Horses became an important part of Lakota society because the Lakota were nomadic. Lakota people moved their villages to places where they had good grass and water for their horses and nearby bison herds. Horses made moving the village much easier because they could carry a heavy load.
To the Lakota, the horse is considered a relative. It is more than a connection through blood—it is spiritual. The horse symbolizes personal drive, passion, and appetite for freedom. Among all the spirit animals, the horse — šúŋkawakȟaŋ is one that shows a strong motivation that carries one through life.