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November 15, 2006

Extinct Breeds


If you flip through old photos, you might be lucky enough to run into this now-extinct "long horse". It was strong, handsome and could carry up to four people at one time but, because of overwork, the horses tended to die young and, to put it bluntly, the population was eventually used to death.

A substantial collection of long horse photos, curated by Hardy Burmeier, is now on display.


November 15, 2006 | Permalink


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» Long Horses from Getoutdoors.com Outdoor Blog
Because we here at GetOutdoors strive to bring you credible, cutting edge news from the world outdoors, we present for your Monday reading pleasure, the unicorn Long Horse.  In fact, we are hoping to get on the expedition that is surely forming to find a [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 4, 2006 3:10:19 AM

» The extinct long-horse from The Daily Drip
The extinct long-horse. This is for Dawn, Katie and other horse-related people I know. More photos here. (via Boing Boing)... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 28, 2006 5:19:04 AM

» "Long Horse" Extinct Breed from
If you flip through old photos, you might be lucky enough to run into this now-extinct "long horse". It was strong, handsome and could carry up to four people at one time but, because of overwork, the horses tended to die young and, to put it bluntly, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 21, 2007 6:27:29 PM


Wow. I'm pretty sure those are photo manipulations - I can't find any references to this breed of horse anywhere. Very impressive, real or not.

Posted by: Foo | Nov 15, 2006 3:22:39 PM

Oh no, I assure you, they are absolutely real. Their demise is a sad one. A lesson indeed for future generations!

(remember... not all knowledge can be found on the internet)

Posted by: robyn | Nov 15, 2006 3:27:35 PM

What category will this go under? 'Nature'? 'Photography'? (If there were unsubtantiated rumours of their continued existence following their alleged extinction, it could go in 'cryptozoology', I suppose).

Posted by: Mark | Nov 15, 2006 6:00:46 PM

Category was a tough one. I just threw up my hands and put it under almost all the categories.

Posted by: robyn | Nov 15, 2006 6:43:53 PM

Category was a tough one. I just threw up my hands and put it under almost all the categories.

Posted by: robyn | Nov 15, 2006 6:44:07 PM

You know, I bet you anything that horse is the result of now defunct breeding. I can't imagine something like that developing naturally. Humans have a habit of making neat new "toy animals" kind of like the Tarpan horse, or the pug.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Nov 15, 2006 7:23:53 PM

I think I'm finally beginning to understand why the posts about art (and its various interpretations) always get such a nice response.

I like the photos, real or not. And like Adam said, toy animals are a strike against us as humans. We should know better.

Posted by: indrabar | Nov 15, 2006 8:08:08 PM

Yeah, like the poor little munchkin cats... poor things can hardly walk because they've been bred into such short legs.

Posted by: Alli | Nov 16, 2006 1:23:28 PM

Of course it's real. Look at this picture of the Beyard Horse in Carolingian tradition.


Posted by: Napfisk | Nov 17, 2006 2:20:21 AM

I'm curious how the horse in that second picture got into that position in the first place. With a torso that long, how did he plant his feet on the edge of the cliff without folding himself up first?

Posted by: Jordan | Dec 1, 2006 4:43:04 PM

take a look at this photo, it's one of the long horses along with i guess a now extinct long dog http://www.digital-art.org/D/Portraits/Burmeier/BurmeierFrames.html

Posted by: shinanigins | Dec 1, 2006 4:43:06 PM

When I was in the Army in Italy in 1944 I saw a long horse that unfortunately had to be put down after a minor shrapnel wound to it's leg. So remarkly big and docile, she was. Her owner wept when we shot her at his request.

The village butcher made mortadella from her flesh (really!).

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger | Dec 1, 2006 4:49:24 PM

If you want to prove it give us a species name that is verified by a wikipedia article with sources. Other than that this is just art.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 1, 2006 4:58:10 PM

If it's not in the Wikipedia, it can't be true!

Posted by: anonymous | Dec 1, 2006 5:00:19 PM

Longhorse is looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.

Posted by: TiCL | Dec 1, 2006 5:01:52 PM

No way. There's NO WAY that that's real.

