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Then you'll brush him and feed him. […] It builds an essential bond: the trust between knight and steed.

David Nolan to Henry Mills src

Horses are a creature species featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. They are native to Fairy Tale Land, Land Without Color, Land Without Magic, New Fairy Tale Land, Victorian England, Underworld, Wish Realm and Wonderland and first appear in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.

The horse Pegasus is based on the character of the same name from Greek mythology. Rocinante is named after the horse in Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote.


Before First Curse

In Agrabah, Cyrus returns home with Rafi and Taj just in time to witness their house being consumed by fire. Thugs ride by the trio on their horses and take off, leaving the desperate brothers behind. ("Dirty Little Secrets")

In the Enchanted Forest, during the First Ogre Wars, Rumplestiltskin learns from a seer that his wife is pregnant and his actions on the battlefield will leave the child fatherless. He doesn't know at first whether or not to believe the girl, but she claims that it will all become clear when the soldiers ride cows to the front. Rumplestiltskin finds that absurd and walks away, but soon a soldier announces that they will ride rather than march, worrying Rumplestiltskin that the prophecy is correct. Scared, he asks what they are riding, to which the man replies it is obviously horses, so they should fetch their cows soon. To a confused Rumplestiltskin, the soldier explains that the leather saddles are called cows, prompting the man to remember the seer's words. ("Manhattan")

At some point, a winged horse of unknown origin named Pegasus has his feathers cut off and used on the fabrication of the sail of the Jewel of the Realm, allowing the ship to fly. The legendary beast is pictured both in the sail itself and in a sextant given to Killian Jones by his brother Liam. ("Good Form")

Years later, some night during the Ogre Wars, Baelfire hears the sound of horses' hooves thundering down the road. Scared, the kid crawls into his father’s bed. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

Hordor rides his horse to a village to collect fourteen year-old Morraine to join the Duke’s army for the Ogre Wars. The girl's parents resist to letting her go, but Zoso, the Dark One, himself on a horse, uses magic to strangle the mother. The neighbors watch in terror as the soldier leaves with Morraine on horseback. Rumplestiltskin, having watched the scene, plans to take his son away from the land. At night, knights on horses find them on the King's road and vow to return in two days, when Baelfire turns fourteen, to collect him as well. When the time comes and the soldiers show up at Rumplestiltskin's farm, the knight holding the reins of Hordor's horse suddenly falls to the ground. Rumplestiltskin reveals himself to have killed him with his newly acquired powers as the Dark One, before proceeding to kill Hordor as well. While the war is still ongoing, Beowulf commands his troops to ride their horses to the area occupied by the ogres and to attack them, but Rumplestiltskin eventually manages to put an end to the conflict. ("Desperate Souls", "Ill-Boding Patterns")

Throughout the centuries, horses are known to be domesticated and used as a means of transportation, whether by being ridden or by pulling vehicles, all over Fairy Tale Land, including the area where Rumplestiltskin lives, as well as Arthur’s childhood village; and also in the Land Without Magic, where Baelfire is almost run over by a horse-drawn carriage shortly after he lands in the new world after falling through a portal. Likewise, Jiminy and his parents travel on a horse-drawn coach to present their marionette show. ("The Return", "The Broken Kingdom", "Second Star to the Right", "That Still Small Voice")

A young Regina meets Daniel, who works at her family's stables. As she canters Rocinante, her steed, for the first time, her father watches her ride across the field outside the manor and notices the girl's joyous smile. Through time, Regina and Daniel get close and fall in love with one another. One day, Regina is once again riding Rocinante on a training field. When she dismounts, Cora arrives and remarks that Regina rides "like a man" and should use a saddle instead, because a lady must ride gracefully. Daniel steps forward and offers a saddle, but Regina dismisses him rudely, trying not to give Cora any clue about their romance. Daniel takes the reins from the girl and leads the horse away. Later, at the stables, Regina meets him while he cares for the steed, and they kiss. ("Page 23", "Out of the Past", "The Stable Boy")

On a different day, King Leopold's retinue travels through the land. While the King and his knights stop, giving the horses some time to rest, a servant named Johanna, holding the reins of a brown horse, talks to ten year-old Princess Snow White, who is mounting a second steed. Unseen to them, Cora uses magic on the horse so that the girl loses control of it. Seeing the princess screaming in panic, Regina mounts and chases down the runaway horse. She reaches Snow and pulls her onto her own horse, but the girl falls to the ground in the process. Regina dismounts and tranquilizes the girl that she is safe now. Snow White thanks her and adds that she will never ride again, but the young woman encourages her to overcome her fear and get back on the horse as soon as possible. Grateful to Regina for saving his life, King Leopold proposes to her, as Cora planned. The upcoming marriage prompts Regina to decide to elope with Daniel. At night, while he cares for a horse, Regina meets him and reveals her plan, but Snow White interrupts them. The innocent girl tells Cora about Regina's love story with Daniel, leading Cora to kill the stable boy. This event causes Regina to majorly hate Snow White from then on, to the point of wishing she had let her die on the horse the day they met. ("The Queen Is Dead", "The Stable Boy", "Shadow of the Queen", "Out of the Past", "An Apple Red as Blood")

