In honor of Halloween, I present to you a collection of the equine-related strange, interesting, frightening and gruesome. None of the following images are related to abuse or neglect, but they may disturb you. The stories you are about to read are real. The gory pictures have not been faked. You've been warned!
At the Denver, Colorado airport, an emaciated blue mustang stallion rears 32 feet into the air, his eyes glowing a demonic red. The anatomically correct horse weighs 9,000 pounds and killed its sculptor. Its snarling head fell on the artist, severing an artery, crushing him and killing him. Despite this, it was later reassembled and installed in 2008. Some say the statue is cursed. I've seen it in person, and I can personally testify that this thing is terrifying. Read more here.
The sculpture on the right is one of the most significant Indian artifacts ever found. It also has one of the most gruesome stories. From an article written by the Rapid City Journal:
"It is believed that the Sioux Horse Effigy was carved by a warrior in the late 1800s to honor a brave horse that was injured or killed in battle. The sides of the effigy are riddled with holes that suggest bullet wounds, with red paint suggesting blood seeming to seep from the wounds. Its ears are slanted backward, symbolizing fear and pain. The horse sculpture’s elongated body and forward leaping motion suggest a leap from life to death."
The effigy is on display here.
To see more weird taxidermy, check out the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, and this thread of bad taxidermy. There's also a listing, with photos of famous stuffed horses here, including Napoleon's horse Vizir.
This poor deformed foal is the result of a deformation of the Sonic the Hedgehog gene (no, I'm not making this up). Read more here.
This Andalusian foal was born without front legs. Some horse breeders are blaming foal deformities and other health problems on the West Nile Virus vaccine. One group has formed a website called the Lost Foals Group cataloging the horrors they believe have resulted from this. No one has yet proven (or dis-proven) the WNV vaccine is responsible. Read more here.
Legends of man-eating horses have been around since the Greek myth of the horses of Diomedes. What we now know is that these legends may have been based on fact-- 43% of horses that contract rabies will develop the "furious" form of the disease, leading them to viciously attack anyone in sight.
Rabies is incurable, both for animals and humans, and although symptoms usually present themselves soon after an animal is infected, the virus can lay dormant for up to seven years before it attacks.
I bet you think Rabies is pretty rare though. Think again! Read these articles and watch this video. The description of the vicious mare that roared like a pig is especially scary... "Her aggression was terrifying."
That's all for now folks-- have a great Halloween!