In Greek mythology, Poseidon was the god of the sea. Second only to his brother Zeus in power, he was one of the 12 Olympians who tried to govern over all facets of human life. Poseidon is also the god of earthquakes, and according to Greek mythology, he was also the god of horses and was responsible for their creation.
Greek mythology was brimming with colorful gods and goddesses, and each partook in adventures, which we know today as myths, that helped the ancient Greeks understand their world. Greek myths not only told the tales of these immortal beings, they also told the tales of humans, such as Pandora, Midas and Heracles, as well as other creatures, such as unicorns, centaurs and the sphinx. These characters helped explain everything from creation to death.
Poseidon in Mythology
Poseidon was the son of Cronus and his sister Rhea. Once Poseidon and his siblings deposed their father, he received the kingdom of the sea. They drew lots to see who would rule. Poseidon is most often pictured with a trident, a powerful three-pronged weapon that could make the earth rumble and could destroy any object. He also inhabited an expansive golden palace under the ocean. He spent some of his spare time developing multiple relationships with goddesses as well as mortals and fathering children. One of these love interests may have been the catalyst for the creation of the horse.
Poseidon, God of Horses
The ancient Greeks believed that they had Poseidon to thank for the formation of one of their favorite and most useful animals: the horse. According to one legend, Poseidon became smitten with Demeter, who was one of the 12 Olympian gods and his sister. Demeter was not immediately entranced by his advances and asked that he spend some time creating the most beautiful animal in the world.
Accounts of the timing of his success vary. Some say that he had a hard time coming up with the perfect animal, so the road to creating a horse was littered with other animals who were not, in fact, the most beautiful beasts the world had ever seen. He struggled to meet Demeter's high expectations. But once he finally created a horse, he had lost interest in Demeter. However, due to the formation of this magnificent animal, he became the god of horses as well as the god of the sea.