Unwilling to get married, Regina attempts to escape her mother by riding away on Rocinante. However, she is thwarted by one of Cora's spells and pulled from her horse as her mother appears behind her. Later on, with help in the form of a looking glass provided by Rumplestiltskin, Regina banishes her mother to Wonderland and, once more, rides her horse away from King Leopold's castle, but the Dark One interrupts her escape. The young woman dismounts her horse to talk, and the wizard ultimately dissuades her from leaving by proposing to teach her magic. ("We Are Both")

In the Land Without Magic, a movie titled Knight of Valor is shot. The opening scene, featuring an imposing brown steed, is airing while Isaac tries to sell a television at Hank's shop. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

At an uncertain point in time, the New Enchanted Forest bursts into war. On horseback, the King’s soldiers invade a camp and leave it torn asunder. The cook is the only man left alive, and he decides to fight, eventually becoming crucial for the outcome of the war, therefore catching Eudora’s eye. They end up getting married.[1] ("Greenbacks")

At some point, Hercules completes the eighth of his Twelve Labors, which involves mares somehow. A depiction of the beasts is engraved in a medal.[2] ("Labor of Love")

In the Land Without Color, in secret, Victor Frankenstein digs up a grave in order to obtain a corpse for his scientific studies. He is surprised to see that his brother followed him to the graveyard, but their talk is interrupted by gunshots when a guard catches them. The brothers run to a nearby carriage, pulled by a white horse, and escape, though Gerhardt has already gotten a wound, which ultimately causes his death. ("In the Name of the Brother")

King Leopold buys a miniature horse, which the Queen describes as "tiny as a dog", for Snow White’s fifteenth birthday. For about six months, the animal is left with a trainer until the day the princess goes to the stables to see it. At Snow White’s approach, the horse bows its head to the girl. Delighted, the young princess exclaims that it is her perfect day. ("Heartless")

A horse-drawn carriage is halted by an injured man lying in the road. The two men with him ask for help from the coachmen, claiming that their friend was knocked off his horse. In fact, the scene is part of an ambush by the Merry Men. The commntion successfully distracts the travelers, allowing one of the thieves to go unnoticed while stealing two leather bags. Merry Man Will Scarlet later manages to steal a looking glass from Maleficent. Eager to use the item to leave for Wonderland with Anastasia, the man races on horseback to meet his lover. ("Forget Me Not")

In Camelot, Violet turns seven and receives a horse as a birthday gift from her mother, herself a champion rider. Sadly, the woman passes away before the girl can even learn to gallop. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Snow White, now a young woman, mounts her steed Roman and gleefully gallops about the palace grounds, while a distraught Regina looks on from the stable. In a rage, she closes the door and tears down several of Snow White's ribbons — awards from riding competitions. Appearing in the stable, Rumplestiltskin remarks how ironical it is that, when Regina saved her life, Snow White was riding a runaway horse and, now, she is the "best rider in all the land". A frustrated Regina claims the horse won the medals, not Snow White. Willing to become an apprentice of Maleficent, Regina goes to the Forbidden Fortress to meet her. Eventually, the two of them are present at the ruined portion of land that Maleficent once scorched with her flames decades ago, when King Stefan and his soldiers arrive on horseback. They try to arrest Maleficent for cursing Queen Briar Rose, but she morphs into a dragon, causing a frightened King Stefan to shout for his horsemen to retreat. Returning home after learning about the Sleeping Curse from Maleficent, Regina casts it on Roman and explains to Rumplestiltskin that the pony will be taking a nap for a hundred years or so. ("Enter the Dragon")

In Agrabah, Jafar flies on a magic carpet chasing the Emir, who rides a horse hurriedly. The wizard shoots magic at the rider, narrowly missing him several times, but he reaches a small building and enters, calling for help. ("The Savior")

At night, the Evil Queen travels by carriage through the Forest of the Dead. Suddnely, her horses are startled by a mysterious hooded figure in the road. Scared, they neigh and run off, overturning the carriage in the process. The Queen crawls out of the wreckage and finds out William to be the hooded figure. ("Out of the Past")

In Camelot, King Arthur, Lancelot and Percival ride their horses to the Excalibur Stone, where Arthur fulfills Merlin's prophecy and releases the sword from the stone, though it is missing its tip. Afterwards, he rides to his childhood village to announce his accomplishment. ("The Dark Swan", "The Broken Kingdom")

In Arendelle, Elsa takes her sister upstairs to deliver a surprise gift. Anna voices her wish for a horse and a carriage, but receives a dress instead, which she gladly accepts. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

Anna travels to Misthaven and meets David, introducing herself as "Joan". As the pair talk, David hears approaching horses and tells Joan to get inside before things go bad, but she instead turns to look at who has arrived. The carriage rides up to the house, carrying a warlord named Bo Peep. The woman gives David an ultimatum to pay what he owes her, proposing he hands over his steed as payment. David resists, saying that the horse never leaves his side, to which Bo Peep promises to return the next day to take over the farm unless she is paid. Eventually, Joan helps David face Bo Peep and save the farm. She is given David's prized steed as a token of his appreciation, and rides away, heading to the Dark castle. ("White Out")

