EQUUS - - Equus -

I read “America’s Ma­jor Horse Breeds Emerge” (Con­for­ma­tion In­sights, EQUUS 473) with fas­ci­na­tion. I’m amazed at the de­tail of re­search Deb Ben­nett, PhD, has done. How­ever, for all the de­tail recorded in horse reg­istries, the most un­for­tu­nate lack in in­ves­ti­gat­ing horses born be­fore the late 19th cen­tury is the lack of good pho­to­graphs.

All we have are draw­ings, prints or paint­ings, many of which are done in what was re­garded as a stylish, grace­ful form. Artis­tic tastes showed a pref­er­ence for light, elon­gated bodies, very slen­der legs, thin curvy, al­most ser­pen­tine necks and very small heads. These char­ac­ter­is­tics show up in paint­ings and etch­ings of many out­stand­ing horses of the 18th and 19th cen­turies, in­clud­ing sev­eral pic­tured in this ar­ti­cle. It is un­for­tu­nate that the reliance on older il­lus­tra­tions in­hibits our true un­der­stand­ing of horse con­for­ma­tion dur­ing these early years. Kathy Bell Greenville, South Carolina

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