The dating is consistent with the Oxford Authentification thermoluminescence test no. C105z53
From the beginning the Chinese spiritual and artistic preoccupation with the horse developed. Horses were valued, not only as animals that could be ridden, but as dray animals and, perhaps most importantly, as creatures of war. The use of horses to draw war chariots and as steeds for cavalry proved crucial in China's internal and external conflicts. The Chinese belief in the afterlife and the concern with providing the deceased with those items essential for his or her well-being in the world after death has ensured that abundant evidence has been preserved attesting to the importance of the horse in ancient China.
Perhaps the most universally admired pottery horses are those, like the current example, made for the tombs of the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907) aristocracy. These horses, representing wealth and power, played a significant part in emphasising the importance of the occupant of the tomb. These were not just war horses or horses used for transport, but also employed in leisure activities. The horse depicted is the revered 'blood-sweating' horse, which was introduced into central China from the West during the Han dynasty. This so-called Ferghana horse was known for its speed, power and stamina, qualities which are brought out by the artist.
The pottery horses of the Tang dynasty were either unglazed and cold-painted or decorated with sancai (three-color) glazes. Both techniques were extremely successful.