As poor farmers, Marian and her family's only means of surviving are with a prized steed, which Robin of Locksley later steals from them. Tracking him down, Marian threatens to shoot him with an arrow while explaining the horse's great value to her family's livelihood. The next morning, the thief returns to her cottage and apologizes by forfeiting his own two horses to her. ("The Snow Queen")

Belle plans to go riding with her father one morning, but Gaston comes to visit instead. The girl enters the stables and finds Sir Maurice awaiting. While he explains that plans have changed, Belle turns her attention to a brown horse and tries to dissuade her father from seeking any more suitors for her, but ultimately agrees to go for a walk with Gaston. Eventually, Lord LeGume's son goes searching for an ogre and gets hurt. On horseback, Belle, Maurice and their guards reach up to Gaston, who decides to organize a hunt for the ogres. At night, the men gallop pursuing an ogre, but Belle, determined to protect the creature from being tortured, follows them on her own horse. At the point where the tracks of the ogre stop, Gaston dismounts, as well as Maurice, and holds his bow and arrow, prepared to shoot. Luckily for the innocent ogre, Belle shows up in time to save him. However, her act of mercy does not prevent war from happening. One night, she is brushing her horse at the stables when Sir Maurice arrives and informs her that the eastern regions were under attack by the ogres. Belle learns that horses and men on battlefield were having a hard time at trying to save the land. (“Her Handsome Hero”, “Out of the Past”)

In Victorian England, the sound of horses on the street wakes Jekyll, who just spent the night with Mary. ("Strange Case")

Wilby leads David to a carriage in the middle of the forest, and the owner of the vehicle offers a ride for the shepherd on his way to Longbourn. Some time later, Gabriel explains that the horse needs to rest, and goes for a short walk with David and Wilby. At a later point, David returns to the horse while Gabriel is away and finds out that someone is being held captive inside the carriage. ("Heartless")

On the anniversary of Daniel's death, the Queen is traveling in her horse-drawn carriage and finds villagers having a wedding on the grounds near the castle. She interrupts the ceremony and nearly kills the groom. ("Mother")

One day, the Queen and her henchmen, on horseback, go looking for a fugitive Snow White. They come to a little cottage where they believe she is hiding, but realize that it is abandoned. Some time later, the Queen, having acquired a disguise in the form of a glamor spell from Rumplestiltskin, pretends to be a peasant woman named Wilma, to whom Snow recounts the story of how she was saved at ten by a kind stranger when her horse ran away with her. ("The Evil Queen")

After Robin steals a wand from the Dark Castle to heal a pregnant Marian, Rumplestiltskin chases him in the forest in a carriage pulled by two pairs of black horses. Meeting the Sheriff of Nottingham and his men, who travel on horseback nearby, the Dark One tortures him for information on the thief. Eventually, Rumplestiltskin finds Robin Hood, but Belle dissuades him to kill the thief, who gets on a white horse with a cured Marian and rides off into the distance. ("Lacey")

After defeating a dragon, David rides a horse back home to reunite with his mother. Eventually, he agrees to replace his twin brother by pretending to be King George's son, thus becoming known as Prince James. ("The Shepherd")

Horses pull Prince James and Abigail's carriage on the road towards Midas' castle. Reaching the point where a fallen tree blocks the road, the horses draw to a halt and neigh, prompting the Prince to exit the carriage to investigate. As he notices that the tree was cut to ambush them, a thief grabs a bag from inside the coach and mounts a horse, running away. James chases the bandit and, when the two horses align, forces the thief to the ground. Surprised to realize that the thief is a woman, James hesitates for a second, giving her the chance to hit him with a rock and escape again on horseback. Eventually, the Queen’s knights, on horseback, find Snow White, but the Prince fights them to save the girl, shooting a guard off his horse with an arrow. In gratitude, Snow White agrees to help him retrieve the ring she stole from him, which was already sold to trolls. The couple rides to the Troll Bridge. At some point, Snow sends the horse away, explaining that trolls do not like horses, and goes ahead on foot. ("Snow Falls")

Hook and Emma fall into a portal to the past. Hearing hoofbeats of approaching horses, the couple hide behind a tree and watch as Regina descends from the carriage and threatens the villagers if they dare to protect Snow White from her. Later, on the road towards Midas' castle, horses pull Prince James and Abigail's carriage. Reaching the point where a fallen tree blocks the road, the horses draw to a halt and neigh, prompting the Prince to exit the carriage to investigate. Accidentally, Emma breaks a twig, scaring Snow White with the noise and making her flee without consummating the robbery, ultimately preventing Snow and James from meeting. The Prince goes back into the carriage and the horses proceed on their way to the castle. To make sure that her parents meet and the original timeline is restored, Emma attends a ball at Midas' castle with Hook, where Snow eventually steals Ruth's ring. As James watches from a window, the bandit mounts and spurs a horse, rapidly getting away. ("Snow Drifts")

Emma releases Marian from the Evil Queen's cell. Hook, however, is unsure about the dangers of altering the past by saving the woman from execution. As example, he remarks to Emma that Marian could now come to have a child who would grow to be a murderer, or she could ride her horse into one of the seven dwarves, or any other disastrous consequence of changing the original timeline. Emma then decides to take her to the future with herself and Hook. ("There's No Place Like Home")

