What’s so special about a guy on a horse?
The image of a Hero (yes, another one of the Thracian Horseman’s names) riding on a horse, either into battle or off to save some innocent in distress, has been with us longer than writing. Even prehistoric cave paintings have horses and riders in them.
There is something epic about the horse: a living, breathing vehicle, that we’ve lost in our modern world of automobiles. We realize this, even unconsciously. Have you noticed that we name our cars, describe them in terms of horsepower, feed them and wash them, give them technology that lets us call them smart…. The horse makes the man on a certain level. Can you imagine Alexander without Bucephalus?
The horseman image is with us in all cultures that have horses, throughout all time periods we can recognize. There is something important about this concept, of a sentient vehicle working in symbiosis with its operator, of two beings becoming a whole, of the wild merging with the civilized. Horsemen can be heroes or villains, weapons or defenses. They appear around us with such frequency that half the time, we don’t even notice them.
Show me your Horsemen, and what they mean, and I will show you a basic mystery of humanity.