Thursday, August 19, 2010

Equine taxidermy: Another kind of stuffed animal...

I went to a fireman's museum in a coastal North Carolina town (New Bern) back in the nineties, and I was fascinated by one of the taxidermied fire horses on display, Fred. Fred served the town in early 20th century. He was beloved by the town and I felt that his preservation and display honored him in a meaningful way.

They aren't cute, I wouldn't want to own one, and I'd never preserve one of mine in this way. However, taxidermied horses are interesting artifacts of culture, art/craftsmanship, and history. Some famous horses have been stuffed -- more than I thought. Here are a few blog articles on stuffed horses:

Photo from  Roadside America Guide to Uniquely Odd Tourist Attractions


  1. Not for me, that's for sure, but I suppose it's a way for people to cling to the past and remember.

    I prefer to remember my horses in their living, breathing form.

  2. I'm glad that some famous animals like Trigger have been preserved. I think it's a good way to remember the animals and let future generations see them in person.

    Not that I would ever have any of my animals stuffed. I prefer to just put an engraved rock with their name on it in my garden. ;) It would be more than a little disturbing, having a beloved pet stuffed and set on my mantle.

  3. I recently came across this post about Phar Lap's skeleton in new Zealand.
    In the days before color film and communications technology, taxidermy was the way to show what something was like in life. It's just not as necessary now, though definitely has curiousity value. When I was a kid I used to love going to a big sporting goods store which had a HUGE kodiak bear on display.


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