White horses (carrying their respective prophets or leaders) are yet another recurring figure in a large number of highly-visible religions and mythologies: Muslim, Christian, Celtic, Greek, Norse, Hindu, Buddhist and even the Native American Blackfoot tribe.
Below are their stories in short. Interesting to see another common thread throughout various historical cultures' myths. Add to our list if you have found others!
Al-Burāq (Arabic: البُراق al-Burāq "lightning") is a mythological steed, described as a creature from the heavens which transported the prophets. Al-Buraq carried the Islamic prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and back during the Isra and Mi'raj or "Night Journey", which is the title of one of the chapters (sura), Al-Isra, of the Quran.
The Rider on the White Horse (Revelation 19:11-21) is a story of a magnificent white horse which carries Jesus Christ as he leads angels and saints in a dramatic battle between good and evil after Jesus' return to Earth.
The verse reads as follows:
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty...
In Celtic mythology, Rhiannon, a mythic figure in the Mabinogion collection of legends, rides a "pale-white" horse. Because of this, she has been linked to the Romano-Celtic fertility horse goddess Epona and other instances of the veneration of horses in early Indo-European culture.
In Greek mythology, the white winged horse Pegasus was the son of Poseidon and the gorgon Medusa. Poseidon was also the creator of horses, creating them out of the breaking waves when challenged to make a beautiful land animal.
In Norse mythology, Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir, "the best horse among gods and men", is described as gray. Sleipnir is also the ancestor of another gray horse, Grani, who is owned by the hero Sigurd.
In the Puranas, one of the precious objects that emerged while the devas and demons were churning the milky ocean was Uchaishravas, a snow-white horse with seven heads. (A white horse of the sun is sometimes also mentioned as emerging separately). Uchaishravas was at times ridden by Indra, lord of the devas. Indra is depicted as having a liking for white horses in several legends - he often steals the sacrificial horse to the consternation of all involved, such as in the story of Sagara, or the story of King Prithu.
Kanthaka was a white horse that was a royal servant and favourite horse of Prince Siddhartha, who later became Gautama Buddha. Siddhartha used Kanthaka in all major events described in Buddhist texts prior to his
renunciation of the world.
Native American Blackfoot
In Blackfoot mythology, the snow deity Aisoyimstan is a white-colored man in white clothing who rides a white horse.