Horses are truly majestic and beautiful animals that have played an important role in history. Since horses are so beloved by humans, it’s no surprise that many songs about horses have been written over the years.
Songs about them were recorded as early as the 1930s and are still popular today, transcending many different music genres. Below, we’ve put together an awesome list of songs for you.
1. Ride Me Back Home By Willie Nelson
|Album||Ride Me Back Home|
Ride me back home is Willie Nelson’s sixty-ninth studio album in his prolific sixty-six-plus-year career as a country singer and musician. Nelson earned his ninth Grammy in the category Best Country Solo Performance for the title track, “Ride Me Back Home.” The song is a tribute to all the wonderful horses that have served humans. So it’s not surprising that Nelson, a true horse lover, would record such a song.
2. She Loves Horses By William Clark Green
In the song “She Loves Horses,” the singer describes the girl he wants but knows he can’t have because she loves running wild and free horses and wants to be just like them. In the lyrics, he tells us that he won’t try to change her, and he can’t tame her. The music has a definitive country sound and a good driving beat. Green is an American country singer with seven albums under his belt.
3. Ballad Of A Runaway Horse By Emmylou Harris
Written by Leonard Cohen, “Ballad Of A Runaway Horse” was recorded by country singer Emmylou Harris and appeared as the final track on her album, Cowgirl’s Prayer, her last of seventeen albums. The lyrics are taken from Cohen’s poem that was published in his book Stranger Music. It’s a rather lengthy song at just over five and a half minutes that follows a young cowgirl chasing after her runaway horse. Some have suggested the song isn’t about a girl and her horse at all but rather the struggle of her relationship with a man.
4. Wild Horses By Susan Boyle
|Genre||Classical/Pop, Musical Theater|
|Album||I Dreamed A Dream|
“Wild Horses” first appeared on the music scene in 1970 by The Flying Burrito Brothers. A year later, the Rolling Stones included it on their album, Sticky Fingers. Susan Boyle, a Scottish singer who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, had instant success with her album, I Dreamed A Dream. “Wild Horses” was the second single from that album. The phrase “wild horses couldn’t drag me away” refers to sticking with someone, like the graceless lady, or something, no matter how difficult it might be to do so.
5. Horses By Maggie Rogers
American singer and songwriter Maggie Rogers sings of herself and her partner and how they wonder about the world. Her comfort comes from picturing horses running wild, and she wishes that she could have that same feeling. She also wonders if he would come with her to a freer place or if he would resist. She was nominated for a Grammy for Best New Music Artist in 2019. As Rogers says herself, it’s a song about letting go.
6. Old Town Road by Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X, and Diplo
|Genre||Dance/Electronic, Pop, Country Rap|
|Album||Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1 Snake Oil|
“Old Town Road” offers listeners a song in a new sub-genre, country/rap, but it has had a hard time getting recognition on some of the charts because of the combination of both country and rap in the remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Originally recorded in 2018 by rapper Lil Nax S, the remix version was nominated for a Grammy and won Best Pop/Duo Group Performance and Best Music Video. Featuring one of the most catchy earworm choruses of the twenty-first century, “Old Town Road” is definitely one for a road trip.
7. Beer For My Horses By Toby Keith And Featuring Willie Nelson
This upbeat country tune features a mix of the old and the new as a duet by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson. The sound is iconic and has a country beat that would be well suited to line dancing. “Beer For My Horses” appears on Keith’s seventh studio album. In 2003, it was released as the last of four singles from that album. It’s a great song about the good guys catching the bad guys, and the reward at the end of the day is whiskey for the men and beer for the horses.
8. Chasin’ Wild Horses By Bruce Springsteen
|Genre||Folk Rock, Folk Pop, Country Pop|
Legend Bruce Springsteen released “Chasin’ Wild Horses” on his nineteenth studio album, Western Stars, in 2019. The album rose to the top ten and was his twentieth album to garner that honor. The singer tells the story of how he left home without saying goodbye to try to find something to be passionate about. He uses the metaphor of chasing wild horses to avoid dealing with leaving someone who he can’t get off his mind, and he uses working hard as a way to avoid thinking.