I spent my entire childhood adoring horses -- I read every nonfiction book on horse-husbandry (including their evolutionary history) I could get my hands on. I did a 30-page report (in the 4th grade) on Przewalski's horse -- not exactly a common breed. I can still name obscure breeds, including archaic ones. This was my life for a decade, and I still stay on top of things.

Never before today have I seen even a description of such a breed. You'd think someone would have at least mentioned it, yeah? Something that striking? Whereas the ease with which the image could be faked leads one (rationally) to skepticism.

What would be the practical point of breeding such an animal? Wouldn't its digestive system be rendered fatally useless by the distance it had to cover? How enormous would its heart have to be to effectively supply blood to its rear extremities? How would its spine and musculature support the gap between the chest and hindquarters? On the scale of a horse, its physiology would have to be altered much more drastically to make this body structure even survivable, much less practical.

No offense, but I'm going to need a hell of a lot more evidence than a few "antique" images on digital-art.org (seems like there might be a clue in the name somewhere) and your assurances to even consider buying into this one. What's more likely: this breed, against all knowledge of physiology, existed in complete obscurity to appear only in these photographs; or that someone altered some old photographs of perfectly normal horses?

PS: The horse in the top image is almost certainly a Lippizaner.

PPS: I hope to god that this is a joke that I've misunderstood, and that nobody's actually this gullible.

Posted by: Sister Novena | Dec 1, 2006 5:02:06 PM

Alli: Yeah, like the poor little munchkin cats... poor things can hardly walk because they've been bred into such short legs.

They weren't bred that way. They have a dominant but not unheard of mutation called dual micromelia.

The legs themselves aren't so short as to hamper the life of a domestic cat any, and otherwise the cats are normal.

Posted by: No One | Dec 1, 2006 5:10:49 PM

I also can't help but notice that in all of these photographs, the horses appear to be surrounded only by neutral backgrounds -- things that are easily cloned without giving the undue appearance of being cloned. There are no overt demonstrations of scale by way of having objects of known size immediately next to the supposedly-long horses. And in the photograph labelled "Le Grand Louis-Maultier, Camerun 1964" (a packhorse next to a reclining figure), the packs are suspiciously identical, and there's a good deal of odd pixeling immediately below the horse's belly.

Fake, fake, fake.

Posted by: Sister Novena | Dec 1, 2006 5:11:01 PM

We raised them for food in my childhood. They had a milder taste usual horses do. I didn't know they were gone. sad.

Posted by: steven sisters | Dec 1, 2006 5:12:03 PM

I've never seen one but I've eaten it, and yeah it tastes a little mellower but still a lot more gamey than long pig, an old favorite of mine.

Posted by: brad davis | Dec 1, 2006 5:17:53 PM

To anonymous (about wikipedia)...

I agree with you completely about wikipedia... if it's not in wikipedia, it can't be true. And this is why someone better put the long horse in wikipedia. Until they do, things just won't be right with the universe!

Posted by: robyn | Dec 1, 2006 5:18:16 PM

I bet Sister Novena tries to tell the other nuns there's no Santa Claus, too.

Posted by: hrstrnr | Dec 1, 2006 5:19:09 PM

This is completely real.

The long horse was used by the Confederate Army, and was such a powerful weapon against the Union that they purposefully mis-numbered the division units all to '01' to hide the total numbers of the units from the Union.

Mounting of the long horse was considered somewhat of an art - the most accomplished horsemen would knee slide across the horses head from the left to right side and then twist onto the horses back.

Posted by: Pizzletoast | Dec 1, 2006 5:27:04 PM


http://www.digital-art.org/D/Portraits/Burmeier/BurmeierFrames.html [go to very last image]

and then there's:


Superlative pixel-pushing Mr Burmeier!

Posted by: askii | Dec 1, 2006 5:33:26 PM

Original: http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~rhernand/wounded%20knee%20bigfoot2.jpg


Posted by: kevo | Dec 1, 2006 5:36:42 PM

Charming manipulations, if a touch whimsical for my tastes... made me smile, though.

Posted by: sebFlyte | Dec 1, 2006 5:48:29 PM

These "manipulated" photos (just posted by askii and kevo) prove nothing except that someone went to a lot of trouble retouching the long horses out of a few photographs. I have no idea why.

I, for one, can't even belief the existence of the long horse is being called into question. It's sad. A thing dies and you stop believing it ever existed.


