Friday, November 11, 2011

Chestnuts, Blacks and Bays, Four Different Ways

By Kitson

With my kids and husband off school and work for the Veteran’s Day holiday, we headed downtown today to enjoy the National Mall. It was a brilliant fall day and we explored memorials, museums and hiked up to Chinatown for lunch. As usual, my mind strayed to horses…

Horse Sighting #1: Mounted Park Police

Forgive me, but I have never gotten over the thrill of seeing an impressive police horse at work in the city. This gorgeous dark bay officer and his quirky blaze made the perfect centerpiece for my photo, with the autumn leaves and the George Washington Memorial in the background. If this photo had audio, you’d hear traffic noises and my husband remarking to someone, “There she goes again, taking pictures of a police horse.”

Horse Sighting #2: Crow War Pony

We tucked into the Smithsonian’s Native American museum after lunch for a peek at the traveling exhibit called “A Song for the Horse Nation, Horses in Native American Cultures.” I learned a lot, but two things stood out. First, that early horses first lived in North American 40 million years ago but became extinct. The species returned to the continent thanks to Christopher Columbus in 1493. By the 1700s, most Native American tribes were mounted. Second, some Native Americans used horseshoes made out of iron wrapped with plant fiber! Photo: Fine Art Photography by Brady Willette, painting by Kennard Real Bird (Crow). Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian.
  Horse Sighting #3: Cheval Rouge

I always enjoy seeing this big red horse, a painted sheet metal sculpture (sculpted by Alexander Calder in 1974) in the outdoor sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art.
Horse Sighting #4: Fiery Bay, Just $3.50 a Ride

One will always find the perfect mount on the old-fashioned carousel on the Mall.

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