Many protective horse masks originated in visions of the Powers which reside above the earth, or within it. Wrapped in thunder, stitched with lightning, braced by prayerful songs ans plangent with the sound of bells, these masks translated an ordinary horse into a being of extraordinary abilities, which might carry a man into that place between cloud shadow and sunshine where neither arrows nor bullets could ever find him. Like all masks, these are touched with mystery, and not a little of the divine. Their beauty can be startling, and always is austere.
(Mike Cowdrey- American Indian horse masks)