Returning once again to my old favorite, Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland by Eddie Lenihan and Carolyn Eve Green, to speak of fairy horses, the fíor-làr. There are many, many stories in Celtic lore about horse spirits, but Mr. Lenihan’s informants say that they are generally born to regular mares. There’s some debate what makes a horse fairy instead of ordinary, because to outward appearances they look like any other horse. One story goes that you know you’ve got one of those “funny fish” when the gestation of the foal takes 366 days—the old, magical formula of a year and a day. Most foals gestate in ten or eleven months (according to the old timer telling this story).
Like as not when you have a fairy horse they will be a good horse, but given to disappearing for short spells of time when the fairies require its services. But never fear, the fairies play fair in this regard. If you’re depending on that horse, they’ll substitute another until it’s time for the fíor-làr to be returned to you.
And then there’s this, a more spirit-horse version of fairy horses, taken from The Paranormalist.
He recounts the story told him by author, Herbie Brennan:
Shortly thereafter, as Herbie and Jim turned to leave the rath, along the top of the earthen ring, there suddenly appeared a herd of approximately twenty to twenty-five tiny, white horses “no bigger than cocker spaniels”, in the words of Mr. Brennan. The tiny horses galloped along the top of the earthwork, disappearing down the opposite side. Herbie and Jim ran out of the rath andto the other side to see what had happened to to the tiny horses, but they had vanished. Neither man had any explanation for what they had just seen.
Some years later, Herbie told the story of the white horses to his good friend, the late author Desmond Leslie. Leslie had a fascination with mythology and was quite knowledgeable about the subject. Upon hearing Herbie’s account of the tiny horses, Leslie replied, “Dear boy, don’t you know what those were?”. Herbie replied that he had no idea whatsoever what they were, only that he’d seen them. “Those were faerie horses,” Mr. Leslie continued. “They’re associated with the megaliths of Ireland, and there are also reports of them in Japan.”
You can watch Mr. Brennan himself tell the tale below, the first of three stories that explain how he was very reluctantly convinced in the reality of fairies through personal experience:
I’ll have more to say about “fairy photography” one of these days, but let me conclude by saying that I think anyone who’s been around horses much—and I used to be, although sadly not so much anymore—knows that some horses just are special. Even if they don’t have unexplained disappearances to their credit, are not miniature white glowing spirits, sinister kelpies or what all, some of them do seem to have a touch of the fey. Great, dreamy-eyed beasts that they are, they often have their heads in two worlds at once and seem to know much more than the two-leggers astride them. Old souls or fairy-led, I cannot say. Just that they are special.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.