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  The number of hooves lifted into the air on equestrian statues reveals how the riders died.

Status:   False.

Origins:   Folk wisdom has it that equestrian statues contain a code whereby the rider's fate can be determined by noting how many hooves the horse has raised. The most common theory has it that if one hoof is raised, the rider was wounded in battle (possibly dying of those wounds later but not necessarily so); two raised hooves, death in battle; all four hooves on the ground, the rider survived all battles unharmed.

The hoof code mostly holds true in terms of Gettysburg equestrian statues, but there is at least one exception. James Longstreet wasn't wounded in this battle yet his horse has one foot raised.

Even the most cursory look at the statues around Washington, D.C. quickly disproves that the hoof code at all holds sway in that locale. 


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This page contains a single entry by writch published on April 19, 2009 10:21 PM.

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