7 Mythical Horse Variants I Wish I Could Ride Off Into the Sunset On

A creature to which I could gently whisper, ‘Take me away from this wretched world’
7 Mythical Horse Variants I Wish I Could Ride Off Into the Sunset On

Thinking about various cryptids and creatures of myth is already a great way to inject some wonder into your boring day-to-day. Does Bigfoot exist? Probably not, but entertaining the chance that he might makes every second of life about one percent better. The moment that scientists definitively declared that dragons werent real is the day that a specific brand of mystery died in this world forever. 

Now, if the creature in question wasnt something that would attack, destroy or ignore you, but instead had the possibility to become your own mythical vehicle? That’s when were cooking with grease, baby. Luckily, there are plenty of horse-based bits of legend for us to daydream on.

Unicorns

Public Domain

The patron saint of spiral notebooks everywhere, the beautiful unicorn. Im not going to waste much space explaining what exactly one is, since anyone who doesnt know at this point would be a form of cryptid themselves. One on hand, riding a unicorn would probably be the most similar to riding a regular horse. It would feel a lot more like you were a wizard, though, which would be huge for my mental health. Historians say that the unicorn myth might have come from poorly-observed rhinos, to which I say: Shut up!

Pegasus

Public Domain

The second classic imaginary horse variety is, of course, the pegasus. An animal arguably even more majestic than the unicorn, and maybe 10 percent less likely to get you shoved in a locker via an appearance on your T-shirt. Sometimes people even combine the two, but I find that greedy. The huge selling point here is obviously the secondhand ability of flight. Would it still be able to take off with my frame atop it? Maybe not, but if youre going to get into an argument about the lift of a pegasus wings, youre probably one of those pedants who mentions that theres no sound in space during every sci-fi movie.

Hippalectryon

Public Domain

The Greeks gave us the pegasus, but they also gave us a second stab at a winged horse — one that was a whole lot less regal. The difference in cool factor between the names “pegasus" and “hippalectryon” is also borne out in their appearance. The hippalectryons wings came from the fact that it was the front half of a horse with the back half of a rooster. Illustrations do show humans astride them, so in theory they were ridable, but I feel like they werent getting you a lot of positive looks in the town square. Real “we have a pegasus at home” vibes.

Hippocampus

Andrew Dunn

Man, the Greeks couldnt get enough of magic horses, which is great news for this article, but worth a psychological deep dive. Now, the word hippocampus still exists today, but if you happen to see one, its usually very, very bad news, being a portion of the human brain and all. The mythological hippocampus was both cooler and, surprisingly, wetter than the brain matter in question, being a combination of a horse and a fish. They also had a pretty prestigious gig pulling the chariot of Poseidon. Apparently, some ancient people thought they were the fully-grown form of the seahorses we know today, which is stupid as shit. Would be cool, though!

Kelpie

Billy McCrorie

Scottish legend gives us another aquatic horse, known as the kelpie. Now, technically, theyre shapeshifters, so they might not always be a horse, but it does seem to be their default setting. Theyre also the first and only magical horse on this list thats, well, kind of evil. Something you might realize if you actually do try to ride one, at which point youd grasp that you were magically, permanently stuck to its back — a body part it uses to drown and eat children. Yeesh. 

Apparently, though, if you can get hold of a kelpies bridle, youll receive full power over all kelpies, so thatss nice.

Centaur

Marie-Lan Nguyen

This one is tricky for a whole different reason. Talk about a weird power dynamic. Time to climb onto the worlds weirdest carpool!

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