“Catherine ‘Skittles’ Walters, courtesan of Victorian London, noted horsewoman and famed for having the tightest riding-habit in Britain. (In Europe, only the Empress Elizabeth could compete with her for that.) Admirers watching her go by used to speculate on whether she had to be naked underneath.”
German cavalryman, 1917
As well as being an historically interesting photograph, this looks very much like a horse I used to ride, high tucked head-carriage and all. He had a brilliant trick for amusing small children, where if I held out a whip handle-end first, he’d take it in his teeth, then while I turned away to pretend to see his girth, he’d twist round to swat me with it. Always got a giggle.
Eadweard Muybridge (1830 - 1904) was a pioneer in his field, developing a technique of multiple cameras to capture movement of human and animal models at various stages in their stride, or whatever requested action was acted out before his array of equipment. Horses were a favoured topic, being of such importance to daily life at the time. This grey mare was named Pandora.
Thomas Eakins 1892 (Hirshhorn Museum, L.A.)
Samuel Murray, photographed in 1892 by Thomas Eakins. The horse’s name is Billy.
Carriage Ride, 1888: Kodak No. 1 Circular Snapshots (by National Media Museum)
Apologies for not posting many photographs here yet, this collection was not supposed to gain followers until I’d had more time to work on it, I did not realise i would be disappointing people who found me quite so soon!
A good old working horse, I really should feature the heavy breeds as there’s so many fascinating vintage photographs of their performing varied jobs.
Splendid dappling on this carriage horse, I’d hazard a guess at an American origin due to the architecture (and also the half-spoon cheeked bit and noseband, not common in European harness)