Horse-y History: Riding on the Titanic

Posted by Aaron Taylor on

The ill-fated RMS Titanic did not skimp on the luxuries for its first-class passengers, and that included providing equipment for them to keep their riding muscles toned. The ship's gym boasted, among other apparatus, mechanical horses to simulate the motions of equestrian pursuits, which patrons apparently used while dressed in crushed velvet, high heels and other various wholly inappropriate garb. The machines, like so much Titanic history, now rust on the bottom of the ocean. 

Mechanical horses were a bit of de rigueur in the time period, gracing many ocean liners, as well as the private gyms of society titans like financier Andrew Mellon, politician William Jennings Bryan and cereal magnate John Harvey Kellogg. When Secret Service decreed real horse riding verboten, President Calvin Coolidge installed a mechanical one in the White House. Thankfully, real horses returned to fashion.

For those who still have an interest in living room equitation, though, the Equicizer remains on the market. The automated horse is the brainchild of flat racing jockey Frank Lovato Jr., who developed it for training and rehabilitation purposes--and for Tobey Maguire to use when filming Seabiscuit. (Note: We had the opp to test one of these at a trade show some years ago and found it to be amazingly convincing!) For around $3K you can order one for yourself and even have it customized to look like your favorite horse. We prefer sticking with bona fide equines...nothing replaces nickers, whiskers and carrot-chomping!

← Older Post Newer Post →