Sky Dogs and Horse Helpers

Tags: Animal Totems | Native American | Horse Symbolism

My Great Grandfather, Bronze Medalist of 1932 Olympic Equestrian Events
My Great Grandfather, Bronze Medalist of 1932 Olympic Equestrian Events

For me, the symbolic meaning of horses is compelling because it points out the value of partnering with our animal kin for guidance, wisdom and growth.

That admiration was confirmed last week after spending hours with my dad going over his lineage.  Simply put, we’re horse people.

Generation after generation the hands of my bloodline have held firm on horse reins (and mane hair before the advent of the bit).

What’s this got to do with you, who are seeking relationships between symbolic meaning and your personal life path?

Plenty, because horses, more than most creatures, exhibit a brand of stoic patience for humans and a willingness to help us in our pursuit of freedom.

Over the years, horses have stood by our sides, helped us in our plights, facilitated our goals, and offered us a kind of mobility we would have otherwise never known without their graceful countenance.

Native Americans  knew this. 

Sky Dog was the name given to horses by Plains tribes because prior to the mid 1600s (when visiting Spaniards accidentally let loose a few horses which eventually fell into the savvy hands of  Northern American native folk) dogs served as helpers in daily work.  They helped carry heavy loads by means of the travois, and facilitated an intensely nomadic way of life. 

Horses effortlessly usurped these roles from the dogs, and much more.  They afforded Native people freedom and opportunities as vast as the sky. 

When Sky Dogs came on the scene, they shifted the entire paradigm for the Native way of life. 

Most notably, horses showed a willingness to accept mankind’s dependence upon them. 

For centuries, mankind has asked for their strength, and horses have nobly and generously provided. 

With that in mind, I invite you to ask yourself: “Who are my Sky Dogs?” 

By this I mean:

  • Which animals communicate with you?
  • What animals share and carry your burdens?
  • What animals offer you mobility and facilitate your highest freedom?
  • What kind of gratitude and acknowledgement do you extend to these animal helpers?

If you happen to be “horse people” too, you might enjoy my page on the symbolic meaning of horses here

You may also find my page on Knowing and Communicating with Your Animal Totem  intriguing.

8 Comments on “Sky Dogs and Horse Helpers”

  1. I am “horse people” too, and loved your observations here.

    I am getting more in touch with my Sioux roots, so I can relate to connecting with family history.

    Your blog, and especially your Native pages (like the Sioux symbols on your site) have really helped me in my processes.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  2. Welcome back!!!

    Thanks for the bit on horses; I did a meditation to see the animal in each of my major chakras and found a gorgeous black, proud horse in my 3rd…interesting to ponder that with your meaning!

  3. Love the transformation of your website. You look very dynamic!

    The horse post reads into my mind as a friend recently had a horse accident. The animal landed on him. He survived with serious broken leg bones and required surgery. For him, he had trained and ridden horses 20 years without a mishap so he felt he was overdue.

    In terms of animal communication, you may be interested in this:

  4. Licia, brilliant discovery! I love how the solar implications (horses often being associated with sun energy) weave in with the solar plexus chakra. Rock on!

  5. Hi Liara, thanks for the kind words about the site changes.

    More importantly, thank you for adding to the value of this stream of thought with your post: – everybody – take a moment to read it – it’s uber-rich with insight.

    If I may quote a few key phrases from your post…

    When trust is present, silence speaks.


    As you separate from the illusion of fear, nature shares secrets.

    and lastly,

    One is reminded guides take form to help humans attune to what they already know, but temporarily choose to forget.

    Mental nectar.

    Thanks for dispensing, Liara.

  6. Avenifica,
    readers appreciate layers of meaning in idiomatic expressions:

    “back the wrong horse” is to be mistaken in judgment. A prime example is when audiences assume someone will not excel like here:

    “beat or flog a dead horse” is to attempt to revive a discussion, topic, or idea that has been exhausted, or proved fruitless.

    “from the horse’s mouth” means on good authority; from the original or a trustworthy source.

    “hold your horses” is to check impulsiveness; be patient or calm.

    “horse of another color,” something of different nature.

    “look a gift horse in the mouth”, to be critical of a gift.

    “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” reminds you to be grateful and not impolitely examine a gift for defects when you receive it.

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