridden. Especially when the alternative is checking their speed on behalf of the slowpoke humans.
  • The Skybax in Dinotopia, although you have to either speak their language to communicate, or have a translator Protoceratops around.(with the exception of Windchaser, who did speak human.) And a ton of other dinosaurs in the series as well.
  • Used a few times in Animorphs, when Cassie morphs horse. Once, she's in horse morph with Tobias in Hork-Bajir morph on her back.
  • Is the case in The Gandalara Cycle by Randall Garrett. The protagonist's, (as well as other characters of the same creed), bond creature is a giant fictional lion-tiger hybrid called a sha'um, (which is bigger at the shoulder than a clydesdale horse!) that has immense strength and speed. The sha'um, though extremely loyal, are also quite picky on who gets to ride them outside of their bonded, and will get insanely jealous if their selected bonded rides another without their permission. As a bonus though, they can lend their physical strength to their riders when separated in time of duress.
  • The horse ridden by Xuanzang in Journey to the West. However, it is no ordinary horse but a dragon who is the son of a sea god doing penance for his earlier errors.
  • This tradition begins in the Tortall Universe with Cloud, Daine's pony in The Immortals. The girl's wild magic means that the pony has become much more intelligent than a normal steed, able to strategize like a human and understand language. Over time, every horse (well, animal) around Daine also changes in this way. Eventually the palace's horses are basically seen as equal partners to most knights and soldiers. It's eventually revealed that Daine's not just a NORMAL wildmage with an affinity for animals— she's the half-human daughter of the Gallan forest-god, Weiryn.
  • Valadan in many of Susan Dexter's books. Capable of communicating telepathically, immortal, and chooses his own rider. Incredibly fast, reasonably enough, as he's only half-horse — the other half being wind.
  • Rhyshadim in The Stormlight Archive are stronger, faster, and bigger than regular horses, and a whole lot smarter. They pick one human, who is the only one that gets to ride them, and will not tolerate any other rider except under the most bizarre circumstances. When Adolin's Rhyshadim is killed by Voidbringers in Words of Radiance, it is treated exactly like losing a very good human friend.
  • Animals in Oz are established as sentient and able to speak. This also applies to animals entering Oz and other fairy lands, for instance Jim the cab-horse in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. The animated Sawhorse is also sentient and can speak; he has a debate with Jim as to which of them is superior. This does not apply to Wicked, which was not written by Baum.
  • The telepathic horse Maureen rides in the short story "Maureen Birnbaum on the Art of War" (based on the Horseclans series). Because she can communicate with it, she names it Mister Ed.
  • The Electric Monk's horse in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency doesn't talk, but does have some well-thought out and deeply cynical opinions on life in general and the Monk in particular. The novel states this is actually perfectly normal for horses: it's very hard to be sat on by another species every day and not come to some conclusions about them.
  • Zig-Zagged in the Ranger's Apprentice series. It's lightly implied at times that, although they can't talk, Ranger horses are intelligent with surprisingly expressive body language, and most shown Rangers have had a conversation with their steed at least once. It's sometimes stated that it's simply Ranger superstition, seeing "talking" where there are none on long journeys, only for a Ranger horse to do something that could be interpreted as a response to that claim. There's evidence for non-intelligence and sapience, and throughout all the books it's never explicitly confirmed one way or the other. It is worth noting, however, that Ranger horses are specifically bred for endurance and intelligence (they are trained to recognize unusual commands AND to buck any rider who doesn't know that particular horse's unique password. Moreover, you only have to give the horse the password once. It WILL remember.)
  • A Mechanical Horse version in the classic 1951 sci-fi The Quest for Saint Aquin by Anthony Boucher, specifically an artificially-intelligent 'robass', who spends a lot of time arguing with the priest it's conveying over the necessity of his quest.
    If the prophet Balaam conversed with his ass, surely, I may converse with my robass.

    Live-Action TV 
  • KITT from Knight Rider, who is arguably more The Hero than Michael at times.
  • In the Merlin (1998) miniseries, Merlin has a horse named Sir Rupert. He can talk. This is not explained in the show itself, but if you read the novelization it'll tell you why.
  • Mister Ed is a horse, of course.
  • Yu Lung, a.k.a. "Horse", the horse who is really a dragon from Monkey.
  • In The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Brisco seems to carry on intelligent conversations with Comet 'the wonder horse'.
  • In Juken Sentai Gekiranger, Haku, one of the Genjuken warriors who serve Mele, is based on a horse.
  • On The Cosby Show, Cliff remembers a smart horse from the old Westerns he loved as a kid: "Coco the Wonder Horse, smartest horse in the world - used to roll his own cigarettes!"

  • Yongbi: The titular Bounty Hunter rides a horse that's basically a medieval Korean version of Maximus from Tangled. He's intelligent (he was able to determine the worth of a golden medallion offered by a boy they rescued just by licking it), stubborn, rather arrogant (during a stay in the emperor's stable he forces the servants to serve him hoof and foot and pushes around the other stable horses), defiant, VERY expressive, a pervert, has a sense of humor, and constantly bickers with his rider like an old married couple.

