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Do the Hooves on an Equestrian Statue Show How the Rider Died?

Updated: January 17, 2023

There are many equestrian (horse) statues in DC. Some have one hoof raised up, others have both and some of none. Does this have any significance to how the rider died or was injured in battle?

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Do the Hooves on an Equestrian Statue Show How the Rider Died?

Boglarka: Hi guy I'm Boglarka.

Ingeborg: I'm Ingeborg

Boglarka: We're guides with Free Tours By foot and part of Top Things To Do DC.

Ingeborg: Boglarka is that Andrew Jackson?

Boglarka: It sure is, we're here in Lafayette Square Park.

Ingeborg: Right across from the White House. I heard that you could tell something about the way the horse is positioned, it tells the story. What's that?

Boglarka: It sure does. I heard for this one if the horse's is tail is down it's about to charge. If the tail is up it's about to discharge.

Ingeborg: What I was talking about was actually the position of the horse's hooves. I heard that if both hooves are up, that means that the person died in battle. If one hoof is up that means they were wounded in battle, and if both hooves are down that means that they died during peacetime. Is that true?

Boglarka: I heard that too, but that's actually an urban legend. We can use this one for an example, Andrew Jackson actually died of tuberculosis. He did not die in battle, even though his horse is rearing. Fun fact, this is the first full-size Equestrian statue that was erected here in America. This was to commemorate him for the Battle of New Orleans. Also, there's a statue not far from here in McPherson Square. McPherson actually died in battle in the Battle of Atlanta, but his horse only has one hoof up.

Ingeborg: Another myth dispelled guys. Thanks for joining us, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like us social media at Top Things To Do DC and make sure you comment below.

Boglarka: Ask us another question.


[00:01:49] [END OF AUDIO]


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About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Follow On Instagram | I'm a historian & tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. I have written for HuffPost Travel and have been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. I've also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. I am the producer of the podcast, Tour Guide Tell All. I am an authority on D.C. history, and have led tours in the city since 2011. I currently resides in DC, but have also lived in London and South Korea, and have traveled to over 28 countries and every US State but Hawaii. I homeschool my 2 children by exploring the plethora of museums in DC. Read More...
Updated: January 17th, 2023
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