It’s not uncommon for people to get tattoos of the things they value the most. With equine enthusiasts, it’s all about getting a beautiful horse tattoo that will forever remind them of their devotion and love for these wonderful animals. As with most animal tattoos, horse tattoos are not exactly easy to get right, so you’ll need to find a talented and dependable tattoo artist.
The hardest part coming up with some good horse tattoo ideas, but fortunately for you, that’s what this entire article is all about. I decided to take a deep dive and search for some of the most beautiful and expressive horse tattoos on the internet. I compiled this list in order to help you choose a perfect horse tattoo because I know exactly how difficult it can be. It’s a big responsibility. You’ll have it for life.
However, you now have access to an outstanding resource that will at least set you on the right path. Even if you don’t find a tattoo that’s 100% to your liking, you’ll definitely find something that’s in the ballpark and you can go from there. To make things even easier for you, I’ve added unique descriptions for each horse tattoo on this list. Let’s get started with some of my personal favorites!
1. Beautiful black & white horse tattoo.
While some of the tattoos on this list are quite intricate and colorful, not every horse tattoo needs to be vibrant and in your face. Actually, a subtle black and white tattoo with clean, elegant lines can express much more of the horse’s elegance and refinement. In this case, the medium-sized tattoo covers the model’s lower shoulder and extends slightly onto the upper arm.
It’s a side profile of a horse’s head wearing a bridle. The lower part of the tattoo has a beautiful flower, perhaps a lotus flower that blossoms from the neck. The hair, ears, and eye of the horse are beautifully done, but the muzzle might have needed a bit of extra work. Keep in mind that no animal tattoo is perfect. Sometimes, it just reflects the wearer’s or the artist’s own interpretation. This is an art we’re talking about, after all.
2. Colorful, hand-painted horse tattoo.
This unique horse tattoo is somewhat similar to a hand painting. The horse’s profile is clearly visible, and it certainly takes the center stage. However, I also can’t help but notice the unique color combination used to create it, as well as the colors that adorn the lower part of the arm below the head. This is a perfect horse tattoo for an artsy, free spirit.
The wearer is likely enthralled by art and the freedom it provides. If only horses could see colors the same way we do.
3. Black horse rearing tattoo.
This one is definitely an expressive and interesting piece. The tattoo is located on the calf, and it showcases a rearing horse in black and white. The horse is muscular, finely detailed, and very strong. The bottom part of the tattoo has a horseshoe, which is likely symbolic. Horseshoes are meant to bring good luck and good fortune, so wearing one at all times on your skin is definitely not a bad idea.
As for size, this is a medium-sized illustration that can be covered up easily with a simple pair of pants should the need arise. I would show off this horse tattoo at all times, though. It was created by a South Korean artist named Sanhae.
4. Chestnut horse galloping tattoo.
This is another medium-sized piece that shows off a chestnut horse at a full gallop. The equine’s mane is blowing in the wind, and it appears to be happy and content with its freedom to run. A running horse tattoo can signify freedom and power. The piece itself is nicely done with plenty of detail, which is impressive because the subject is shown at an angle.
Parts of the subject are slightly faded away such as its hooves and legs, as well as the left side of its face. This is a forearm tattoo that’s easily visible. It contrasts nicely with the wearer’s skin tone and pops out thanks to its vibrant brown color.
5. Colorful horse silhouette tattoo.
If you’re looking for a more colorful piece, have a look at this beautiful illustration of a horse from the side – all done in two distinct colors. The outer edges of the subject are colored in blue and pink, while the contour itself is pitch black.
It’s a simple design, efficient and eye-catching. This particular one adorns the wearer’s outer forearm but it could easily work on a calf or shoulder albeit vertically.
6. Fading black & white horse tattoo.
This is a very interesting tattoo that immediately caught my eye. It shows off the profile of a horse at full gallop, but it’s actually only half of a horse. The horse appears to be fading as it runs along, or it could be that it is actually forming and coming together.
It all depends on your perspective and the way you want to interpret it. This is a small to medium-sized, black and white body art piece. It is located on the wearer’s forearm but could also work on a foot or above the shoulder blade.
7. Anime-style horse tattoo.
Ok maybe it’s not an anime-style tattoo per see but it definitely has an animated look about it. It’s a complex forearm tattoo that features a stylized horse head in full gear. The eye of the horse is hollow for dramatic effect, which I personally like.