9. All The Pretty Little Horses By Hayley Westenra
|Genre||Classical, Pop, New Age, Folk, Celtic|
This version of “All The Pretty Little Horses” was recorded by New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra and is included on her Hushabye album, which is filled with lullabies and other gentle tracks. This traditional American lullaby is well-known as a children’s song where the lyrics present dreamy images of dapples and greys and a carriage with six white horses and the repeated line “Go to sleep, you little baby.” Westenra’s version begins with an acapella intro of “Hush Little Baby, Don’t You Cry.”
10. WildHorse By RaeLynn
Country artist RaeLynn was a contestant on the popular singing show, The Voice, back in 2012. Her debut album, WildHorse, was released in 2017, and the second track from that album is the song “WildHorse.” The song talks about a girl who considers herself a wild horse, meaning she won’t be controlled or fenced in and needs to feel carefree. She was inspired by the fact that her grandmother used to call her a wild horse. So if a fellow wants to be with her, he needs to understand her ways and accept them.
11. Just Like Them Horses By Reba McEntire
First appearing on country legend Reba McEntire’s album, Love Somebody, “Just Like Them Horses,” was released as a single in 2016. The song was written by Liz Hengber and Tommy Lee James and is a true country tearjerker. McEntire chose to record it because the story in the lyrics reminded her of how hard it was to lose her father, which she thought felt somewhat like having to let your horses go running free. Filmed as a black and white video, it was Reba who created the concept for it.
12. White Horse By Taylor Swift
Winning Grammys for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song, this offering from Taylor Swift references someone riding on a white horse to address her boyfriend’s behavior after they have a severe falling out. The lyrics illustrate that life isn’t a fairy tale and that her ex isn’t a prince riding a white horse and coming to save her. If one prefers songs that tell a story, “White Horse” certainly delivers.
13. Jingle Bells By The Cast Of Glee
|Genre||Christmas, Rock And Roll, Pop, Soundtrack|
|Album||Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album|
One of the most well-known iconic Christmas songs of all time, “Jingle Bells,” has been covered by artists in almost every musical genre. Often accompanied in videos or on albums by pictures of horse-drawn sleighs in a wonderland of white snow, this tune makes us feel happy. Anyone ever having had the pleasure of going on a sleigh ride knows the sounds of the horses and their hooves on the frozen ground. This version, from the cast of Glee, is arranged in an upbeat rock and roll style.
14. Live Like Horses by Elton John And Luciano Pavarotti
|Genre||Pop, Operatic pop|
“Live Like Horses” contains the unlikely pairing of pop singer/composer/musician Elton John and opera singer Luciano Pavarotti. The single was released in 1996, but the duo also included the duet on their albums, John’s being The Big Picture and Pavarotti’s being Pavarotti And Friends For War Child. Again, as in so many other songs about horses, the singer dreams of being able to run wild and free like a horse instead of living under the constraints of society.
15. Rodeo Road By Holly Williams
|Genre||Country/Pop, Movie Soundtrack|
Country singer Tim McGraw was the executive producer for the soundtrack of the 2006 US film Flicka. “Rodeo Road” is the ninth track on the album and is sung by Holly Williams. Williams is an American singer/songwriter and is the granddaughter of the legendary Hank Williams. With its sentimental lyrics, “Rodeo Road” is what the singer refers to for the end of life. Although it’s a sad song, the singer doesn’t want anyone to shed tears when she’s gone.
16. If Heartaches Were Horses By George Strait
The last track on George Strait’s Troubadour album, “If Heartaches Were Horses”, epitomizes the sad country ballad. The narrator of this story is a cowboy living and working on the Texas range, rounding up cattle, and living the cowboy life. But unfortunately, his wife has decided that it isn’t for her, and he knows she’s packing her bags and will be gone before nightfall. “Home ain’t sweet home” is his sad lament.