Belle leaves the Dark Castle to purchase food. At the marketplace, she notices something calling the attention of the crowd — men returning from a battle against the ogres. The soldiers bring home injured fellows lying on carts pulled by horses. ("Out of the Past")

Planning to manipulate Belle to break the Dark One curse on Rumplestiltskin, the Evil Queen has horses pull her carriage through the road towards the girl. Regina’s intervention ends up causing Rumplestiltskin to throw Belle out of his castle, giving Regina's guards the chance to capture her. While Belle, from inside a cage, vows to never stop fighting for Rumplestiltskin, the Queen smiles and rides off on her horse. ("Skin Deep", "The Outsider")

At some point,[3] in the New Enchanted Forest, Rapunzel urges the horses pulling her coach in the middle of a storm. Reaching a garden, she leaves behind her husband and two daughters to fetch some food, but ends up encountering Gothel, who traps her in a tower. ("One Little Tear")

Twins Hansel and Gretel get lost from their father in the woods. Hearing the sound of a man's groan, they run in the direction of it, but instead stumble on two men on horseback. The knights grab and push them towards the Evil Queen's carriage. ("True North")

At some point, Prince James — either the real one or his twin, who took over his identity — is riding through the forest and encounters a villager on a wagon load of taters. He moves his horse way, allowing the woman to get past. This gesture causes good impression on the lady, who describes him to people as a gallant figure. One night, a fugitive Snow White watches a horse-drawn vehicle passing by, and overhears their occupants commenting on the upcoming royal wedding. She enters a tavern shortly after a man brings news about an alliance between the Evil Queen and the werewolves, in which Midas' soldiers and horses were attacked by the pack. ("Shadow of the Queen")

Escaping from his father to avoid getting married to Midas' daughter, Prince Charming rides through the forest on horseback, while King George's knights pursue him. He successfully hides from the men, just to be caught by a man of Abigail's. As his captor cuts Prince Charming's bonds, the princess herself leads a horse to the man, who walks away. She reveals that she does not want to marry him either and enlists his help to save her loved one, who was turned into a golden statue. Abigail rides her horse to the spot where Frederick remains petrified and David agrees to help her. Shortly after, having accomplished to turn Frederick back into his human form, Prince Charming rides his horse into a clearing in search of Snow White. As he dismounts the horse, Red Riding Hood approaches and reveals that Snow never came back after she left to meet him. ("What Happened to Frederick", "7:15 A.M.")

Snow White hides behind a tree and watches a Black Knight riding through the woods. As he comes closer, she is able to throw the knight off his horse. The bandit then uses a dwarf pick ax to threaten the man for information on the Queen. She steals the knight's armor and disguises herself, planning to invade the palace. Later, Grumpy tries to dissuade her, but she walks to her horse and dismisses the dwarf. Near, Prince Charming dismounts his horse to examine footprints in the snow, eventually finding the nude knight and learning about Snow White's plan. The couple reunite just in time for King George's horses to reach them. The guards take Charming prisoner. ("Heart of Darkness")

With Snow White under a sleeping curse, Prince Charming races a white horse along a road into the forest to meet the dwarves, who are keeping the princess' body in a glass coffin. After the curse is broken, Regina once again threatens to destroy the couples' happiness. Determined to fight for the kingdom, Prince Charming takes Snow White on horseback to a sword stuck in a stone, telling her that only the kingdom's true ruler would be able to free the blade. Unaware that the legend is nothing more than a scheme made up by Charming to get her to regain her confidence, Snow pulls the fake Excalibur and releases it. ("Pilot", "Awake", "A Land Without Magic", "Lost Girl")

King George curses Snow White with a potion that makes her unfertile. After she leaves the castle, the princess notices that a guard is following her. She ambushes Lancelot and knocks him off his horse. The knight reveals his wish to help her and explains that he did not know that the drink the King gave her was poisoned. ("Lady of the Lake")

In Victorian England, a horse-drawn vehicle slowly approaches Edwin's house to pick up Alice. The girl ascends into the carriage as her father and stepmother watch from inside the house. After Dr. Lydgate follows Alice in, the horses neigh and take off. ("Who's Alice")

In the Enchanted Forest, villagers hear the Queen's horses neigh as the carriage approaches a cabin where she was told Snow White has been hiding. ("Page 23")

On her horse, the Evil Queen watches a village being consumed by fire as a result of the war against Snow White and Prince Charming. Deep in the forest. Snow White is running and trips over a rock. The Queen arrives on her horse and dismounts. She prepares to attack Snow White, but the Blue Fairy appears and paralyzes her with fairy dust. ("The Cricket Game")

Upon learning the Queen burnt down a village, Snow White, Prince Charming and Grumpy ride their horses there to look for survivors. ("A Bitter Draught")

Prince Thomas throws a ball during which he plans to choose a wife. At his service, the footman Jacob rides a brown horse to the Tremaine Estate in order to deliver an invitation. On the night of the ball, Lady Tremaine, Clorinda and Tisbe attend the event, driven by a coach pulled by horses. On a different day, when the Prince decides to go after Cinderella, Snow White helps him track her down, and the pair take the path to the Tremaine Estate on a carriage. Cinderella, who is trapped upstairs, notices their arrival when she hears the horses whinnying. ("The Other Shoe", "The Price of Gold")

