These 19th-century horses are truly sights to behold, their long, flowing hair blowing in the wind like equine versions of Fabio.
The verdict is split on how exactly these horses came to be this way. Legend would tell you that the Oregon Long-haired Wonder Horse was an offspring of a wild herd that lived like cavemen, roaming the hills and eating whatever it encountered. Level-headed historians counter that the breed is related to current breeds, such as the Clydesdale draft horses, which would make sense when you look at how huge these creatures are. Either way, even Cher would be jealous of their locks.
1. This photo illustrates exactly what the Oregon Wonder Horse was famous for: a gorgeous chestnut color and tail and mane hair that seemed to never end.
2. Dubbed the unofficial “Most Beautiful Horse Alive” at the time, a horse named White Wings had a mane of 14 feet and a tail that measured 17 feet.
3. Pigtails and braiding were less a matter of style as they were means to keep the hair from becoming tangled during the night, while the horses were sleeping.
4. These horses seem almost otherworldly, but experts say that their roots are very natural.
5. Another Oregon Wonder Horse of the time, Linus, fetched a then-astounding sum of $30,000 in his sale to the Eaton brothers. The horse and his mane went on to wow audiences for the Eatons’ traveling circus.
6. The first Oregon Wonder Horse to gain notoriety was a horse that worked on a small farm in Oregon. He then headed east as a show horse, dying shortly after on Coney Island in 1887.
7. The son of that first horse was none other than Linus, the only colt he had that possessed the same long hair. Linus’ colt, Linus II, was the only known offspring to get the feature.
8. As would be expected of an “oddity” of its time, Oregon Wonder Horses were regulars in circus sideshows, where promoters would undoubtedly sell them as some sort of genetic mutation.
9. These beautiful creatures no longer exist, leaving unique photos, such as these, as the only memory of them.
Credit: Little Things