17. She Rides Wild Horses By Kenny Rogers
|Album||She Rides Wild Horses|
Kenny Rogers is a household name when it comes to country music. In his song “She Rides Wild Horses”, from his album of the same name, he tells the story of a single girl’s life where she works at the local bar and then goes home to her cat. It’s only when she dreams that she feels the freedom of riding wild horses and enjoys the escape from her otherwise predictable and monotonous life. Unfortunately, this song was never released as a single.
18. No Reins By Rascal Flatts
|Genre||Country, Country Rock, Pop|
Rascal Flatts, an American country music band, was formed in 1999. Sixteen of their songs made it to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. “No Reins”, found on their album, Rascal Flatts, uses the imagery of horse reins to describe what it feels like to be controlled. Finally, when the woman escapes her bad relationship, she feels free, no longer held. Now she’s got no reins, no fence to contain her, and no fear.
19. Dark Horse By Katy Perry, Featuring Juicy J
|Genre||R&B/Soul, Pop, Hip-Hop|
From pop star Katy Perry’s album, Prism, “Dark Horse” only refers to a horse in the title. It seems that Perry based the song on the movie, The Craft, and although the video depicts her as an Egyptian princess like Cleopatra, she’s actually a witch. The lyrics warn that her suitor needs to be sure before he chooses her because there’s no going back. The music’s melody and repeated instrumental riff have an Egyptian feel, giving the song a much different type of sound than that of the usual pop genre.
20. Mr. Ed Theme Song By Jay Livingston And Ray Evans
Mr. Ed was a television show about a talking horse that aired one hundred and forty-three black and white episodes. The theme song was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Livingston ended up singing the vocals because no one else wanted to do the recording. The words are perfect and describe Mr. Ed as an animal that doesn’t speak unless he has something to say. The idea for the show came from Walter R. Brooks’ children’s story about the talking horse.
21. Hi-Yo Silver By Roy Rogers
“Hi-Yo Silver”, sung by singer, actor, and television host, Roy Rogers, is a tribute to a cowboy’s best horse, in this case, Silver. The lyrics include the famous command giddyap to imbed the sound of the horse galloping as the rider is fast on the trail of the bad guys. Rogers had his own television show, The Roy Rogers Show, which ran on NBC, and starred Rogers and his real-life wife, Dale Evans.
22. A Horse With No Name by America
|Genre||Country Rock, Folk Rock|
“A Horse With No Name” became the first hit single by the British/American folk rock band America. The singer tells of his experience riding a horse through the hot desert and being happy to be out of the rain, which seems to refer more to the trials and troubles of life rather than actual rain. The group’s vocals and harmonies are smooth and omit a relaxing vibe. Unfortunately, the song ended up being banned in some places because it was thought that the reference to a horse was actually a reference to heroin use; however that didn’t stop it from attaining platinum status. If you’re looking for country songs about horses, this is one you’ll definitely want to listen to.
23. Black Horse And The Cherry Tree By KT Tunstall
|Genre||Alternative/Indie, R&B/Soul, Pop, UK R&B|
|Album||Eye To The Telescope|
This song, from KT Tunstall, a Scottish singer/songwriter, came from her debut album, Eye To The Telescope. The colorful lyrics, however, can’t be taken at face value. The singer doesn’t come face to face with an actual horse and a cherry tree, but rather the lyrics represent having to make choices and sometimes feeling lost and traveling a path without direction. The up-tempo instrumental arrangement and the powerful vocals from Tunstall add up to a great dance tune.
24. Rhinestone Cowboy By Glen Campbell
Written by Larry Weiss and recorded by country singer Glen Campbell, “Rhinestone Cowboy” tells the tale of a fellow who has struggled from the ground up where nice guys finish last. He aspires to the life of a star who gets cards and letters from people he doesn’t even know. Besides being a country singer, Campbell hosted his own television show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, for three seasons.
25. The Headless Horseman By Bing Crosby
|Genre||Movie Soundtrack, Big Band|
|Album||The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad Movie Soundtrack|
Depicting the spooky tale of the headless horseman, Bing Crosby sang this song for the Disney Movie, The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad, in The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow section. Unfortunately, with orchestration like that of the big band era, the more dance-beat music doesn’t match the lyrics of the scary tale of a horseman riding in the dark of night carrying his severed pumpkin-like head. Likely this was because Disney wanted a more family-friendly version of the tale.