After Cora kidnaps Henry to Wonderland, Regina has her horses set to draw her carriage to Jefferson's cottage, where she enlists the Hatter's help in opening a portal to the other world in order to rescue her father. ("Hat Trick")

Snow White and Prince Charming get married and travel for their honeymoon. Entering the Summer Palace, Snow announces that she has planned something special, but needs a little time alone. Charming agrees and departs from the building to stable the horses. ("The New Neverland")

One day, Black Knights drive the Evil Queen's carriage on the road near the palace. Encountering Captain Hook, they force the horses to stop. Regina descends from the carriage and talks to the pirate. ("Swan Song")

Aware that a heart is required to enact the Dark Curse, the Evil Queen kills her childhood steed, Rocinante. Gathering her allies, she starts the ritual and throws the beast's heart into the fire, but the spell fails. Frustrated, she heads to her mentor's dungeon just to learn from Rumplestiltskin that the heart of a horse would not be enough of a sacrifice, and she would have to kill the thing she loved most instead. ("The Thing You Love Most")

After First Curse

In New York, the day Emma breaks the curse, Neal walks by a horse on his way home, right before receiving a postcard with news from Storybrooke. Simultaneously, in the Enchanted Forest, Prince Phillip and Mulan resume their quest to rescue Aurora and rush their horses to the palace to wake her from the sleeping curse. After that, the trio journey through the woods on horseback before deciding to camp for the night. Late into the night, Mulan notices that the horses are gone and realizes that Phillip has left and does not want to be followed, as he has been targeted by a soul-sucker creature called the Qui Shen. Leaving her companion behind, Mulan ventures into the forest to look for the prince, but soon Aurora, having found one of the steeds, rides after her. ("Broken")

Upon their return to Wonderland, Will notices Alice's new outfit and wonders how she got a wardrobe change, to which she replies that a clothes horse came by, making it unclear for him whether that is a regular clothes rack or one of Wonderland's weird creatures. Will jokes in response by wishing a coffee horse would show up to serve him. ("Trust Me")

Blaming Emma and Mary Margaret for the death of Phillip, since the Qui Shen came to the land in the portal they opened up, Mulan and Aurora take mother and daughter prisoner and tie them up behind a horse, thus being pulled along unceremoniously as they stumble across the rough terrain leading to the Safe Haven. ("We Are Both")

In Storybrooke, Henry shares with David his wish to learn how to ride a horse and to sword-fight, which prompts the man to gift his grandson a steed. He takes the boy to the stables, but warns him that there is much to learn before actual riding. David instructs Henry to muck out the stall every morning, then brush and feed the horse twice a day. Henry reacts a little disappointed, but David explains that caring for the horse will builds a bond between it and the knight, and that he will only ride when "the horse tells him" he is ready. David then leaves for the mines, while Henry stays with the horse. Not long after that, a resurrected and out-of-control Daniel heads to the stables, since his last memories are from such place. Sensing his approximation, all the horses get startled. Henry's steed takes off, knocking him to the ground. Henry tries to calm Daniel down by saying that he is scaring the horses, but it doesn’t take long until David arrives with Regina and takes Henry away, leaving the mayor to deal with her loved one. Despite this experience, Henry does not lose his interest in horses, once even confiding to Emma that he would like to live in the Enchanted Forest, to ride horses and to shoot bow and arrows. ("Lady of the Lake", "The Doctor", "The Evil Queen")

In Wonderland, Cyrus takes off running to escape his pursuers, but his leg is caught by a grapevine and he ends up dangled upside down. Luckily, the Red Queen approaches in her carriage, led by a pair of black horses, and releases him. Then, she takes Cyrus with her into the carriage on her way to the Red Wagon. ("Home")

In DunBroch, King Fergus' army prepares the horses for an upcoming battle. Eventually, the King dies and Merida is left to rule. ("The Bear King")

Neal falls through a portal to the Enchanted Forest and seeks desperately for a way to go back to Emma and Henry. Breaking open a cabinet in the Dark castle, he hears from Robin Hood that he most certainly won't find a horse in it, to which Neal replies that the means of transportation he needs is a magical once. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Before Second Curse

In the Enchanted Forest, Prince Phillip rides on horseback to a pavillion where Aurora is waiting for him. In the distance, thunder and rumbling can be heard. As a purple cloud of magic rises, the horse flees the scene in panic. The smoke turns out to be the Dark Curse bringing back the Storybrooke inhabitants. Later, the seven dwarves prepare a group of horses for the journey to the Dark Palace. Near, Prince Charming finds Hook loading up his horse and tells him that he doesn't need to pack that much, as the palace is less than a day away, to which Hook reveals his plan to travel the land to retrieve the Jolly Roger. They exchange goodbyes, and the entire group, at one point joined by the Merry Men, head to the Dark Palace, taking their horses with them. ("New York City Serenade", "Witch Hunt")

One night, horses pull a wagon through a path in the forest. Hook stands in the center of the path, blocking the way, and draws his sword as the knights stop. Seeing themselves surrounded by the group of pirates, the knights ride away, leaving the carriage and a chest of gold behind. ("The Jolly Roger")

Having succeeded in resurrecting Rumplestiltskin, though losing Neal's life in the process, Belle gallops hurriedly back to the Dark Palace to reunite with her friends. ("A Curious Thing")