Posted by: robyn | Dec 1, 2006 5:52:54 PM

I have a bridge to sell you.

Posted by: Factory | Dec 1, 2006 5:58:17 PM

So fake it hurts - seriously.

And stop egging everybody on - what's next, Unicorns? Leprechauns? Marmots? (Think about it)

Posted by: captain obvious | Dec 1, 2006 6:05:36 PM

The last long horse breeders I knew of were outside of Hamilton, Ontario but by then their numbers were so thin they had to be inbred, which only made their genetics worse. That was sometime after WWII or before the Korean War. The family now raises tall llamas.

Rumor had it there was some wild ones roaming Amherst Island in Lake Ontario but that was in the 70s.

I'm not sure what so many people are bitching about here either, just because it's not on the web doesn't mean it doesn't exist. C'mon people, use your brains!

Posted by: Charles Marfin | Dec 1, 2006 6:09:28 PM

look people, this is a joke! it's funny too. did you see the pic of the "long dog". ha!!! and the 4 KKK guys on the horse. c'mon.

and clearly robyn is either responsible or in cahoots. did anyone bother to check who robyn is? ;-)

cheers to you robyn. i was a myst fan.

Posted by: beauzeau | Dec 1, 2006 6:28:15 PM

The digestive and circulatory problems involved in such a long bodied mammal are exactly why this breed died out - once they got to adulthood, the strain was just too much. Unfortunately they required so much more food that most farms didn't have more than one or 2. This caused a drastic downswing in breeding stocks.

Once the genetic diversity of the long horse population was compromised, it effectively killed off the species. Remember that these horses are an extremely specialized genetic offshoot - once you reduce the variability of the breeding population even slightly, all those defects you carefully bred out over the decades come back with a vengeance.

Its no different than the hip dysplasia that occurs in Alsatians or the very common back problems in dachsunds.

These long horses were a true marvel to behold in their day. My grandparents cared for one on their homestead in Alberta for a few months, but it wasn't a healthy enough specimen to ever try riding it unfortunately.

Posted by: Reese | Dec 1, 2006 6:30:32 PM

hasn't anyone heard of photoshop? yep. great example. nice post by the way! ;-)

Posted by: Curt | Dec 1, 2006 6:42:48 PM

You may have heard I have a long trouser-snake.

Posted by: Willem Dafoe | Dec 1, 2006 6:45:57 PM

I know why the artist used that Gettysburg picture last. It's because it's fake.

Compare the last picture with this picture here:

Posted by: Mike | Dec 1, 2006 6:50:19 PM

Curt, I live in a tiny village on the isle, and we have no photoshops. They sound grand, though. Do they sell all types? I would love one of my grandmothers playing brige, if it could be arranged.

Posted by: Dora Mia | Dec 1, 2006 6:58:26 PM

I am in awe of the majesty of this once proud breed, and do not wish to cast doubt on greatness of the long horse, but weren't they savage? How would you break such a proud spirit without breaking the back of a nobel steed? Where are the long horse whisperers today?

Posted by: Dora Mia | Dec 1, 2006 7:01:00 PM

you guys are funny. you're all killin' me.

Posted by: suchprettycolors | Dec 1, 2006 7:09:35 PM

Kevo, Askii, and Sister Novena win. As others have stated, that's not to take away from the artists' skills in manipulating the photos. I enjoyed it.

By far the funniest post was by Steven Sisters and Willem Dafoe.

This was cool and fun to read - thanks everyone!

Posted by: Hugh Jorgen | Dec 1, 2006 7:14:54 PM

This is hilarious and well done! I applaud the subtle nature of these edits and this site. Great job on the photos as there were few that I could find suspicious (digital) artifacts on by plain inspection.

If readers enjoyed this, there were a similar series of shortened cars on mazdaforums that had the same striking look, but lack of obvious manipulation. I'm too lazy to google it, but quite funny.

If you are into this sort of thing, check out b3ta.com, a UK site that has some excellent edited graphics, all user-submitted.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 1, 2006 7:20:49 PM

Mr. Jorgen, if that is even really your name (mother boxed my ears when I mentioned it, you wicked thing) I must protest. I remember the skepticism that met me in the playground when I mentioned Canadians to a schoolmate. It cost father a fortune to purchase one, and it was lazy and sullen, and wasn't fit to shovel coal. But father spared no expense to demonstrate to my school chums my honesty. I am appalled you question it now.