26. Only The Horses By Scissor Sisters
|Genre||Electronic Dance, Pop, Alternative/Indie, R&B Soul, Pop/Rock|
American band, Scissor Sisters, recorded “Only The Horses” for their fourth studio album, Magic Hour. The song is also the first single from the album. The music has a driving beat with elements of several different music genres melted together. The repeated lyric, “only the horses can find us tonight,” suggests the freedom that the two lovers have whenever they are together, even though they may have gotten lost in the wilderness.
27. Fallen Horses By Smash Mouth
|Genre||Rock, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock|
Smash Mouth, an American rock band, might best be known for their hit “All-Star.” “Fallen Horses” is the eleventh track on their second studio album. Slower than most of their other songs, “Fallen Horses” lyrics imply images of death and someone looking for answers. In the song, it appears the singer is searching for a female who perhaps has died. The imagery is quite poetic, and the ballad-type style offers a poignant picture. This is one of my personal favorite songs about horses.
28. Jenny’s Got A Pony By Los Lobos
|Genre||Country Rock, Heartland Rock, R&B|
With its catchy, repetitive lyrics and its infectious beat, “Jenny’s Got A Pony” will have everyone tapping their feet to the rhythm and wanting to get up and dance. Sung by Los Lobos, an American rock band, this song is the eleventh track on their album, The Neighborhood. The song melds genres together with its rock beat, country feel, and R&B vibe.
29. Crazy Horses By The Osmonds
|Genre||Heavy Metal, Hard Rock|
For those who think they know the Osmond Brother’s pop sound, “Crazy Horses” swiftly departs from anything familiar to the group. Instead, its heavy metal arrangement, with screaming vocals and unique synthesized sounds, definitely deviates from the typical pop and country offerings associated with much of its music. This Osmond hit was the only song to have Jay Osmond on lead vocals. According to Merrill Osmond, this album was their way of breaking free of prescribed tracks and making their *own* music.
30. Back In The Saddle Again By Gene Autry
“Back In The Saddle Again” is the song most associated with the singing cowboy Gene Autry. Not just a singer/songwriter, Autry was also a rodeo performer and an actor. In 1976, Autry’s biography was also titled “Back In The Saddle Again.” The song was used as the theme for both Gene Autry’s radio program and his television show. The lyrics describe the idyllic and relaxing life of a cowboy.
31. Tennessee Stud By Johnny Cash
“Tennessee Stud,” written and recorded by Jimmy Driftwood in 1959, was also covered by country singer Eddy Arnold that same year. Country legend, Johnny Cash, included “Tennessee Stud” on his Back in Black album in 1994, which was a live recording, and again on his American Recordings album. The song pays homage to his green-eyed stallion and their adventures, but in the end, they go back to Tennessee, and he and his girl ride off together to settle down.
32. High Horse By Kacey Musgraves
|Genre||Country, Country Pop|
“High Horse” was written and recorded by American country singer Kacey Musgraves and included on her fourth studio album. Musgraves was responsible for co-writing all of the thirteen tracks on this album. The lyrics use the term high horse as a way to tell someone who thinks they’re really something to get lost. The mix of country and pop creates a new set of listeners who didn’t necessarily enjoy country music on its own.
33. Runaway Horses By Belinda Carlisle
|Genre||Country Pop, UK R&B, Dance/Electronic|
Belinda Carlisle rose to fame fronting the Gogos before maintaining a successful career as a solo singer. “Runaway Horses,” the second track and fourth single from her album of the same name, use horse terms to describe the intense feelings the singer has come to experience in her new relationship. From being free from reins and riding like wild horses, the lyrics illustrate the freedom and excitement they are both encountering together.