Searching for night root, Prince Charming rides his horse through the forest. Hearing a woman shouting for help, he dismounts and runs to the tower where the sound is coming from. ("The Tower")

After Second Curse
Arriving in New York, Robin and his family are scared when someone steals Marian's purse. Agilely, Robin steals a horse and chases down the thief, rescuing the purse. ("Heart of Gold")

During Alternate Reality

After Isaac rewrites everyone’s stories, heroes and villains exchange roles. In this alternate reality, a pair of black horses pull Queen Snow's carriage when a well-aimed hit from bandit Regina's slingshot knocks the driver off his mount. With no one holding the reins, the beasts abruptly stop. Descending the carriage, the Queen prepares to throw a fireball at her enemy, but an arrow flies through the carriage door, knocking her out cold. Regina spots where the arrow came from — a man on horseback. Seeing a means of escape, she quickly leaps onto the back of Robin's horse, and the couple ride off to a tavern. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

Henry and Isaac enter the alternate universe, and the kid ends up in the imminence of being attacked by an ogre, until a heroic Rumplestiltskin, now known as the Light One, arrives on horseback and rescues him. Later, the Light One rides his horse across the countryside to his cottage and his beloved wife and son. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")

Before Third Curse

By absorbing the Darkness and becoming herself the Dark One, Emma is transported to the Enchanted Forest. Shortly after, she is glad to see that her family and friends managed to get a portal to the other world to rescue her, but their reunion is interrupted by the sound of horses whinnying, announcing the arrival of the Knights of the Round Table. ("The Dark Swan")

David, Arthur and Grif journey to Brocéliande. At some point, the squire returns home with the horses, while the other two go ahead on foot. ("Siege Perilous")

Hook and Emma discover Henry has a crush on Violet and secretly watch them talk. When the girl invites him into the stables to introduce him to her horse, Nicodemus, Hook decides to take Emma horse-riding as well. The pirate borrows a brown mare without anyone noticing and gets it saddled up, but stops Emma from immediately mounting, and explains that the animal has to trust the rider first. Emma slowly approaches the mare, but it snorts and tries to move away from her, sensing the Darkness in Emma. Hook mounts and encourages the blonde to get on as well. She hesitates a little more, but ultimately walks around the animal and climbs on behind Hook, who kicks the beast into galloping. Reaching the Middlemist Field, they dismount and passionately kiss. Meanwhile, at Granny's Diner, Lancelot reveals Arthur’s villainy to Mary Margaret and David, but the sound of whinnying horses interrupts them as Guinevere and her guards arrive. ("The Broken Kingdom")

At the stables, Violet tells Henry about how she acquired Nicodemus. After the girl leaves to put the saddle away, Henry tries his hand at swordplay, but falls over backwards through a board in the rail, causing Nicodemus to snort and whinny. The noise attracts Sir Hank Morgan's attention, who mocks Henry for having no skills with a sword or a horse, stating that his daughter belongs with a proper knight, rather than with him. Later, while Violet cares for Nicodemus, Emma appears and rips the girl's heart out. ("Dreamcatcher")

Merida tries to retrieve an enchanted helm from Zelena, which could give her confidence to become a good ruler for the United Clans. She mounts a horse and prepares to leave in search of Zelena, but Mulan grabs her reins and tries to stop her. Merida insists, and gallops away, leaving her friend behind with a second horse, which the warrior rides to the Witch's cottage. Upon her arrival, Mulan allows the horse to rest and eat for a while as she walks into the house. There, she meets a werewolf named Ruby, who joins her and her horse in a night walk. After Ruby and Mulan help Merida to obtain the helm, the redhead rides her horse to her father's grave hoping to communicate with him by using Ale of Seonaidh. Having found out that Arthur killed her father, Merida hurriedly gallops to Camelot to avenge Fergus' death, but the Dark Curse cloud engulfs her before she can get to the king. ("The Bear King", "Broken Heart")

After Third Curse

On Storybrooke's Main Street, Leroy and Happy discuss Dopey's transformation into a tree when King Arthur and two knights show up mounting whinnying horses. ("The Price")

Looking for a reliquary that supposedly went missing, David gathers the Camelot citizens to uncover the identity of the thief. Among the murmuring crowd, a horse neighs as Grif rides off. Arthur and David enter the latter's truck and pursue the squire. Using a wooden plank as a joust, David knocks Grif off his horse. ("Siege Perilous")

On certain morning, Nicodemus goes missing. Though Violet checks the stables for him, the horse is nowhere to be found. While Sir Hank Morgan is out trying to lure him with some pumpkin, which is his favorite treat, Henry promises to help Violet retrieve her horse. He reactivates Operation Cobra by enlisting Emma's help, and they find Nicodemus near Peter Peter's vegetables stand. When Emma walks closer, the horse whinnies and shies away from her, but Henry lures the beast in by holding a bit of pumpkin towards its mouth while his other hand reaches for the reins. The boy then returns Nicodemus to Violet and her father, who express enormous gratitude to him. Later that night, Regina discovers that Emma let Nicodemus out in the first place, as part of a plan to make it up to Henry for breaking his heart back in Camelot. ("Dreamcatcher")

