The peasants of the wood use crudely carved symbols to ward off wolves. They think the symbols are emblems of purity and goodness and that keeps the wolves away. The symbols work, but not for the reasons the peasants believe...
The symbols are actually arcance evil symbols which the wolves know and fear, but to which the peasants are oblivious. So how gullible are the peasants going to be when a strange horned man displaying the symbols on his shield turns up and asks for their allegiance?
The Akhal-Teke is a real horse breed that develops a metallic golden coat. A more fantastic version could have a coat the color of pure gold, or silver making the horse appear to be made of the precious metal.