Posted by: Dora Mia | Dec 1, 2006 7:23:43 PM

Dora Mia,
I was thinking exactly the same thing about breaking the long horse! It's a quiet, sensitive, Robert Redford sort of task. Except he's getting up there. But he's such a great guy... and damn! All those movies! And he really was so great in "The French Connection", wasn't he?! (I think he was in that, wasn't he?... it doesn't matter; I changed it on wikipedia, just to make sure).

Posted by: robyn | Dec 1, 2006 7:25:15 PM

Removing the Long Horse out of the original civil war photos just goes to show how extensive the conspiracy is to cover up the existence of the Long Horse.

Posted by: A Nonym | Dec 1, 2006 7:26:17 PM

This link has a before manipulations image.

Posted by: Trimoon | Dec 1, 2006 7:55:45 PM

The tragic extinction of the long horse does not bode well for the long tail.

Posted by: Peter B | Dec 1, 2006 7:56:10 PM

The movie Horse Whisperer was originally based on a long horse, but Robert Redford couldn't hold his breath that long so they ended up just using a regular horse.

Posted by: han | Dec 1, 2006 8:21:49 PM

Brad, long pig is an acquired taste..how on earth did you manage to find some this side of the globe? I hear the government rules on breeding and slaughter of them have become very, very stringent.

Posted by: soleilnyc | Dec 1, 2006 8:30:38 PM

My name is Long Horse and I endorse this message.

Posted by: Long Horse | Dec 1, 2006 8:33:20 PM

It's such a shame that people can't let us grieve for these magnificent equines, but must constantly quibble and question. Does sorrow need footnotes? Does despair require a citation?

I bow my head and recall with sorrow the memory of these now-fallen gentle giants.

Posted by: raincoaster | Dec 1, 2006 8:46:22 PM

those are obviously fake. i LOVE the fact that there's debate about this. any good hoax stirs up debate. just look at how amazingly bizarre and surreal every single shot is. what? no one could take a pic of a long horse without first dropping some of that dali lsd?

they're beautiful photos, fer sure. reminds me of joel-peter witkin, a bit.

Posted by: shmengie | Dec 1, 2006 9:00:59 PM

These pictures are by artist Hardy Burmeier and are definitely fake. It's really not a question and pretty obvious like in http://www.digital-art.org/E/MainFrames.html
where the same saddle is copied four times.
I think it's a good idea though and the pictures have an airy feel to them. Very dreamy.

Posted by: Regan | Dec 1, 2006 9:03:31 PM

Sorry, this is the one:


Posted by: Regan | Dec 1, 2006 9:05:48 PM

Has anyone realised that all the pictures on the site are attributed to the same 35 year old guy. Now, If these are originals from before this guy was born, this is in effect scholastic fraud, as the pictures should be attributed to their original photographers (or if unknown, should mention they are unknown). The only reason to re-attribute the pictures would be making significant changes, which would not include curating.

Posted by: Claurianta | Dec 1, 2006 9:11:16 PM

My great-uncle was in a long-horse supply regiment in WWI. He was deployed to the Ardennes, and most of them didn't survive - the few that did were retired to border patrol along the Idaho-Canada border.

I'm not sure what it says about us as a species that we couldn't keep these beautiful creatures around, but it can't be any thing good.

Posted by: Kuma | Dec 1, 2006 9:14:30 PM

If you browse around enough antique stores you can find special long horse tack. The five-seated saddles had to be seen to be believed.

Posted by: Stefan Jones | Dec 1, 2006 9:20:44 PM

Beautiful work of art! Takes full advantage of the digital form... not just the manipulation of pixels, but also the shaping of networked opinion. Of course it doesn't matter if its "real" or "fake"... what is important is the creation of the myth through our own faith in the duplication of detail.

Posted by: Clee | Dec 1, 2006 9:38:26 PM

thanks for the laughs :)

Posted by: sarah Francesca Fischer | Dec 1, 2006 9:49:56 PM

My dad as a high schooler back in the early 50s worked on one of the last small longhorse ranches during the summers, in the Matanuska Valley up in Alaska. He said that the odd thing about these was how totally docile they were-- he and the other summer guys would do the 'cow tipping' thing (if the owners weren't around) and these big horses would just lie right over, but in bits, like pushing over one of those articulated buses, and then stand up again in those two lumbering halves.