It’s black and white, which means that it contrasts nicely with the skin. It also includes several other details if you look up closes, such as leather straps with buckles, a feather, and a few doodles that give off a casual, sketch-like appearance. The artist’s name is Andre Cojak and you can find him on Instagram right here.
8. Simple horse silhouette with flowers.
Not all ink needs to be complex in order to convey a message. This one, for instance, is one of the simplest and most beautiful designs I’ve seen in a while. It shows off the profile of the equine as simply as possible, but it also includes details such as flowing hair and pointy ears. The horse also appears to come off from behind a wall of flowers.
This minimalistic style of body art is definitely one of my favorites, but it might not be for everyone.
9. Back horse tattoo in black & blue.
Black and blue is a wonderful combination when it comes to body art. This one shows off half of a horse as it rears or jumps over an obstacle. The main body of the horse is black and white, but its mane, forelock, and part of its legs are decorated with a deep, cold shade of blue.
This particular piece adorns the wearer’s back, particularly the shoulder blades. It could also work well on the chest, but I think this position is ideal.
10. Detailed chestnut horse tattoo.
Colorful and incredibly complex, this piece of body art depicts the head of a horse from the side. The horse’s eye seems to be pointing directly at the viewer, but the horse could also be looking down at the ground from this angle.
The equine has a beautiful bridle with purple and golden straps. It also has a black mane and a dark bay color. The upper part of the head is flanked by a glowing aura in dark turquoise.
11. Geometric horse tattoo in black & blue.
I just love modern and daring designs with it comes to horse body art! This tattoo is a perfect example of this. It looks like a simple black sketch with a splash of blue on the horse’s back. However, a closer look reveals that the horse’s head and legs are actually very angular. The artist used sharp edges and daring shapes in order to create this piece.
The addition of the color blue contrasts nicely and allows the horse to stand out even more. Truly a wonderful piece of modern art to be worn on the skin.
12. Horsehead tattoo framed in a diamond.
Tattoos of horses’ heads are dime a dozen, but this artist wanted to make his work a bit more special by encasing the horse portrait within a diamond shape. A creative idea, to be sure, and one that will surely raise some questions. The horse’s left eye is covered by a strand of hair, while the other one is uncovered. The ears are pointed but also slightly rounded at the top.
Overall, the horse looks similar to a real-life one. The muzzle is a bit squared-off if you ask me, but that’s not a criticism, more of an observation.
13. Kind eyes horse tattoo.
Most horses have kind eyes, but this one really stands out with its doe-eyed look. Beautifully etched in black and white on the skin, this horse profile tattoo also has blooming flowers down in the neck area. Apart from this, I should also mention the parted hair on the top of the head, the flowing mane, and the wonderful details on the horse’s face and muzzle.
14. Black & white horse silhouette with leaves.
Black really stands out when applied to pale skin. This beautiful horse head tattoo just radiates happiness and good vibes. The neck of the horse is rounded off with a trio of leaves for added effect. In reality, most of these tattoos have some form of a nature-inspired element that flanks the subject. It’s a technique used by numerous tattoo artists from all over the world in order to ensure a more balanced composition.
It works well, although I do wish this horse was a bit more detailed. Maybe the vagueness is by design in order to keep things simple.
15. Colorful Tribal-style horse tattoo.
Now this tattoo is anything but simple and vague. It involved plenty of ink and plenty of colors, and the result is something akin to a painting on the skin. The horse’s head looks towards the viewer with its bright blue eye, framed by a bright red circle. The equine also has bright blue feathers behind its ears, as well as three yellow lines across the mizzle and a green zig-zag pattern beneath the eye.
Some tribes use feathers and colorful face paint on themselves and their horses. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that this is a tribal-inspired horse tattoo.
16. A horse escaping from geometry.
This piece is all about transformation. It depicts a young horse breaking free from its simple geometric shape and morphing into a detailed, beautiful, and expressive being. There’s also a black arrow pointing downwards from the horse’s belly, as well as fragments of shrapnel falling off during the metamorphosis.
This design could signify transformation, maturity, or coming of age. Whatever the case, it looks beautiful as it blends two distinctive styles.
17. Geometric horse tattoo with sharp edges.
Yet another angular and geometrically-rich tattoo, this one is done entirely in black and white, and it adorns the wearer’s shoulder and upper arm. The horse is made out of triangular, glass-like elements, including its neck, face, and hair. The only circular part of this tattoo is the horse’s eye.
The triangular pattern continues all around the horse itself, surrounding it in a sharp, almost aggressive aura.