34. Cowgirls Don’t Cry By Brooks And Dunn, Featuring Reba McEntire
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry” is a beautiful story about a young girl and her relationship with her Daddy. He gave her her first pony and taught her how to ride. When she grew up and got married, she did not have a good husband, and even though he didn’t treat her right, she held it in and didn’t show how miserable she was in the relationship. When her dad was dying, his last words on the phone to her were cowgirls don’t cry. Sung by Brooks And Dunn and featuring Reba McEntire, this song is a fine example of a good old country music tear-jerker.
35. Old Paint By Chris LeDoux
A song celebrating the close relationship between a cowboy and his horse, “Old Paint,” is sung by Chris LeDoux, who wasn’t a recording artist as his main career. LeDoux actually worked as a rodeo cowboy and initially sold his albums out of his vehicle. His final album before his death in 2005 was Horsepower. He is most known for his duet with Garth Brooks, “Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy.”
36. Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy By Chris LeDoux And Featuring Garth Brooks
|Album||Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy|
This upbeat duet with Chris LeDoux and featuring country legend Garth Brooks is a lively, fun song about what it’s like to have a cowboy in your life. The lyrics talk about how you have to be a special kind of woman to put up with the quirks of a cowboy. “Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy” was LeDoux’s most successful single, peaking at number seven on the country charts. The song was written by Garth Brooks and Mark D. Sanders.
37. The Horses By Rickie Lee Jones
|Genre||Rock, Pop, R&B|
“The Horses,” a song written by American singer Rickie Lee Jones and Walter Becker, appeared on her 1989 album, Flying Cowboys, and was also included on the soundtrack for the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire. The lyrics, which are beautifully poetic, are from a mother’s perspective, talking to her child about when they can no longer be together on earth, they will go riding the horses in the sky.
38. Run For The Roses By Dan Fogelberg
|Genre||Soft Rock, Country, Country Folk|
|Album||The Innocent Age|
Written and recorded by American singer Dan Fogelberg, “Run For The Roses” tells the story of a young horse who grows up training for his chance to be in the Kentucky Derby one day. This song has even become the unofficial theme song for the Kentucky Derby. “Run For The Roses” was one of Fogelberg’s four top hits, which also included “Same Old Lang Syne,” “Hard To Say,” and “Leader Of The Band.”
39. Dark Horse By Amanda Marshall
|Genre||R&B Soul, Pop, Rock, Soft Rock|
Canadian singer, Amanda Marshall, released her self-titled album in 1995. “Dark Horse” also was released in 1997 as one of five singles coming out of that album. The term dark horse refers to a relationship the singer has chosen to pursue even though folks in town called them crazy romantic fools behind their backs. In the chorus, the lyrics repeat, “my money’s riding on this dark horse, baby.”
40. Chestnut Mare By The Byrds
|Genre||Country Rock, Folk Rock|
“Chestnut Mare,” recorded by The Byrds and appearing on their 1970 album, Untitled, was initially written to be included in a musical that never came to fruition. It also ended up being released as a single. In the song, the singer is infatuated by a beautiful horse, the chestnut mare, and he follows her, hoping to catch her and brand her as one of his own. Oddly enough, the lyrics could just as much describe a man in pursuit of a woman who has caught his eye.
41. Tonight We Ride By Michael Martin Murphy
|Genre||Country, Country Rock, Pop|
|Album||Tonight We Ride|
“Tonight We Ride” is the title track of Michael Martin Murphy’s album of the same time. It’s an upbeat tune where the music’s rhythm matches the rhythm of galloping horses, and the lyrics repeat “tonight we ride” throughout the piece. Michael Martin Murphy is an American singer/songwriter, and Tonight We Ride is his twelfth studio album. “Tonight We Ride” also was released as a single.
42. Little Red Horse By Juni Fisher
|Genre||Country Rock, Folk|
“Little Red Horse” appears on American singer/songwriter Juni Fisher’s album Cowgirlography. Musically the song has a country sound, but with the addition of a fiddle and a flute, it almost sounds more like a Celtic folk song. The entire song lyric tells the tale of a girl’s little red horse and how much she enjoys him and the fact that he’s kind of like her. From the moment she saw him at the county fair, she had to have him.