Posted by: Mitzi | Dec 1, 2006 9:50:45 PM

This is too stupid. Funny but too stupid. Where are the skeltons? Maybe sasaquach collects them. Yea that's it!

Posted by: rj | Dec 1, 2006 9:52:48 PM

long horses disprove evolution. Albert Einstein said as much upon seeing one.

Posted by: claytonian | Dec 1, 2006 10:13:05 PM

Right now I am looking at a photograph of my father leading a long pony through a field, just outside of our family ranch. The photo is an original from the 50's so it couldn't be a fake. The look of youthful delight in my fathers eyes as he leads such a graceful animal along is touching. My father still recounts the summer days he spent riding Longfellow in that meadow. Truly the long horse will be missed.

Posted by: duxbury | Dec 1, 2006 10:25:01 PM

You people are SO Northern Hemisphere-centric! Have you ever noticed that there are lands SOUTH of the Equator? If you had, then you would have noticed that the long horse breed was developed in Australia.

Its tremendously capacious intestinal system was a boon for trips across the Outback, where green vegetation was scarce. They filled up on fodder at paddocks in verdant parts of the bush before setting off for desert expeditions. (Ironically, water was not as much of a problem once the naturally occurring artesian springs known to Aborigines were transcribed on the white man's maps.)

The long horse in the Ardennes mentioned earlier was probably transported by the Diggers of the Australian Expeditionary Force who served in France during the Great War.

Any of you who have been Down Under might also know of the Aussie-only standby "the long black," frequently found in our cafes.

Posted by: Bukko in Australia | Dec 1, 2006 10:33:10 PM

Hardy Burmeier is totally into digital photography, so it's not too hard to figure out what's going on.

though i have to admit all the arguments for and against the existence of the "long horse" are pretty funny.

Posted by: uninvited guest | Dec 1, 2006 10:45:01 PM

When I was a child I had a long pony. Smaller than a long horse, it was easier to mount because of its shorter legs.

On my birthday we would dress up like Alive in Wonderland, and the pony would be made up like a caterpillar! Good times.

Posted by: Longponyman | Dec 1, 2006 10:50:52 PM

Look, obviously this is a hoax and anyone supporting it is doing it tongue in cheek and just to egg the doubters on.

Sure, I could join in with a made up story about how my grandfather had a stable of long horses that were used as ambulances in WW1, but it's funny enough as is.

And if of the few gullible believers who take this seriously don't want to keep kidding themselves, try asking for some credible evidence that doesn't involve doctored photos.

Posted by: zippy | Dec 1, 2006 11:19:19 PM

Proof of photo cloning

Have a look at this one: http://www.digital-art.org/D/Portraits/Burmeier/Bilder/Bild20.html

Now, while those two saddles aren't pixel-identical, they suggest cloning. The more damning proof is that in the grass under the horse there are cloned areas, exactly the same distance away from their source pixels as the the distance between the two saddles.

To see for yourself, open the image in Photoshop or similar, make a copy of the image onto another layer, and use difference blending between the two. As you slide one layer back and forth, you'll notice that the grass looks like mostly random noise. Then, all of a sudden, when your two layers overlap such that the two saddles appear on top of each other, you'll see a large black streak appear out of the random noise in the grass, starting under the horse and going down and to the left.

Solid black indicates that these two areas of the layers share identical pixels. Slide that layer a pixel or two left or right from when the saddles overlap, and you'll see the black streak vanish.

Clearly, the artist took a source sample, cloned parts of the saddle and then, without choosing a new clone source point, edited some of the grass below the horse. That's why these pixels are offset the same ammount.

I prepared some photos of this effect, but it's not very pronounced in still shots. If you set up these two layers and slide one right and left, though, you'll see this black streak just pop up out of nowhere and dissapear. Here's an animated gif that might help explain. Look for the sudden black streak in frame six:

http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/6558/horsefakeanimus9.gif (385Kb)

Posted by: Stephen | Dec 2, 2006 12:15:19 AM

Just remember, it is absolutely impossible to prove something doesn't exist. It is even impossible to provide evidence that something doesn't exist. (That something doesn't exist "now" or "here" is a differant matter")

Thus, all available evidence points towards, at the very least, their past existance.

