Arts & CultureCultural Affairs

Top 10: Fictional horses

Horses and fiction have gone together for as long as people have been making art. Trust me, it’s difficult to go through every single fictional horse in existence, but it had to be done. People love fictional horses, and they need to know which ones are the best. Enjoy this Top 10.

10. Calgary Flames Horse

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Logos aren’t real, and therefore horse logos fit under the category of fictional horses. Fire is pretty cool, it represents death and rebirth, destruction, cleanliness, hell — everything really. So the Calgary Flames Logo means everything. Unfortunately, the Flames are in the bottom five in the NHL’s standings.

9. Satan

Reading The Black Stallion gave kids hope. When Mom and Dad told their sad child they couldn’t have a horse, they could always turn to the books and read about an uncontrollable, perfect Arabian stallion who was shipwrecked on an island with a boy. The boy, (can you believe this) was told by Mom and Dad that he couldn’t have a horse. Desolate conditions on the island starve and dehydrate the boy and horse, but in their adversity they develop an inseparable bond. When they’re finally rescued, the boy somehow keeps and rides Satan. When you grow up, you realize the story is ridiculously fictional. But for children, the hope of being shipwrecked with a big black horse is real.

8. Rivendare’s Deathcharger

Back in my high school years, I played World of Warcraft. In the game, there’s a guy named Rivendare you can kill to try to get this stupid mount. The problem is that you have to spend about entire hour clearing a dungeon so you can get to this guy. The Deathcarger’s drop rate was something like five per cent, which is actually pretty good (there are rarer mounts with drop rates of 0.001 per cent). Every Christmas break, would clear that stupid dungeon in hopes of picking up the Deathcharger. Over the course of my 40-or-so runs, I was never successful. 

7. The Trojan Horse

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I’m going to file this one under fiction because that’s the easiest way to do this without consulting archaeologists and classicists. According to The Oddessy, the Trojan Horse caused a lot of havoc for Troy, contributing to its complete destruction and conquest by Sparta.  The story of the Trojan Horse is also referenced by a brand of condom. Not a lot of fictional horses can say that about themselves.

6. Sleipnir

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There are two weird things about this horse. One, his name means “The Sliding One,” and two, he has eight legs. So it’s a spider horse.

The Vikings were known for consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms.

5. (tie for 5th place)

a) Shadowfax

Gandalf’s big, white Andalusian horse is just great. He’s big, fast, and somehow stays clean while showing the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring the meaning of haste. For a white horse, that should be impossible. But Shadowfax does more than stay clean — he saves Frodo. When the Nazgûl (Sauron’s nine “most terrible servants”) were in hot pursuit, Shadowfax was the only one who kept the Ring from evil’s grasp. I’m not sure whether this animal has a magical sense of responsibility or he’s just really good at running away from bad guys, but either way it works.

b) Cave Painting Horse

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If you go to southwest France and visit the Lascaux Caves, you will see some of the earliest fictional horses ever. At about 17,300 years old, the horses don’t have names or numbers. They don’t represent anything modern humans can remember. They look fat and disproportionate. But they show how people have been creating fictional horses for as long as they could grind ochre and charcoal to create pigment. The Palaeolithic people and their cave painting horses paved the way for every other fictional horse on this list.

4. Bojack Horseman

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If you haven’t seen this guy’s show on Netflix, do it now. It’s not a comedy, but it’s got some funny vibes. Bojack is an washed-up actor with emotional problems, relationship problems, addiction problems, pretty much every single problem someone can have. He manages to fuck up no matter how good his luck is, but it’s amusing and clever, and it’s kind of relatable. Really, Bojack is probably the most relatable of all fictional horses.

3. Donkey as a horse

Shrek 2 wasn’t a train wreck. Because at that point, the franchise hadn’t yet exhausted the idea of a fairytale-themed romance with a big green dude. But also because we got to see Eddie Murphy’s character Donkey become a horse. He’s in this Top 10 because he’s funny. Donkey as a horse’s biggest competitor here is the horse from Tangled, who isn’t really funny at all. So Donkey as a horse wins the funny horse competition.

2. Rain

If there was ever a sensual, fictional horse, it was probably Rain. Which sounds weird. Nevertheless, Rain represents the New World in  Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron. Her character, without words, teaches children about colonialism and makes them feel all disgruntled about social justice and flows of power. You want to see the pinto mare stay wild, yet the colonial force (represented by Spirit, the stallion) is ever-encroaching. Rain and Spirit run away from the American cavalry and get horse-married in the end, so you think they escaped, but they didn’t. Spirit, the herald of Western civilization, colonizes Rain and the New World. And I love when characters don’t end up happy. Sorry, Rain.

1. Epona

I remember Epona from my cousin Waylon’s N64 in the town of Dauphin, Manitoba. Half of my family lives in that tiny town with no movie theatre, and we’d spend the whole time playing air hockey, pool and Ocarina of Time. I was 10 and horseless, so I was pretty hyped to play a game where I could ride a horse around. Steering Epona is a little cumbersome, but in the end she gets Link to his destinations faster, which is good.

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