The common thread that links Husain's work is the feeling of power that emanates from his canvas, allowing it to almost pulsate with life. Some of the best examples of this palpable energy and movement are seen in his depictions of horses. Whether a single monumental creature, or a group of horses prancing in a carefully composed frame, they have become a central part of his oeuvre since he first embarked on the subject in 1951. His inspiration came from a trip to China where he studied Sung pottery horses and his exposure to the equestrian sculptures of Mario Marini.
Husain's horses are not plastic forms treated to stylistic variations; rather, they are sensuous creatures that have become personal symbols resonating with archetypes. They are usually associated with the sun and knowledge and evoke positive symbolism associated with life giving and sustaining forces. "Husain's horses are subterranean creatures. Their nature is not intellectualised: it is rendered as sensation or as abstract movement, with a capacity to stir up vague premonitions and passions, in a mixture of ritualistic fear and exultant anguish." (R. Bartholomew and S. Kapur, Husain, New York, 1986, p. 43.)
"The relationship of the body to the stallion is a paradox of frenzy and unhurried movement. An elegant dissection of space with line and angle. There is a measure of squared off posture and high leaping which suggests the free dance of Martha Graham of hints at the ecstasy that is enclosed by the flashing lines of Bernini sculptural composition, Husain's horse becomes a vehicle for multiple utterances - aggression power and protection. The fury of steeds in Karbala overtures or the brute strength of horses born and released from fabulous regions mutate into thunderbolt energies, phallic and omnipotent." (R. Shahani, Let History Cut Across Me Without Me, New Delhi, 1993, p. 8.)