Posted by: Daemon | Dec 2, 2006 12:23:31 AM

I am no expert, but it seems obvious that the pictures are altered, in the most crudest way. In both shots, I doubt a camera of the purported time could take such a shot without the horse blurring, or the background being somehow different (the dark line underneath the horse jumping shot is completely un-natural)

Anyway, boingboing and other great blog "verifications" aside, surely It seems there is an anomoly between what was probably realistically remembered as a "long horse", (with actual 'four person' saddles still in existence) and a horse that from these images (upon scale) appear to be able to comfortably hold six - eight grown men?

Posted by: waltonics | Dec 2, 2006 12:29:27 AM

those photos seems very realistic. it would be eaiser to edit photos in B&W. so lets see how this goes. :-)

Posted by: blueminies | Dec 2, 2006 1:12:07 AM

If you click on the first picture it takes you to a gallery page. The 4th picture down has an elongated dog in it too :)

Posted by: Andrew | Dec 2, 2006 1:22:43 AM

Alas, the images are faked.

They were created by a German young artist.

German language facts are here:

Posted by: martin | Dec 2, 2006 2:14:54 AM

I'm a horse breeder, by trade, and with close to sixty years of experience in the business I can safely say that while Hardy Burmeier has a great eye for photography and Photoshopping, anyone who believes in the existence (Past or present) of long horses has got to buy this essence that I have discovered. It is derived from a secret recipe that came from a Moki Pueblo Indian medicine man. It is the strongest and best liniment known for the cure of all pain and lameness. While it's to be used external only, it treats rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, lame back, lumbago, contracted muscles, toothache, sprains, swellings, etc. It also cures frost bites, chill blains, bruises, sore throat, and bites of animals, insects and reptiles. In fact it is good for every thing a liniment should be good for, providing immediate relief. You can get plenty of dosages of Stanley's Oil Linament at only $10 a bottle. Check here for more information: http://www.csicop.org/sb/9812/snakeoil.html

Boy, that photo of the horse going down the hill, it is almost certainly Laughing Boy, three-time winner of the 2,750 Guineas, Four Shillings and Thruppence in the 1950s. Boy those were the days!

Posted by: LongHorseHarumph | Dec 2, 2006 2:24:48 AM

I can't believe there are people (who obviously don't have ANY experience in the field) who are doubting the actual existence of this animal! As a semi-professional trad string player, I can assure you that my teacher's teacher had a bow made of hair from the tail of a longhorse. They were particularly favoured because they were long and strong enough to be used as a single string for polka bands. Sad days indeed ("if it's not on the first 2 pages of google it never existed"...)

Posted by: Mark | Dec 2, 2006 2:32:24 AM

across the windswept prairie
horses graze
and travelers stare at them
in great amaze
impressed not by the fact
their backs are long
as much as by the cost of feeding such a belly

a thing to make an owner

Posted by: Beeswacky | Dec 2, 2006 2:36:30 AM

Yes I remember having heard of the long horse at school in France, it's called "chevalong" here.

Posted by: Jacques | Dec 2, 2006 3:11:12 AM

They're fake; here's the proof:


4th one down... notice the "long dog" in additon to the mythical "long horse".

Jesus, folks... not all photomanipulation was done with photoshop (which can be comparitavely crude when considered next to it's analouge cousins).

Posted by: anonymoustroll | Dec 2, 2006 3:35:18 AM

There is zero doubt that these photos are fake, and bad ones at that. Not only is there no account that such animals existed, but also:

1) Photo 1: the horse should have a massive shadow beneath it and to the left.

2) Photo 2: This horse is not merely "long", it is a true giant that would outweigh most adult elephants!! Notice its scale relative to the man riding it. That man would have needed a ladder to get on it. Moreover, notice the tail and the position the horse is in: The photo suggests that the horse just dropped off that cliff. given the pictured horse's massiveness there is little doubt that this supposed creature would have smashed its front legs/joints to pieces.

Posted by: Jet | Dec 2, 2006 3:41:35 AM

For all of you 'photoshopping' experts - I can photoshop an image of Venus ... does that mean Venus doesn't exist? I can create a photoshop of a watermelon. Does that mean watermelons don't exist?