Snow and Regina are walking through Underbrooke when they hear a horse whinnying and stop. Regina is surprised to find out that horses exist in the Underworld, and looks around before noticing the steed laying down. Snow wonders what is wrong with the horse, and Regina explains that it is hurt, proceeding to heal its leg with her magic. Back in plain health, the horse trots off, leaving behind a smiling Regina, satisfied to see that her magic worked. ("Devil's Due")

Henry enacts Operation Mixtape and invites Violet to join him on a bus trip to New York. Noticing the girl's confusion about the concept of a bus, Henry compares the vehicle to a horse with wheels and seats. ("Only You")

In the realm created by the Evil Queen's wish, Regina murders the wish versions of Snow White and Prince Charming, believing them to be unreal. However, Sir Henry vows to avenge his grandparents' death. He mounts a white horse and orders his guards to follow him on horseback on his pursuit of the murderer. Emma hears the horses whinny and alerts Regina, who manages to hide from Sir Henry, but ends up captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham, who brings her to his horse-drawn vehicle and locks her in with Robin of Locksley. While the couple have a conversation, the horses neigh, frightened by the arrival of the Dark One, some of them even running away when Rumplestiltskin shows up. ("Tougher Than the Rest")

At some point after those events, Sir Henry travels to an unknown world. Hoping to wake a princess who was placed under a sleeping curse, he races his white steed to the cave where her body is placed. After he returns from inside the cave, having failed to give the princess true love's kiss, Wish Rumplestiltskin shows up and proposes a deal to help him get his happy ending. Sir Henry declines the offer and, mounting his horse again, goes away. ("Homecoming")

After Fourth Curse

Cinderella's steed, Felipe, draws her chariot through the forest until they narrowly miss a man on a motorcycle. Cinderella is knocked into a field of hyacinths while a scared Felipe rides off. Henry introduces himself and the girl is curious about the motorcycle, which she calls a "headless horse". Eventually, the couple meet again at a ball, which Cinderella escapes after being accused of murdering the Prince. Having instructed her to meet him in the forest that night, Henry rides a white horse to the site where they first met, but Cinderella is nowhere to be found. Henry voices his disappointment, and the horse snorts as an answer. Henry jokes about how even the horse can tell how silly he was to believe Cinderella would care for him. On a different day, Henry continues to ride his horse through the forest looking for Cinderella, but Lady Tremaine encounters him first and takes him prisoner. ("Hyperion Heights", "Is This Henry Mills?", "A Pirate's Life")

When the Resistance forms to defeat Lady Tremaine, several horses are brought to their camp. While Cinderella loads her things into saddle bags on one of them, Regina appears and dissuades her from leaving the group. ("The Garden of Forking Paths")

After Fifth Curse
In the Wish Realm, Sir Henry has his knights guard the castle gate to prevent the heroes from rescuing Roni. A black horse, mounted by one of the guards, neighs while Margot and Rogers design a plan to distract the knights. Rogers shouts out and runs towards the knights, who prepare to fight back. With the tumult, the black horse loudly whinnies and rears up, nearly causing the knight to fall off to the ground. ("Leaving Storybrooke")

After Sixth Curse
Roni casts one last Dark Curse to bring all the lands together. Once the United Realms come into existence, Henry[4] gallops a white horse down Storybrooke's Main Street. ("Leaving Storybrooke")

Known Horses

Known Owners and Riders


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

  • In the scene where Snow White is captured by the Evil Queen's henchmen in "Snow Falls" , the horse ran into Ginnifer Goodwin and sent her flying with injuries to the hand and face.[11][12]
  • The horse that Josh Dallas rides in the scene where he meets Red Riding Hood in "7:15 A.M." is called Adella.[13]
  • During the shooting of the scene where Cora kills Daniel, when Lana Parrilla screamed "No!", Jerry the horse, who plays Rocinante, would constantly make sounds and kick the door in his stall, and had to be walked out.[14]
  • Originally, a couple of horses were going to appear in "Unforgiven",[15] but they didn't make it onto the screen.
  • Emilie de Ravin regrets she never had the chance to ride a horse during her time in the show. The actress stated that she even suggested that Belle was given a horse-riding scene because "everyone else is riding horses".[16]
    • Additionally, Emilie revealed that, by the time "Her Handsome Hero" was shot, she was seven months pregnant, so most of the horse-riding was written out, and a double was used for the parts that actually made to the episode.[16]
  • About the weather conditions during the filming of the show, the production team often considered that "the fog, the mist, the clouds, that's a particular texture and a particular beauty that you can't get in a man-made environment", though, when it was wet, "the horses [would] start steaming and the actors' hair looks a little funny". ("Secrets of Storybrooke")




Popular Culture

Props Notes

Set Dressing


  • During the scene with the fallen trunk blocking the path of Abigail and James' horse carriage, a horse wrangler with a blue baseball cap is visible in the bottom's center left of the screen. It is noticeable when Abigail screams, "Please help me!".[36] ("Snow Falls")
  • During the scene where Sir Henry searches for his mother and the Evil Queen along the waters edge, a horse wrangler can be seen in the lower half of the screen.[37] ("Tougher Than the Rest")