43. Buckskin Stallion Blues By Townes Van Zandt
|Album||Live At The Down Home, Johnson City, Tennessee, 1985 (Radio Broadcast)|
The lyrics to “Buckskin Stallion Blues” tell the tale of unrequited love. The singer loved someone who didn’t know it, so they never got together, and now he doesn’t want to think about her anymore. Instead, he wishes he had a buckskin stallion that he could tame and then ride away on. Originally sung by Townes Van Zandt, this tune also was part of the soundtrack for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri starring Frances McDormand. A second version is sung by Amy Annelle.
44. Courage In The Saddle By Brenn Hill
|Genre||Country, Country Rock, Pop|
Brenn Hill is an American country singer/songwriter from Utah who specializes in country and cowboy music. “Courage In The Saddle” is the tale of a boy who knew all he wanted to do was ride horses. He works his way up to being a jockey and races at the Los Alamitos Race Course, stating that there never was a jockey who won more than him. The music is country for the most part, with a bit of a brass flair, giving it a slight Mexican feel.
45. Rider In The Rain By Randy Newman
Best known for his song, “Short People” from Randy Newman’s album, Little Criminals, “Rider In The Rain” appears on the B side. Many of the songs on this album showcase Newman’s creativity for storytelling, and “Rider In The Rain” is a fine example. Laid back and easy listening, the music is definitively country. The lyrics tell the tale of a cowboy who has decided to leave his job and his family and ride to Arizona. Interestingly enough, some of the background vocals and instruments come from members of The Eagles.
46. All The Wild Horses By Ray Lamontagne
|Genre||Folk Rock, Country Folk|
|Album||Introducing Ray LaMontagne|
With its limited release, Introducing Ray LaMontagne was a self-released album. Since 2003, Montagne has released eight studio albums. “All The Wild Horses” has a distinct strumming guitar and an obligato string accompanying the gentle melody. Ray’s music has been compared to the likes of Pink Floyd, Otis Redding, Van Morris, and others. Although the lyrics do make specific references to horse reins and not letting man ever tame them, the song could just as well be about people and not letting society keep them from being who they were meant to be.
47. I’m On A Horse By Thecomputernerd01
Thecomputernerd01, otherwise known as Joshua Daniel Chomik, is a YouTube artist who loves to parody songs. “I’m On A Horse” has to be watched, not just listened to, to get the humor. The horse to which the singer refers is actually a rocking horse named Shontelle, and the singer loves to ride on him and hang out with him playing tennis and making cookies. Besides being comical, the song has a great dance beat.
48. Horses In My Dreams By PJ Harvey
|Genre||Alternative, Indie/Pop, Folk Rock, Punk Blues|
|Album||Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea|
English musician PJ Havey is well known for being able to play a wide variety of instruments. As with many other songs about horses, “Horses In My Dreams” allows the singer the chance to feel free. The lyrics, “set me free again,” remind us that when life isn’t happening the way we hope, we can always reset our thoughts. The album, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, contains songs that illustrate Harvey’s love of New York City.
49. A Cowboy Needs A Horse By Sam Novak
|Genre||Disney, TV Theme,|
|Album||DVD It’s A Small World Of Fun Vol 1|
“A Cowboy Needs A Horse” is a cute children’s song from a 1956 Disney short feature of the same name. In the feature, a young boy dreams of becoming a cowboy. The song’s lyrics introduce us to all the things that a cowboy needs to have, including a horse, a hat, a rope, boots, spurs, and a song that keeps him riding along. It’s very straightforward in its meaning, and by the end of the feature, it is apparent that we have just witnessed a little boy’s dream.
50. Theme From The Lone Ranger Arranged by Hans Zimmer
|Genre||TV Themes, Classical Overture|
|Album||The Lone Ranger Original Motion Picture Score|
Originally a black and white television show aired on ABC from 1949-1957, “The Lone Ranger Theme” was the fourth and final movement of classical composer Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.” The exciting orchestral rhythms and arrangement are the perfect match to the image of a masked man galloping in pursuit of the bad guys. Hans Zimmer and Geoff Zanelli arranged an extended version of this music for Disney’s motion picture version of The Lone Ranger.
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.