Here we have a prophet who served during a very specific and well known time period in the history of Israel. We know for sure that his prophecies take place in October and November of 520 BC and December 17 in 518 BC. Remember the people of Israel had just been in exile and now they are back in the land and looking to rebuild. Zechariah was very adamant that the temple ought to be one of the first things that was rebuilt. This book of the Bible is divided very clearly into two sections. The first section, chapters 1-8 and the second section is 9-14. Let's look at chapter 1.
The name Zechariah means in Hebrew: "God remembered." What a wonderful name for a son whose family is heading back into Israel after years of captivity and slavery in a foreign land. They are finally settling back into what they know had been assigned to them by the Lord as the promised land. But since their nation was unfaithful, they had to leave, they were taken, and now they are back. Now, after all these years, God remembered, and we are back.
Do you notice which word is repeated quite a few times? The word return and specifically the phrase: "return to me" is repeated quite a few times which makes sense since that just happened and the people are "returning" back to the place that they understand as being their home. But they are also returning back to the Lord and his commandments. Nothing reflects that more than rebuilding the temple which is in essence the presence of the Lord in structure form.
Then you get this image of horsemen who were sent to protect and guard over the earth. It seems like we went from pretty normal prophecy stuff of returning home to now all of a sudden some pretty apocalyptic revelation type stuff that causes a lot of our eyes to glaze over. The good news is that it is pretty explicable. There is peace over the land as the horses find themselves in a quiet meadow. If you look at vs.16 you will see that a measuring line has been drawn over Jerusalem which indicates new construction. The first thing on the agenda is the reconstruction of the temple. Then we move forward with the people who have returned.