A popular belief - at least in the United States and the United Kingdom - is that if the horse is rampant (both front legs in the air), the rider died in battle; one front leg up means the rider was wounded in battle or died of battle wounds; and if all four hooves are on the ground, the rider died outside battle. However, there is little evidence to support this belief.
In the United States, the alleged rule is especially held to apply to equestrian statues commemorating the American Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg, but there is at least one instance where the rule does not hold for Gettysburg equestrian statues, and syndicated newspaper columnist Cecil Adams claims that any correlation between the positioning of hooves in a statue and the manner in which a Gettysburg soldier died is a coincidence.
Read more about this topic: Equestrian Statue
Famous quotes containing the word symbolism:
“...I remembered the rose bush that had reached a thorny branch out through the ragged fence, and caught my dress, detaining me when I would have passed on. And again the symbolism of it all came over me. These memories and visions of the poorthey were the clutch of the thorns. Social workers have all felt it. It holds them to their work, because the thorns curve backward, and one cannot pull away.”
—Albion Fellows Bacon (18651933)