Tattoo Designs Symbols Title
The Vanishing Tattoo

As a tattoo design, the horse spans many millennia and most continents. It is one of the most familiar symbols of early man. The horse, before it was tamed, was one of the staple food items of early hunters. Pictures of horses adorn the cave walls of France and date back over 40,000 years. Even then, we revered the horse for its strength, speed and stamina, to say nothing of its beauty and grace. Horses were one of the first animals to be worshipped and considered an important animal totem. Horses were first domesticated some ten thousand years ago, somewhere in the Middle East or vast plains of Eastern Europe. In no time at all, men had climbed on board for a ride that has not yet ended.

Where there were men and conflict, warriors on horseback were not far behind. And as humans bridged the gap between hunter/gatherers and early agrarian cultures, horses played an integral and crucial part. Whether horses were used as personal mounts to cross vast plains, deserts and steppes or to pull everything from plows, carts to chariots, horse were crucial to the cultures of early man. Horse represented power and wealth and have always been associated with Kings, Emperors, the Nobility, Aristocracy and upper classes. A man of means had to have a horse.

In the past, only the aristocracy of many cultures were permitted to ride a Horse, and women were expected to ride side-saddle to protect their modesty. Today, the Horse belongs to everybody, whether to ride or admire or lay a bet on. Stories abound of the Horse’s protectiveness, patience, and endurance during times when its owner faced hardship. It remains the symbol of the free spirit and intuitive intelligence.

See also: Animal Tattoo Index