ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Horse Taxidermy

Updated on January 22, 2017

These days one can source ready-made horse "forms" (e.g. Van Dykes) on which to mount a hide. Historically the creation of the form was one of the most difficult tasks requiring the work of a skilled naturalist.

Art Horses

Taxidermy has seen something of a revival in recent years, especially in the fine arts. Stuffed horses have appeared in a number of prominent art installations. For example:


Famous horses

Taxidermy is used to preserve horses famous as racers, performers, or military use.

Comanche, a horse that survived Custer's last stand was a celebrity in life and on his death in 1891 preserved and has long been in the possession of the University of Kansas (although his ownership is often disputed).

Le Vizir, a favorite mount of Napoleon is in somewhat poorer shape as is to be expected for an animal preserved in 1829. He is on display at the at the Musee d’Armee de l’Hotel des Invalides in Paris.


Horses may also be preserved and mounted if their body presents elements of scientific interest.

Scientific Uses

The preservation of horses opens the door to some interesting research in cases where DNA can be extracted. For example providing DNA samples for the extinct quagga, and investigation into the cause of death of Phar Lap (allegedly arsenic poisoning).

Why do so many of then look terrible?

Mounting an entire horse is a difficult job, and many who attempted it (especially in decades and centuries past) have simply not done a very good job. the science of tanning, mounting and preservation has advanced a great deal even inn the last 55 years--and older specimens often lack correct shape or are imperfectly preserved.

However many other factors contribute to poor appearance, especially in antique specimens. With time hides tend to contract and become poorly fitted to their frame. While wear and tear can lead to the lose of hair, hide and even appendages like ears or tails.


  • Groves, Colin P., and Oliver A. Ryder. "Systematics and phylogeny of the horse." The genetics of the horse (2000): 1-24.
  • Hayden, Faith. "An Equine Mystery: What Killed Phar Lap?." (2010): 72-72.
  • MacGregor, Arthur. "A History of Taxidermy. Art, Science and Bad Taste." Journal of the History of Collections 24, no. 1 (2012): 140-141.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)