In Finnish folklore first horse was called Iku-Tihku. Trolls created Iku-Tihku in their underground forge. Like many other Eurasian people Finno-Ugrian tribes believed that there was three levels in the world and all those levels were connected to each other through the world tree. These levels were called: Ylinen, Keskinen and Alinen. Ylinen the upper world was the place where highest of the spirits and most respected gods lived (in some cases it was also believed to be the state where the re-birth process started). Keskinen the middle world was the natural world (our physical world) where humans and animals lived together with all deities that ruled the elements. Alinen the underworld was place where the spirits of the death lived. Alinen however was not like the Christian hell. It was a place where spirits waited their turn to be reborn again.
Iku-Tihku was creature of Alinen. It was completely made of fire and ice. Iku-Tihku was also a shaman and it could travel between these three worlds (which also represent the three levels of consciousness) but it only could visit Keskinen, the middle world during the winter because it would melt in any other season. Trolls used Iku-Tihku as their model when they created all other horses but they were made of stone, steel and iron so that they could live in Keskinen all year around if they wished to.
From Hiisi is the horse´s origin, from the mountain- the splendid foal´s in a room with a door of fire, in a smithy with an iron ridge, it´s head was made of stone, it´s hoofs of rock, it´s legs were formed from iron, it´s back was made of steel (Source: magic songs of the Finns)
Tahvatar The Horse Goddess
In Finnish mythology each animal and plant species have their own emuu. Emuu is old Finnish and means mother. Emuu was a mythical creature. The first specimen of particular specie. Emuu´s exists in myths of Finns, Saami´s and Latvians. In Finland many of the Emuu´s were believed to be half-human half-animals and often they were represented as female goddesses. Emuu of horses was a goddess called Tahvatar. There isn´t many myths left about Tahvatar. It is believed that she was very similar to Gallo-Roman goddess Epona. Tahvatar was a shape sifter and could transform herself into a horse. In Finland there was a custom to say Tahvatar´s blessings for horses before they were let to the fields during the spring.
My video about horses in Finnish Mythology
Artist and Illustrator. Mythology and Folklore enthusiastic. Keen traveler. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea, and such.