18. Simple horse head framed by flowers and leaves.
Yet another beautiful illustration of a kind-eyed horse surrounded by beautiful flowers and leaves. This medium-sized tattoo is located on the wearer’s thigh, and it was made entirely in black and white. The horse is wearing a bridle and it has an elongated, slim face. The ears are facing outwards, and the mane is relatively short but very well drawn.
19. Detailed and beautiful bay horse thigh tattoo.
One of the most impressive tattoos on this list depicts a gorgeous bay horse with flowing red hair. The horse appears to be at gallop, and everything about its body is etched with such skill and detail that it almost looks unreal. Everything from the equine’s hair, ears, face, muzzle, chest, legs, and hooves looks just like the real thing.
What’s even more ingenious is that the subject’s edge follows the natural curves of the wearer’s leg. This is one of the best thigh tattoos I’ve seen in my life.
20. Small horse prancing on the forearm.
These tattoos don’t have to be large or imposing. It all depends on what the wearer wants and needs. This one, for instance, is a small and detailed tattoo that’s no bigger than two coins put side by side. It depicts a horse galloping on a flat surface. Maybe it’s a wild mustang, maybe it’s a farm horse just enjoying some time on the plains. Whatever the case, this is a simple yet effective design.
21. Colorful blue horse with blonde hair.
This illustration seems to depict sadness. The horse is literarily blue, and it seems to be looking downward with sad eyes. Its mane is blonde, which makes it even more beautiful and inspiring. The background is purple with broad black strokes. I don’t know why this tattoo seems so moving to me. It seems to depict a lost spirit, or maybe one that has not yet found its peace.
It was created by Sandra Daukshta.
22. Monochrome horse head tattoo.
Most horses are depicted from the side in tattoos. Creating a profile is easier for the artist, as it allows him or her to capture more of the horse’s unique facial expressions. This horse wears a headband and a bridle. It has a long, flowing mane, as well as beautiful black eyes. It’s a monochrome tattoo that looks great on the skin. It looks almost as if it comes out from beneath the skin if that makes any sense.
23. Rainbow-colored equine tattoo.
There’s a lot going on with this one. The horse’s mane is multicolored, as is the horse itself. However, the color blue is clearly predominant as it covers most of the subject’s body. There are some loose strands of hair here and there for dramatic effect. The eye is wide open, signifying either excitement or fear. Beneath the head, the horse’s chest is covered in a series of angular floral patterns.
This wonderful piece was created by Kel Tait.
24. Dramatic horse design on the forearm.
Aggressive and dramatic, this equine body art piece covers the wearer’s forearm and half of the actual hand. It’s a narrow horse head in black and red. The overall expression on the horse’s face is that of effort or disdain. It probably signifies a running horse, especially given the choice of colors. It could also signify a mythological horse, although it’s hard to figure out exactly which one.
Created by Lea at Nouveau Tattoos.
25. Black horse with white eyes and white hair.
This is a tattoo of a warhorse. The bridle has a series of round, daring adornments, while the chest is framed in some sort of armor blade. This is what I imagine the horse of a great general would look like. Its long mane flows generously in the wind, while its big bright eyes stare right into the hearts of both friends and foes.
Created by Patrick Whiting in Binghamton, NY.
26. Simple and original tattoo design.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this small yet impressive horse tattoo. It’s a black and white piece that shows off the horse directly from the front. It looks as if the horse is about to break through the skin and walk right out of the wearer’s forearm.
Rather dramatic, the tattoo brings the horse’s front legs and face into the foreground while the top part of the head and chest appear out of focus in the background.
Artwork by Rene Estrada.
27. Dramatic stance, exceptional detail.
I really have to congratulate Sandra Daukshta for this exceptional horse tattoo. The black horse running from a firey background is awe-inspiring. It’s a large tattoo so it probably took many hours in order to come out this way. The black silhouette of the horse contrasts beautifully with the fiery orange and yellow background.
The stance is also quite dramatic, with the hair flowing on the side, the tilted head, and the curved body.
28. Fading nature design in black & white.
Horses are big fans of the great outdoors. They spend all of their lives on plains and in the woods if they’re not domesticated. This tattoo shows off a beautiful horse trotting towards the unknown. Its body pays tribute to nature and its beautiful landscapes. The artist managed to capture both the beauty of the horse as well as the purity of the forest.
The result is a wonderful blend of life and joy.
