Unlimited access >

Horse tattoo!

anyone have a tattoo of their horse? i’m going to eventually get once for my mare… curious if anyone else has one

My daughter does. She went back to the same guy the next year to get one of her dog too. Both look pretty accurate.

1 Like

I’ve been thinking of getting the brand of my mustang but I’m a wimp. It hurts right? :weary:

1 Like

If you Search for old threads on tattoos, posters did have some done.
Lots of horse- themed ink, but some likenesses.

It depends on where you get it done, and how heavy handed the artist is…

I have and unbranded Reservation Mustang and I have the phase “It was always you, my Wild Goose Chase” on my right forearm, on the side from elbow to wrist. Around the wrist was more painful than the middle of course, but nothing horrible at all. The same artist did a memorial piece for the kitty I lost to my house fire in 2021 on the same arm, just on the inside, right below the inside of my elbow. No pain whatsoever.

However, my most painful tattoo is on my left thigh. Super meaty area that shouldn’t be an issue right? The artist that did that one, not the same as the one I mentioned above, was super heavy handed and wanted to do the entire thing in one session. Ideally, the outlines should have been done, and left to heal, then go back in for shading/color. But he was in a rush I guess, and I paid the price for my stupidity. Not only was it incredibly painful, 10 years later, it looks like garbage.

Do you research, ask for portfolios, ask your friends and family if they have any, and be prepared to pay a decent sum for a GREAT tattoo. It’s worth it in the long run.


When I read “It was always you, my Wild Goose Chase” the hair tightened on the back of my neck. Please share your story. Oh. I will say I am so incredibly in love with my guy and he is so mystically beautiful and knowing he ran wild in the Big Horn Basin WY blows my mind every day. We stand under the stars at night together and I look up and my eyes well up right now thinking about it. Getting a horse that once ran wild is a wild experience and I’m so grateful for him. And by God is he lucky to have found me. He had a bad tooth, then needed a root canal on another, had fecal egg count of 2100 and then dx’d PSSM2. So it’s big a long ride. But we were meant to find eachother.

Maybe we need a mustang thread and stories but I have to know what yours means.


I personally don’t like either hyperrealistic or illustrative style portraits of people or animals that are like “known entities” to the tattoo-ee as tattoos.

E.g. I don’t absolutely hate not so recent historical figures or some character whose likeness is pretty much “imagined” anyway - but I still really don’t like it. But I truly dislike all actual portraits of family members or loved ones that I’ve seen on people. I lived in major cities like LA for the last 17 years and see a tremendous amount of ink daily.

some age really well but they are from the BEST artists in major cities like NYC, LA, SF, Shanghai, etc. and often have waitlists that open up via secret email for 3 hours every 4 months e.g. winterstone https://www.instagram.com/winterstone/ or jay shin https://www.instagram.com/jayshintattoo/ and nikko https://www.instagram.com/nikkohurtado/?hl=en
but most never just quite capture normal people / animals well… Nikko is a huge exception - but if you’re not a celeb or high net worth person - good luck ever booking him.

Fine line tattoos are beautiful …
my husband has some large ish fine line ones on his arms - not quite half sleeves - almost like quarter sleeves - but he has perfect skin for fine line tattoos that are high contrast - PALE & absolutely never sees the sun. He’s always in long sleeves in linen and full of SPF or a full wetsuit.

… but they over time age badly on most people if they are very detailed and small.

Horse / pet tattoos that are realistic often just look - meh from an artistry perspective unless you are moderately tattooed and your tattoos are large enough where the realism can really shine IMO. Micro-portraits and expensive and age poorly.

A GREAT portrait tattoo that is the right size will be between $200 to $2,500 per hour not including sitting fee - and expect several hours. But makes sense for something that is either impossible or VERY hard to remove

But tattoos are very personal and you should get whatever YOU like.

I think these below “wear” better for those who don’t have a lot of ink


This is mine, of my heart horse, pic taken the day I tried him out.


I feel the same about portraits of both people and pets (I also dislike text in any font/ style as I think it ages poorly - similar to the fine line tattoos), but that is certainly a personal preference. My horse related tattoo is that I have my OTTB (foaled 2005) lip tattoo number in Roman numerals on my collar bone. I love that it is very distinctly related to her (no other horse with the same tattoo!) but to any one who doesn’t know me/ I haven’t told, they don’t know it’s a horsey tattoo. I plan on getting another tattoo for my dog, I’ve been planning on her paw print but am still not totally sold on it.

