Best Songs About Horses
Horses have been a central theme in media for generations, and that includes music. Whether it be a classic or a modern pop song, there is something fitting about grooming and tacking up your horse while you listen to a song about others doing the same.
What are some of the best must-hear songs about horses? Songs about horses are not limited to a single genre or a specific generation. Here we have listed 29 of the greatest horse songs of all time, spanning both decades and musical styles.
Whether you are a fan of old country, hip hop, or classic rock, there is a horse song here for everyone. Try listening to one (or all) of the below must-hear horse songs in order from oldest to newest.
Back In The Saddle Again (Gene Autry, 1939)
A true classic, “Back In The Saddle Again” is a song about a cowboy longing for the days past of riding across the range and sleeping out under the open sky.
Chestnut Mare (The Byrds, 1970)
“Chestnut Mare” is a song about a beautiful and lonely (chestnut) horse that refuses to be caught. The elusive mare lives wild and free, and the song can be taken either literally or symbolically.
Wild Horses (The Rolling Stones, 1971)
The 1970’s was a big decade when it comes to horse-themed musical releases, and in 1971 the famous song “Wild Horses” was born by The Rolling Stones. It is a sad song with the general theme being heartache and broken relationships.
A Horse With No Name (America, 1971)
No matter how old you are, you can probably recite the chorus to this popular number. The song is said to be about escaping to a peaceful place from the complexity of life (“in the desert, you can remember your name, ‘cause there ain’t no one for it to give you no pain”).
Wildfire (Michael Martin Murphey, 1975)
A sorrowful song, “Wildfire,” is about a pony who escaped her stall in a blizzard – when her rider discovered her pony had run off, she went after the horse, only to die alone in the frost in search of her friend.
Appaloosa (Gino Vanelli, 1978)
A song about a wild Appaloosa and the love that it represents, “Appaloosa” is a song by passionate soft-rocker Gino Vanelli released in the late 1970s.
Heavy Horses (Jethro Tull, 1978)
This song by Jethro Tull is an ode to the draft horse (“the Suffolk, the Clydesdale, the Percheron… with the Shire…”) and its decline as heavy machinery becomes king of the agriculture industry (“now you’re down to a few, and there’s no work to do, the tractor’s on its way”).
The Wild Horse (Rod Stewart, 1988)
A song about the freedom of running, “The Wild Horse” is about a man who escapes his childhood home to live without anything tying him down because, as the chorus says, “may the wild horse run free forever.”
Which Way Does That Old Pony Run (Lyle Lovett, 1989)
“Which Way Does That Old Pony Run” is a song about a cowboy who falls in love and settles down with a woman before leaving her for the cowboy life from which he could not shake.
A Horse Called Music (Willie Nelson, 1989)
A song about heartache and memories that won’t die, “A Horse Called Music” is a Willie Nelson classic that speaks to the heart. Willie Nelson is passionate about horses and has rescued over seventy of them from kill pens over the years, giving them each a home on his ranch on which to retire.
Wild Horses (Garth Brooks, 1990)
“Wild Horses” is a song by Garth Brooks about the heart of a cowboy and the pull of the rodeo, stronger than that of his love. If you enjoy the song, check out “Rodeo” by Garth Brooks, with a similar theme but in a more upbeat delivery.
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (U2, 1991)
A song about the dangers (to the heart) of a woman who lives wild and free, “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” is a popular U2 song released in the early 1990s.
A Horse In The Country (Cowboy Junkies, 1992)
“A Horse In The Country” is a song about a woman feeling trapped in her mundane life, but “[she’s] got a horse out in the country… one day [she’ll] saddle up, and the two of [them] will ride away”.
Let That Pony Run (Pam Tillis, 1993)
“Let That Pony Run” is a lovely song about a woman who “let that pony run” after discovering her husband could not stay faithful to her. She moved on with her children and found solace in a chestnut horse that she “rides by the river… she closes her eyes, and she holds on tight, and she lets that pony run”.
Tennessee Stud (Johnny Cash, 1994)
A song by Johnny Cash, “Tennessee Stud” is about a palomino stallion who saved the life of his rider by escaping a number of harrowing experiences.
Live Like Horses (Elton John, 1997)
“Live Like Horses” is another song about freedom, this time released by the great Elton John. The song is about breaking free “from your old iron fences… break out the stalls, and we’ll live like horses”.
She Rides Wild Horses (Kenny Rogers, 1999)
Working hard and trapped in a difficult life, the protagonist of this Kenny Rogers song “rides wild horses” in her dreams, “and they carry her away on the wind… as they fly above the ground”.
Beer For My Horses (Toby Keith, 2002)
A song about justice, Toby Keith sings in his 2002 hit about “[raising] up our glasses against evil forces singing, whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.”
The Wild Horses (Ray LaMontagne, 2003)
An ode to the wild horses “tethered with tears in their eyes,” Ray LaMontagne sings about the unbreakable spirit.
Wild Horses (Natasha Bedingfield, 2004)
Wild horses are a clear favorite when it comes to song themes, and Natasha Bedingfield does a great job on her 2004 hit. If the song sounds familiar, you may have heard it featured in the movie Flicka.
Girls And Horses (Templeton Thompson, 2006)
A song I can relate to, “Girls and Horses,” is a ballad about the heart of a true horse-girl and the comfort she finds in her horses both as a child and as an adult.
White Horse (Taylor Swift, 2008)
For all those Taylor Swift fans, “White Horse” is a song about fairytale love and the fact that it doesn’t always work out the way we dream it will.
Broken Horse (Freelance Whales, 2009)
There are many theories behind the meaning of “Broken Horse” by Freelance Whales, but it is a quirky and interesting song worth listening to.
Dark Horses (Switchfoot, 2011)
An inspiring song about “coming up from behind,” “Dark Horses” is a great song to listen to when you feel like you are falling behind and could use a little encouragement.
Pretty Little Horses (Hayley Westernra, 2013)
A modern take on a classic lullaby, “Pretty Little Horses” is a song about “blacks and bays, dapples and greys… all the pretty little horses”.
Just Like Them Horses (Reba McEntire, 2015)
Many songs about horses are about freedom, and this one is no different – except it is a song about freedom from a life of pain and illness. “Just Like Them Horses” was written by Reba McEntire for a friend dying from cancer who escaped disease to “ride beneath a newborn sun, just like them horses.”
Chasin’ Wild Horses (Bruce Springsteen, 2019)
Quickly becoming a favorite among Bruce Springsteen fans, “Chasin’ Wild Horses” is a song about a man attempting to run away from his past (which is as futile as chasing wild horses).
Old Town Road (Lil Nas X, 2019)
Of course, we cannot write a list of songs about horses without featuring “Old Town Road.” A huge hit, this song has become a favorite amongst people of all ages, all backgrounds, and all musical tastes (it is a song that combines hip hop with country, after all).
Ride Me Back Home (Willie Nelson, 2019)
In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best for last here. “Ride Me Back Home” is a beautiful song about Willie Nelson’s heart for rescue horses and the way they deserve to be treated. This song is a favorite of mine and reflects the heart of the singer.
Which Is Your Favorite Song About Horses?
If you don’t already have a favorite, you surely will after giving these songs a listen. In addition to a new top song, you will also come away with a great playlist to listen to while doing your barn chores. Looking for more horsey-themed entertainment? Check out my list of the top horse movies you should watch, or if you want a show to binge, here are the top horse shows you’ll love!