29. Herd of horses on the upper back.
Although probably not the best tattoo on this list, I wanted to include it because it actually depicts an entire herd of horses. The big one in the middle is flanked by two more on each side, and they’re all decently depicted against a mountainous background. Apart from the horses, the wearer also opted to have other animals tattooed on his skin, including an owl and a bat sitting upside down.
30. Modern, colorful, geometric in shades of blue and pink.
This is the kind of horse tattoo that would likely work as a temporary or event-based body art piece. However, it could also be permanent, in which case I’d have to congratulate the artist for his/her use of color. Different sections of the subject are colored differently. The rear-end, as well as the mane and stomach areas, are colored pink. However, the chest and face are blue.
This is a modern side-profile horse tattoo that looks great on the wearer’s thigh. It could also work on the back or shoulder.
31. Black and white rearing with exceptional detail.
This black and white horse is rearing or is preparing for a gallop. It is similar to some of the other tattoos that we’ve featured so far, but the main difference is the horse’s pose, as well as the tattoo’s location. This one seems to live on the wearer’s biceps, which is a relatively unusual location for a horse tattoo. It does look good, though, with its incredible detail and different shading.
32. Pegasus in black and white with thunder and clouds.
The Pegasus, or the winged horse, is one of the most recognizable mythological creatures. There’s a lot going on with this tattoo, a lot of detail, and a very dramatic scene. The Pegasus is spreading its wings as it trots through a thunderstorm. It’s a magnificent sight, to be sure. This is one of those tattoos that you need to spend quite a bit of time analyzing in order to take in all of its details. As far as Pegasus tattoos go, it’s definitely one of the best in the world.
33. Side profile in black and white.
Rearing horses are incredibly popular when it comes to tattoos. A rearing horse usually signifies aggression or a reaction to an undisciplined rider. However, when the horse is not being ridden, it could signify excitement and happiness. It’s a very discerning pose for a horse. When it rears, it becomes larger, more menacing, and sometimes frightening.
This body art piece is made in black and white, and it shows off only half of the horse’s body. The mane is pointing upwards for an even more active stance.
34. Horsehead and inverted trees in black & white.
Horses and nature go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to tattoos. This one is a bit strange, though, because the trees are actually inverted. The roots and trunks are upside down in relation to the horse’s head. In this image, the trees are growing downwards. From the wearer’s perspective, the trees sit upright but the horse’s head is inverted. A very unique and simple way to make a tattoo stand out, wouldn’t you agree?
35. Black & white design with white mane and white whiskers.
This is another unusual horse tattoo because it actually shows off the front section of a horse’s head. We usually see side profiles, which can be very beautiful, but this tattoo definitely looks different. It’s as if you were standing face-to-face with the horse itself. Another original element comes in the form of a white mane and white whiskers. The tattoo fits perfectly on the wearer’s forearm. It must have taken many hours of precision work in order to be complete, but the result is definitely breathtaking.
36. Very detailed horse head in bay and white.
What I like the most about this piece is that the horse’s head seems to be lit by sunlight. I can just imagine a beautiful young horse in the wilderness, scanning the horizon for its next meal or playground. The green background does indicate that the horse is in the wild. The white mane and white muzzle add contrast and originality to this lifelike horse tattoo.
37. Monochrome horse and feathers.
A simple and underrated design. The horse is represented by its head, neck, and mane, while the rest of its body turns to feathers. I’ve seen this kind of abstract equine art before and it seems to be gaining more and more ground in our modern times. A few decades ago, such a tattoo would have never worked but we are evolving and so is our art sense. This particular piece lives on the shoulderblade, which is a perfect location for it.
38. Simple line profile of a horse and its handler.
This artwork represents a woman leaving her horse. It’s a simple line-based tattoo that doesn’t take long to complete and isn’t particularly painful either. However, due to its location on the side of the ribcage, this one was probably a bit uncomfortable to sit through. The result is a minimalistic horse tattoo that holds deep meaning for the person wearing it. It’s probably a homage to a horse that has passed away, or a tribute to a very close friend.
39. A simple horse illustration made out of a few lines.
Another very simple body art piece, this one is made out of cursive lines. The line starts off in the left or right and creates the silhouette of a horse without ever being interrupted. While we can’t see it from this angle, it’s likely that the left and right lines connect around the wearer’s ankle forming a sort of tattoo ankle bracelet. Simple and elegant, this is one of my favorite tattoo designs.