Wow was that a talented artist. What is your relationship like with him. What is the story and what was that first day like? This thread motivates me but the stories behind the tatoos speak to me even more.

I was looking for a “hangover horse” owning a spicy Arab, and a big black late broken who was unpredictable, I just wanted something I could get on and ride when I wanted to relax. My trainer found him, and I wasn’t that taken with his looks, he rode OK, but had no real, well anything. I took him out for a ride, then went back to the house, and was sitting on him while we chatted. The kids were on the lawn with the dress up box, and they had dressed the dog in anything and everything they could wrap round him, until he got fed up and bolted, right in front of Gibbs (as he became) all he did was look with a “you don’t see that very often” expression and I was sold.

Didn’t haggle over the price, but said to owner I wanted to try him at my home to make sure he was the same there. The agreement was, I left the check, took him home and I had 3 days to bring him back, or the check would be cashed. Day one, took him home. Day two a buddy came to ride with me, and we decided to do a short ride with Mr Unpredictable before trying the new guy. I went to mount, felt the saddle move a tiny bit, saw this big black neck coming up……


The next I knew was voices, one of them very reassuring explaining I was OK…seems unpredictable had lawn darted me with extreme force into the dirt. I spoke to the first responder with the reassuring voice a couple of months later, he said I was in an impact crater! Anyway, Gibbs became mine while I was in ICU high on Morphine, recovering from my injuries. If I hadn’t of had him, I would never of ridden again, but he so patiently took me from standing crying my eyes out on the block, unable to get on, through being led around at a walk, and on through my journey. That’s why he was special, we lost him all too soon, but I already had him in ink, so it’s a living memorial for me.

The big black, advertised with full disclosure, someone came to try him, even though I explained what had happened, and was still in a cast….she wanted to get on, she nearly stuck the move, he reacted like a bucking horse coming out of the chute, front end goes up, twists to the side a little, plunge forward, then drop the shoulder and buck…she at least wasn’t hurt, and I hope the cowboy who eventually took him didn’t get killed.

So yes, my heart horse, went from being a 100% work boy, to showing the most amazing fun personality.


It doesn’t matter where you get it, yes it will hurt to some extent. I have tattoos on the outsides of both feet and those made my hair curl. My shoulder hurt a bit but honestly the position I was in and the guy leaning on my elbow hurt more…

1 Like

What a story!!! Gibbs.

1 Like

I got kicked pretty bad on both shins a few years back. I keep thinking I want to put a horse shoe tattoo on the worst one but reviews say it will hurt as bad as the kick!

I’d like to get my good old horse’s brand as a tat. For me any tats have to be where I can see them, so probably the inside of my arm for that one.

This is Bear.

Bear is my dressage schoolmaster (I Romulus in public). He’s a chestnut Cleveland Bay/Andalusian x. I’ve just retired him from competition and he owes me nothing. He is an absolute gentleman. While I appreciate tattoo artists are exactly that, artists, there are not many horse tattoos that I like.

I saw on a tattoo thread someone’s tat of a bunny. It turns out their horse is called bunny, and is a skewbald, so she had a bunny tattooed in the same colours and pattern as her horse. I thought that was brilliant so I contacted my tattoo artist and explained what I would like. He had a tinker about and came up with the attached. It’s on my left calf, on the outside of my leg. Hurt like a mofo, but I LOVE it.


I have four small horse shoes going up my back, that were drawn based on my childhood large pony’s shoe. They’re each filled in with a different color, though the colors are pretty faded now.
I’m thinking of getting something small in honor of my heart mare too but I don’t know what just yet.

I don’t have any tattoos of my specific horses.

But I do have a very large, unfinished copy of a Sarah Lynn Richards painting covering most of my back. Sort of. I started it years ago. There are several things that I regret about it, one being that the artist talked me into placing it so that the bottom is cut off by another one of my tattoos (that totally doesn’t “go”), and the other being that the artist talked me into adding a bunch of stuff around the outside that isn’t in the original painting. I wish it were sized properly and without the extra crap around it. The artist was heavy handed so all the line work he did on the ‘extra stuff’ is uneven crap work in a totally different style. Oh, and I wish it was finished :joy: but I am now at a point where spending that kind of money on it is meh. It is unfinished, but so am I.


I have something similar to this in purple and being a jumper on my left ribcage.

1 Like