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Poems and songs about horses

Updated on January 5, 2012

Horses and beautiful, powerful creatures than for centuries have inspired many people to express this through their art.

Many famous writers, poets, singers, authors and journalists have also used their medium to portray the beauty of horses.

Some of the most famous quotes from well-known people throughout history have been covered in the previous hubs which can be found here and here. However, this one looks in depth at those talented few who have been able to capture their feelings about equestrians in words.

These include the famous country singer Johnny Cash, who wrote a bouncy love song called the Tennessee Stud. This tells the story of a cowboy who rides the Tennessee Stud through the plains in pursuit of a woman. The song finishes with the Tennessee Stud finding his mate, the Tennessee Mare.

Some of the most moving poems also comes from the likes of William Shakespeare, the world-famous playwright, Lord Byron, an iconic English poet, and many others as well as traditional songs and rhymes.

If you know of any more that could be included here please email or leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Wild horses: Lord Byron the poet
Wild horses: Lord Byron the poet

Lord Byron, XVII, Mazeppa, 1818

A thousand horse – and none to ride!

With flowing tail, and flying mane,

Wide nostrils never stretched by pain,

Mouth bloodless to the bit or rein,

And feet that never iron shod,

And flanks unscarred by spur or rod,

A thousand horse, the wild, the free,

Like waves that follow o’er the sea,

Came quickly thundering on.

Ronald Duncan, 'The Horse,' 1954

Where in this wide world can man find

nobility without pride,

Friendship without envy,

Or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is served with muscle

And strength by gentleness confined

He serves without servility;

he has fought without enmity

There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.

There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

Johnny Cash, Tennessee Stud

The Tennessee stud was long and lean,

the colour of sun and his eyes were green.

He had the nerve and he had the blood,

there never was a horse like the Tennessee stud.

Country singer: The late Johnny Cash
Country singer: The late Johnny Cash

Stanley Harrison

Somewhere in time’s own space

There must be some sweet pastured place

Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow

Some paradise where horses go,

For by the love that guides my pen

I know great horses live again.

William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act III, Scene 7

He's of the colour of the nutmeg.

And of the heat of the ginger.... he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him,

but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him;

he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.

Will H. Ogilvie

The hooves of horses!

Oh! Witching and sweet

Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;

No whisper of a lover, no trilling of a bird,

Can stir me as much as the hooves of horses

Have stirred

Traditional Navajo song

My horse has a hoof like a striped agate.

His fetlock is like a fine eagle plume.

His legs are like quick lightning.

My horse has a tail like a trailing black cloud.

The holy wind blows through his hair

Thomas Buchanan Read

Under his spurning feet the road

Like an arrowly alpine river flowed

And the landscape sped away behind

Like an ocean flying behind the wind

Ferenc Juhasz

Then day sniffed with its blue nose

Through the open stable window,

and found them – the foal nuzzling its mother,

velvet fumbling for her milk

Adam Lindsay Gordon

She was iron-sinewed and satin skinn’d

Ribb’d like a drum and limb’d like a deer

Fierce as the fire and fleet as the wind –

There was nothing she couldn’t climb or clear


That hoss wasn’t built to tread the earth,

He took natural to the air,

And every time he went aloft,

He tried to leave me there

Traditional rhyme

For the want of a rider the battle was lost;

For the want of the battle the kingdom was lost;

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail


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    • profile image

      sara syms 5 years ago

      new song called "heart of a horse"

    • PIANORAMA profile image

      PIANORAMA 5 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      This is wonderful. Thank you! I had a dream years ago about a white horse that was impatiently waiting for me to start a journey . . . finally I wrote a piece of music called "The White Horse Waits" recorded on my last album.

      Love Johnny Cash, too.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 5 years ago from England

      Thank you femmeflashpoint and thanks for reading. My favourite is Byron's and Johnny Cash's!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago


      This is a wonderful collection you've put together. Some of it I'd read before, and some of it was new. I enjoyed it a great deal!


    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 5 years ago from England

      You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Love horses, loved the verses.

      Thanks for sharing.