Just because someone may have photoshopped (or otherwise manipulated) some photos of the long horse doesn't mean they don't exist.

That'd be silly to believe.

Posted by: PI | Dec 2, 2006 4:00:01 AM

Amazing, and it's not even April 1st!!!! ;-)

Posted by: ecobore | Dec 2, 2006 5:34:30 AM

As a child in farm country in Western New York State, I recall that there was a place that raised long horses. An old grizzled fellow named Terry used to lead a long horse down the road to pick up us youngsters from the farmhouses and take us to school.

Our mothers would come out and place us on the back of the horse and see us off. There would usually be ten or eleven of us on the horse all in a row by the time we got to the schoolyard.

Being a child I thought it was the most natural thing in the world. Later, as a young adult, I casually related this story at a social gathering and was ridiculed! It was then that I discovered that these magnificent creatures had begun to pass from collective memory.

I'm sorry to hear that my "school bus" is no longer around. If my story does not convince skeptics of the exisytence of this breed, I don't know what will.


Posted by: Dan Van Riper | Dec 2, 2006 5:54:53 AM

Legend has it that King William the IV of England was so distraught about the plight of the longhorse that he organized a group of intellectuals to set about creating a longhorse myth in the minds of his subjects. The purpose was to make people believe that longhorses were just a fairy tale, like unicorns, so thatno one ever remembered how humans killed off this amazing animal through sheer greed.

This group continued to exist through WWII when their secret vault was hit by several V2 rockets. That's likely where these photos came from, scavengers.

I still think that this group exists in some form as I have seen longhorse photos that have been doctored to look like "normal" horse to perpetuate King William's vision.

Posted by: fsg | Dec 2, 2006 5:59:45 AM

This is not real. The long dog too? The KKK image isn't that great, nice try. This is digital art, it's good but really, once again substantial evidence that human history will be subject to digital manipulation beyond our wildest dreams.

Posted by: dave | Dec 2, 2006 6:19:42 AM

i came here via boingboing, where a 'reader comment' says (paraphrasing), "oh, in the tinselman blog, there are first-hand accounts of people who saw these beasts, so the story must be real!"

now, well ... it's clear that the photos above are fake. also, while it's within the realm of possibility that you could breed such horses, they would be severely crippled. they couldn't carry four people; if four people sat on such a hurse, its belly would hit the ground. the suffering you had caused would pull your karma below zero. furthermore, they couldn't jump into the air much higher than an elephant.

anyway, i'm almost sure that all people asserting the thruthyness off the longhorse are joking ... sorry if humourlackingly pooped on your party :-)

Posted by: nex | Dec 2, 2006 6:25:44 AM

Although these pics are 100% real (geez, people, have some faith! Not everything on the internet is fake!) -- one of the more fascinating pieces of the story has not been mentioned here. The longhorse was NOT developed by standard selective breeding methods. It was the result of an accidental crossbreed between a stabled mare and an adventurous dachshund named Sporty.
I know what you're thinking.
He stood on a chair.

Posted by: longwhores | Dec 2, 2006 6:45:03 AM

Alas no, long horses do not exist.

But after reading this post I wish they did.

Posted by: Nabakov | Dec 2, 2006 6:50:49 AM

No Nabakov, sadly they do not exist anymore. We humans screw everything up. My great-grandfather told me stories when I was a child about the time in Northern Italy when he got a chance to see sucha fine creatue. It may very well have been one of the last of its kind. He said the creature almost had a telepathy about it. He said everyone that came within proximity of sucha creature fell silent in awe and wonder. So sad.

Posted by: fsg | Dec 2, 2006 7:05:27 AM

Oh, they're most definitely real. When I was a kid back in the 70s, my parents would take me to visit some horse breeder friends of theirs. They had a longhorse, or what they called a long horse. His name was Snake.

Unfortunately, he wasn't a purebred as someone had crossed his bloodline with Shetland Pony at some point in the distant past, and as a result he was only 3 feet tall. He was actually longer than he was tall.

He only had one eye and was also very old and quite grumpy. You couldn't get too close to him. I always assumed the grumpiness was due to the pony in him but my dad said that he was in a state of perpetual pissed-offness because he was so long that he couldn't reach back and nip at the horseflies biting his rump.