Script Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. Tiana's age is unknown, but this event happens before her parents get married. Given that "Greenbacks", when Henry is at least nineteen (because these scenes come right before the royal ball he attends, and he celebrated his nineteenth birthday with Jack when he was already in the New Enchanted Forest), can’t take place any earlier than 2020 (Henry was born in 2001), and Tiana is already a young woman by then, this event must be placed at least a decade before the first Dark Curse was cast in 1983. Note that Mekia Cox, who portrays Tiana, was thirty-six when this episode aired, and also that time is supposed to be frozen in the New Enchanted Forest during the curse, just like in the other magical lands.
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:513ThisMedal.png
  3. Since Anastasia was fourteen when she fell through the ice, she must have been around seven in the "One Little Tear". The fifth curse must have been cast around 2029 at the earliest (because Lucy was eight then, and she could not have been born any earlier than 2021, because Henry, who was born in 2001, turned nineteen when he was already in the New Enchanted Forest, but before he met Cinderella). Assuming it took at least five years (which is quite an underestimation, especially considering the cast's ages) for Cinderella to grow from a tween in "One Little Tear" to a young woman in "Hyperion Heights", plus at least eight years for Lucy to be born and grow up, the lake scene would have taken place around 2016 at the latest, making Rapunzel’s imprisonment fit the timeline nowhere later than 1981 (seven years before the lake scene, consisting of the six years we know she spent in the tower plus the entire year Marcus searched for Cecelia after Rapunzel poisoned her, minus the period from 1983 to 2011 when time was frozen during the first curse). Note that, even though we know that Gothel conceived Alice after the Wish Realm came to existence in "Wish You Were Here", we still don’t know how long she was trapped before that, and there is nothing indicating that her imprisonment could not take place prior to the first Dark Curse.
  4. Mitovich, Matt Webb (May 18, 2018). Once Upon a Time Bosses Break Down Series Finale's 'Epic' Reunion, Pilot Callback and Other Favorite Moments. TVLine. “TVLINE | Adam, I saw you on set for the finale, and I feel like one of the scenes we saw being prepped didn't make it, with Hook, Robin and Tilly on Granny's porch. HOROWITZ | The scene is there briefly at the end, when we cut back to Storybrooke and see the [Henry on the] horse riding down Main Street. There initially were a couple of lines where they say that they're heading somewhere, to set up the mystery of the coronation. KITSIS | All it was was Wish Hook saying to Henry, "Did you get it?," meaning the crown.”
  5. Regina Rising, Wendy Toliver, Kingswell Teen, April 2017, p. 84
  6. Regina Rising, Wendy Toliver, Kingswell Teen, April 2017, p. 37
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  11. Gittins, Susan (December 9, 2011). YVRShoots – Once Upon a Time is Fall TV's Biggest New Hit. Vancouver is Awesome. “The third episode Snow Falls, the backstory of a badass Snow White, began on July 29th and featured a lot of stunts. Ginnifer Goodwin later tweeted about injuring her left hand which swelled to the size of baseball mitt and cutting her left eye which required three stitches in an emergency room while doing her own horse-back riding scenes.”
  12. Ginnifer Goodwin (November 11, 2011). right there, before the lift onto the horse? we did a take where that huge animal ran right into me and i learned what it was like to fly.. Twitter. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. (screenshot)
  13. Josh Dallas on the Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "7:15 A.M."
  14. Lana Parrilla on the Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "The Stable Boy"
  15. FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Once Upon A Time December 10, 2014 (December 10, 2014).  "Once Upon a Time set photos from Central Park, Burnaby, BC taken on December 10, 2014.(archive copy)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Abrams, Natalie (October 27, 2017). Once Upon a Time's Emilie de Ravin on that heartbreaking Belle ending. Entertainment Weekly. “I still wish I got to ride a horse. [Laughs] I do! It was the one thing I remember saying in season 1 or season 2 to the question, "What would you like to do?" "I'm such an animal lover, I had animals growing up, I'd love to ride a horse. Everyone else is riding horses!" Cut to season 5, they write me in that Gaston episode, "Her Handsome Hero," riding on a horse, but by that episode I was seven months pregnant. They wrote most of the horse riding out and then used a double.”
  17. File:510Neigh.png
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  23. File:201NewYorkHorse.png
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  25. File:102InTherapy.png
  26. Amir Resin Stallion. Gilt. Archived from the original on June 10, 2018. Retrieved on February 3, 2019.
  27. File:118TheKingsDaughter.png
  28. File:221CantCanWe.png
  29. 29.0 29.1 File:318ThisIsNice.png
  30. DYAD. Photo collage on board, 32x42 in.. Andre Petterson. Retrieved on February 3, 2019.
  31. SNOW RUN. Photo collage on board, 24x32 in.. Andre Petterson. Retrieved on February 3, 2019.
  32. File:601WhyAreYou.png
  33. Appaloosa Study I. Artyprints. Retrieved on February 3, 2019.
  34. Ethan Harper. Fulcrum Gallery. Retrieved on February 3, 2019. “I am originally from Lexington, VA and later moved to Charlottesville when I was a teenager.”
  35. Appaloosa Study II. Artyprints. Retrieved on October 10, 2018.
  36. File:103HelpMe!.png
  37. File:611FindMyMother.png
  38. ONCE UPON A TIME: "Skin Deep" script (PDF) pp. 4. Retrieved on February 3, 2019.
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