40. Geometric side profile of a horse head.
Geometric tattoos can look amazing if done right. This is a great example – a profile of an equine’s head, following the natural curvature of the neck and mane while using sharp lines and geometric figures. The face is done using a more natural style probably at the wearer’s request. Other than that, it’s a fairly simple design in black and white. It probably won’t turn any heads due to its location on the forearm, but it is definitely a nice tattoo to have.
41. Horse galloping side profile.
When it comes to small tattoos, you can have a horse pretty much anywhere on your body. This one is likely on the wearer’s back, and the picture was taken right after completion. This means that the horse’s color will likely fade a bit as the tattoo matures. The front part of the subject is detailed and true to life, while the rear section is stylized, almost sketched. The legs are basically made out of lines and dots, while the back and rear end contain various geometric shapes.
42. A horse and its loving handler.
Yet another artwork showing off the bond between a horse and its handler. This one is stylized in a Disney animated style, and the horse has a very happy look on its face as it shares a quiet moment with its handler. This is a watercolor horse tattoo with incredible attention to detail. Both the equine and the human are wonderfully done. If you’d like to see other similar works, make sure to visit Clodin on Insta.
43. Horse in the woods tattoo.
A wild horse in the middle of the woods. It looks like a photograph at a glance, but a closer look reveals a unique art style more akin to a painting. The subject is center stage, and it looks directly at the viewer. All around it, the forest warps beautifully following the contours of the wearer’s shoulder and arm. It’s a perfect piece that exhibits the peaceful existence of horses in the wild.
44. Black horse rearing and a white horse galloping.
Two in one. A magnificent display of strength and speed. A duality signified by a rearing black horse and a running white one. Two different spirits inhabiting the same body. The interpretations for this tattoo are numerous, but what’s incontestable is the artist’s skill and dedication. Even though it was done in black and white, this is perhaps the most eye-popping piece of body art on this list.
45. Horse jumping through a portal.
This horse is going through a complete transformation. It looks as if it’s moving through different dimensions. It first existed as lines in a sketch, and by jumping through what looks like a circular portal, it transforms into a flesh-and-blood being – a black horse with a flowing mane. Even though it’s a simple profile piece, the portal itself appears tridimensional.
46. Horse rearing. Visible skeleton.
The first thing that comes to mind when seeing this tattoo is decay. This is an undead horse, no doubt about it. It appears afflicted by some sort of plague, and yet it moves on, it rears, and doesn’t let death claim it. Maybe it can’t die. After all, undead horses have been featured in numerous video games and movies. The clouds in the background are likely for dramatic effect. I doubt the artist meant to imply that this is a giant horse that can somehow reach the clouds while rearing.
47. A horse with feathers in its mane. Indian-style decoration.
It’s not just the feathers in the mane, but also the large medallion adorning the horse’s neck that makes me think about a Native American horse. The decorations on the horse’s head are clearly tribal in nature, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what tribe used them or in what time period. The horse has a short, small head, and a kind eye. It also appears to be smiling, which is not something we often see in animal-based artworks.
48. Colorful temporary horse tattoo.
I have it on good authority that this is a temporary horse tattoo, but it could always be transformed into a permanent one by a skilled artist. The art style is fairly familiar but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It has a playful look about it, especially given the choice of colors. The subject is basically a stylized carousel horse in a rearing pose. Not exactly the easiest to ride, but it certainly looks great as an arm tattoo.
49. Expressive horse tattoo.
Heavily stylized and with a menacing look, this permanent body art piece is located on the forearm. It’s a black and white horse tattoo with a long mane and a unique-looking bridle that seems to be made out of rope. The horse is holding a plant in its mouth, which indicates that it is actually feeding. This contradicts its menacing appearance and strives you to ask for more. Why does the horse look so aggressive if it’s just eating peacefully in a field?
50. Chess knight tattoo.
The chess knight has been a symbol of honor and bravery for hundreds of years. These chess pieces look like horses because that’s what knights used to ride in battle. In chess, the knight is restricted and can only move in an L-shaped pattern. This features a knight chess piece, which in turn is a part of a playing card (JOYUL). Chess-themed playing cards are fairly uncommon, as are tattoos representing them.
I sincerely hope that this article has helped you choose a horse-themed tattoo. Since you’ll likely be wearing it on your skin your entire life, making the right choice is not only difficult but also quite intimidating. My advice would be to go with a design that means something to you or one that speaks to you in a profound way.
If you’re a tattoo artist and you created one of the aforementioned works, please get in touch with me and I’ll make sure to give you credit.