He was a beautiful creature and very real and it saddens my heart to read all the hoax comments on this blog. Wish I had some photos of ole one-eyed Snake...

Posted by: chaoskitty | Dec 2, 2006 8:20:53 AM

These are manipulated photos, at least some of them.
Why is the Alsatian dog 'long' as well as the horse in the linked pictures?
We have all seen the Wounded Knee photo before and the original picture does NOT have a 'long horse' in the background.

I still think it's interesting, but these are certainly altered photos.

Posted by: Paul Begley | Dec 2, 2006 8:30:16 AM

Paul, what you don't realize is that the "original" Wounded Knee photos are the ones that have been doctored to erase humans horrible lack of foresight at bringing about the extinction of these wonderful animals. There was an unwritten law forbidding the portrayal of these animals in paintings and later, photographs. These are the original photos before they were doctored to make them look like a "normal" horse.

Posted by: fsg | Dec 2, 2006 8:34:22 AM

When I was a child, my grandmother used to read me a story called "Jeeno, Heloise and Igamor, the Long, Long Horse". After she was done she'd tell me about growing up on the farm in Poland and the old long horse named Czeslaw that grazed in the pasture. She said her dad would tell her stories about the days when the horse would travel around Europe performing in shows. Poor Czeslaw died while my grandmother was young. I wish she had been able to take photographs.

Posted by: testsicles | Dec 2, 2006 8:44:41 AM


Posted by: Ulisses Crasso | Dec 2, 2006 8:44:54 AM

Re: the Black Friday, Wall Street, 1929 pic.

Here's the Long Horse version:


Here's the original pic from thr Bettman archives. Notice the distinct lack of Long-Horses:


Go to corbis.com and search for HU017258 if the link above doesn't work.

A bunch of people have also been removed to make room for the enlongated horse, but look at the people on the left and you'll see that it is indeed the same photo.

Posted by: Jim | Dec 2, 2006 9:03:08 AM

You've got is backwards, the Corbis photograph is NOT the original. That's what King William wanted us to see. The long horses were becoming so rare that no one dared tell the world they owned one. Ironically, this also sped their extinction.

Posted by: fsg | Dec 2, 2006 9:10:05 AM

Another original:

Long Horse-ified:


Original from Bettmann/Corbis:


Search for SF34781

Posted by: Jim | Dec 2, 2006 9:14:24 AM

"ole one-eyed Snake"

You my friend are an artist. Keep at it and you'll have your meme yet.

Posted by: manchld | Dec 2, 2006 9:14:44 AM

re: fsg--Ah, I get it. Corbis is the Ministry of Truth. Those tricky bastards.

Posted by: Jim | Dec 2, 2006 9:17:04 AM


Posted by: jeebus | Dec 2, 2006 9:17:38 AM

Horsecrap! The first photo is a Lippazanner and the second is a quarter horse.

Posted by: Mark in CA | Dec 2, 2006 9:52:59 AM

This debate about the long horse inspired me to do a little more research into the decline of this majestic animal and I found that the fate of the long horse was intimately connected with that of the whale.

As the long horse ages it's back slowly weakens under its enormous weight, which after a sufficient number of years cause the belly of the poor animal to drag on the ground. To head off this fate the long horse corset was developed. The key element of the long horse corset was, of course, whalebone and given the size of the animal, lots of it.

With the over hunting of whale populations leading to a skyrocketing whale bone price soon the long horse corset was economically unfeasible. When the last long horse corset factory, (just outside of Lowell, MA), was shuttered in 1968 the fate of the long horse was sealed.

I found this little tidbit in the book, Long Horse: The Rise and Fall of Man's Longest Running Friendship. It was published by Reproba Fabula Press, but is currently out of print. Sad that even books about this creature are fading from view

Posted by: duxbury | Dec 2, 2006 10:20:32 AM

Mark Twain mentioned "long horses" at least twice, in an article published in the San Francisco Bulletin and another in the Californian (a weekly literary journal).


Having said that, caveat lector. My jury's out for a lo-o-o-o-o-ong lunch with Cecil from The Straight Dope http://www.straightdope.com/columns/ and the guys at http://snopes.com/.

Posted by: anomalous4 | Dec 2, 2006 10:21:27 AM

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