Famous Miracle Horses in History

Miracles of Lady Wonder, Magic, Red Rum, Cholla, Bucephalus, Clever Hans, Etc.

These famous horses have such inspirational stories that some people say God has performed miracles through them. Here are are some of the most famous miracle horses in history:

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Lady Wonder

horse miracles
Darryl Shelly / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

This USA horse had a miraculous gift for using telepathy to read people’s minds, believers say. Lady Wonder would answer questions that people asked her by using her nose to flip over blocks with letters on them to answer questions. Miraculously, Lady Wonder was also clairvoyant, say believers, because her answers revealed knowledge of the past, present, and future about which no one had previously told her.

From the 1920s until her death in 1957, Lady Wonder would answer people’s questions when they came to visit her at home in Richmond, Virginia with her owner, C.D. Fonda. About 150,000 people scheduled sessions with Lady Wonder over the years, and Lady Wonder sometimes made news headlines by helping police solve crimes, such as when she helped them locate missing children or bank robbers.

Lady Wonder drew the attention Duke University psychologist Joseph Banks Rhine, who formally investigated Lady Wonder’s abilities in 1927 and 1928 and concluded that she was indeed gifted with extrasensory perception that enabled her to read people's minds, solve mysteries, and predict the future.

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horse miracles
Zia Soleil / Iconica / Getty Images

Magic is a miniature therapy horse from the USA who is associated with healing miracles in the lives of the people she visits. This tiny horse goes to hospitals, hospices, and other facilities to encourage ill and injured people (from children to seniors), as well as those who are recovering from abuse.

In 2010, Magic gained worldwide attention after inspiring an elderly patient to speak for the first time in three years. She had also inspired another patient to wake up from a coma.

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Red Rum

horse miracles
Red Rum in 1985. Allsport UK / Getty Images

This Irish bay horse won one of the world’s most demanding horse races -- the Grand National, in England -- a record three times in the 1970s. What made Red Rum’s victories miraculous to some people was the fact that he had bone disease that severely inflamed his hooves, making him lame when the condition wasn’t treated.

Red Rum’s trainer discovered that Red Rum’s hooves healed whenever he ran on a beach, since the saltwater cleaned and soothed his hooves. Rather than give up on her horse after she discovered he was lame, she encouraged him to train by the sea, and he ended up becoming one of the fastest racehorses in history.

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horse miracles
Oliver Cleve / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

This USA horse has been nicknamed “The Painting Horse” because he paints abstract art that has won admiration from art lovers around the world who say that he shows miraculous creative and artistic ability for a horse. Cholla paints by picking up a paintbrush with his mouth, choosing colors from paint that’s available to him, and working on a paper that his owners place on a large easel for him to use. He has never been trained to paint, but simply began one day in 2004 when he was near paint supplies (his owner was painting the fence of his corral) and has continued to paint spontaneously and frequently ever since.

Theories about why Cholla paints include: to play, to express his emotions, and to communicate with people. Judges at an Italian art competition meant for people awarded Cholla a prize for the artistic merit of one of his paintings, even though it was created by a horse.

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horse miracles
Public Domain

Bucephalus was the beloved horse of the famous ancient Macedonian leader Alexander the Great. Ancient people said that Alexander miraculously tamed Bucephalus when no one else could.

After Alexander's father told him about a magnificent but wild horse for which a horse dealer wanted a huge sum of money, Alexander made a deal to get the horse for free if he could tame it. Many people had tried to tame the horse, but none had succeeded. Alexander did what no one else had been able to do simply by turning Bucephalus' head to the side (away from his shadow, which Alexander noticed scared the horse) and talking to him gently. For taming Bucephalus, Alexander became known as the first "horse whisperer" in history.

Alexander rode Bucephalus in many ancient battles. After Bucephalus died in 326 B.C., Alexander named a city in his late horse's honor.

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Clever Hans

horse miracles
Clever Hans in 1904. Public domain

This German horse became famous for demonstrating what seemed like miraculous intelligence for a horse to have. Clever Hans’ owner, Wilhem von Osten, trained the clever horse to do a variety of tasks that horses normally couldn’t do, including reading, doing math problems, telling time, and recognizing different musical tones. In many demonstrations throughout Germany in the early 1900s, von Osten would ask Clever Hans questions (either verbally or in writing), and the horse would respond accurately.

People were so amazed at how miraculously smart Clever Hans seemed to be that the German Board of Education set up a formal investigation into how Clever Hans was able to correctly answer such intellectual questions. The psychologist who directed the investigation, Oskar Pfungst, eventually discovered that Clever Hans answered questions by responding to the body language cues of the people who asked him the questions and knew the right answers. Even though von Osten and others who asked the horse questions weren’t using tricks and weren’t aware that their body language gave the correct answers away, Clever Hans was subtly reading and interpreting their body language anyway. However, some people said that it was still miraculous for Clever Hans to have been able to learn how to read body language in such a sophisticated manner and apply it correctly to answering such a wide range of intellectual questions.

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horse miracles
Jonathan Nourok / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

This USA horse (whose name means "Not in our wildest dreams") was rescued in 2009 from a horse breeding farm where she was one of 177 horses who had been abused and neglected. Notinrwildestdremz had nearly starved to death before she was rescued.

Most of the rescued horses eventually regained their basic health after being rehabilitated and were adopted by new owners. Sean and Angelika Kerr adopted three of the horses, including a filly they decided to name Notinrwildestdremz after witnessing her incredible spunk. Since Notinrwildestdremz liked to run, the Kerrs decided to give her the chance to train as a racehorse. They hired famous trainer Billy Turner (who trained the champion racehorse Seattle Slew) to train Notinrwildestdremz.

Just three years later, in 2012, Notinrwildestdremz miraculously began her official racing career by successfully completing her first race at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York.

Inspiring Humans

The stories of these horses continue to inspire people to discover more about how horses and humans can work together in mutually beneficial ways.