  • In South African childrens' show Die Liewe Heksie, Livinia the witch has Griet the magical taking horse as her sidekick.
  • Sesame Street has Marshall Grover's Fred the Wonder Horse and Forgetful Jones's Buster. In both cases the horses are significantly smarter than their riders.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Dragonlance setting has many dragon riders whose dragon mounts can talk.
    • Inverted in one short scenario from Dungeon Adventures magazine, in which an evil spellcaster used a feeblemind spell to render a centaur druid mindless, then hitched him up to pull a wagon. The PCs must rescue this unlucky sentient being from the fate of an unspeaking beast of burden.
    • Paladins' mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6 (not as smart as the average Humanoid (10) but smarter than any animal (1 or 2), and they get smarter as the Paladin gains levels. Given that Intelligence is about the only Dump Stat that Paladins have, it is relatively common for a mid-to-high level Paladin's mount to be smarter than they are.
    • There are quite a few creatures — most commonly worgs or nightmares — that are smart enough to be considered sapient or even learn to speak intelligibly but traditionally serve as mounts for other creatures.
    • Subverted with Chaturani Knights from Dragon Magazine, despite being Living Chessmen that are carved to look like knights on seahorses they're actually one creature.
  • Rifts took it a step further with Blood Lizards and Psi-Ponies, who were not only intelligent, but you could even use them as a Player Character.
  • In Ars Magica it is entirely possible and not uncommon for supernatural horses (Divine, Faerie, Infernal, or Magic) to be both as intelligent as their riders and possessing various magical powers (Aeolus, a sample character from 'Realms of Power: Magic' is a good example). Magi tend not to rider animals due to the effects of The Gift, but they make entertaining characters in their own right.
  • Noble Horses, Centaurs, and others are viable character options in GURPS
  • Rhy-Horses in Blue Rose are an example of this.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Bosun's Journal: The mountpeople are quadrupedal, generally horselike posthumans and one of the first two sapient species to reemerge — the other being their partners, the riderfolk. Riderfolk and mountpeople are of equal intelligence and communicate in the same verbal languages, and their partnership is entirely one of equals.
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: The Space Western segment "Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars" features a horse named Mercury who gains the ability to talk and turns out to be surprisingly cognitive for a horse.
  • The Penumbra Podcast: Marc's horse appears to be this, as it can seemingly understand everything says.

    Western Animation 
  • Thirty/Thirty from Bravestarr who is not just sapient, but bipedal when he wants to be.
  • C.A.R. from The Replacements (who might just be the most sensible member of the cast).
  • Twinkle the Marvel Horse from Dave the Barbarian.
  • Starlite from Rainbow Brite.
  • Battle Cat from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) (but averted as Cringer, who doesn't act as Adam's steed).
    "One more crack like that and you're walking!"
    • He doesn't talk in the remake, but he still seems smart enough to fit the Trope there.
  • Used, of course, in My Little Pony on those rare occasions where a primary character gives a biped a ride. If the toys count, then the titular ponies of all the various animated series probably should, too.
    • Such as My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Twilight Sparkle being ridden by Spike in the episode "A Dog and Pony Show".
    • In "The Best Night Ever" two stallions pull the ladies' carriage to the Grand Galloping Gala. Just like any other horse in this world, they have 100% human intelligence, and it's clear that Spike need not flick the reins.
    • In the pilot, Twilight Sparkle rides a flying chariot pulled by a pair of pegasi. It seems to be Equestria's equivalent of a taxi.
    • In "Over a Barrel", when Braeburn is giving the girls a tour, he tells them that the town has "horse-drawn carriages", then we see a stallion pulling a carriage, stop, and tell the passenger that it's his turn to pull.
  • Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders has Gwen and Fallon's respective unicorns, Sunstar and Moondance, as well as Grimm the Dragon for Lady Kale.
  • Wildfire, from the '80s cartoon of the same name, was a massive black talking horse whose life's mission was to protect Princess Sarah until she grew up sufficiently to get her magical kingdom back.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: She-Ra's horse Spirit, who can transform (with She-Ra's help) into her flying, talking unicorn Swift Wind. One episode revealed that the planet of Etheria was home to an entire island of talking winged unicorns.
    • The 2018 Remake sees Adora accidentally transform a random horse into a winged unicorn in an early episode. After a bit of a Freak Out over the new appendages (along with, presumably, the suddenly increased cognition) he periodically aids She-Ra in between learning humanoid speech and plotting equine liberation.
  • Transformers: Most Autobots with vehicle modes can qualify if they take on passengers. (Some Decepticons could, too, but you're seriously better off just walking.)
  • Wander over Yonder: Sylvia the Zbornak is Wander's steed, bodyguard, and best friend who's always there to back him up when he's helping people out (albeit sometimes with great reluctance).
  • Fred from Over the Garden Wall is a talking horse who the protagonists initially took as an ordinary horse until he revealed he could talk at the end of his debut episode. He’s only briefly used as a horse by the protagonists though, since he leaves them shortly after his introduction to get a job.

    Real Life 
  • During the Spanish Conquest of America, natives often came to believe that horses were sapient creatures that collaborated with the Spaniards and were aggressive by themselves. Knowing this, Hernán Cortés once trolled some indigenous ambassadors by arranging for a horse to be annoyed and driven into the tent, scaring the crap out of the natives, who believed the monster was furious and coming to get them. Cortés then played his part by taking the horse away and claiming he had convinced him not to be angry at the messengers.