Stone Pony …

March 22, 2009 § 9 Comments


I would have sworn these horses were black. Shiny, ebony, light-sucking black.
Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to shoot their picture.
Imagine the surprise of the guy who was right behind me in the parking lot.

I don’t know what he was thinking when he held his phone outside his car window and seemed apparently to also be snapping away after he saw me snake my camera up through the sunroof of my car to shoot these pictures. (OK, he might have been snapping the wedding party coming out the front door…anway, it made me smile.)


Oh, the  power of the horse!

a little ancient horse history 
 ( thank you, Wikipedia) …
It is widely believed that Emperor Wu (r, 141-87 BC) of the Western Han dynasty became obsessed with stories coming from the west which told of a breed of horse like no other. This “blood sweating” horse was said to have been raised by barbarians in Ferghana (present-day Samarkand) in Central Asia.

Wu dispatched diplomats to Ferghana with much gold but the horses were not offered.

In 104 BC he sent a force to the area with the intention of capturing as many animals as possible so a breeding programme could be started in China. The force was defeated but Wu was determined to acquire what many believed was the “heavenly horse” so a second expedition was dispatched. Although suffering many casualties this force prevailed and, upon returning to China, the “heavenly horse” was finally presented to the Emperor.

The Ferghana horse had arrived in China.

Through careful breeding and masterful training the Ferghana horse soon became the favoured breed in China not only for military use but also for the Royal Court and the upper-classes. Simply, the more horses you owned the higher your status.

It was now that the terracotta statues of horses placed in tombs for use in the afterlife became more life-like. With flaring nostrils, pricked ears, strong necks and powerful legs, these majestic statues were probably the first to depict the Ferghana horse in Chinese art.And while I didn’t run inside the establishment in front ofwhich these horses (pictured) pose, I suspect they are Ferghana, at least somewhat , given their arched necks, muscular appearance and those mighty flared nostrils!

Can you guess the “franchise” in front of which they stand?
(I’ve given you at least two clues…)




Just for fun … (taken from Wikipedia…)

Year of Horse – 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954,1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, 2050

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as ‘Qianli Ma’ (a horse that covers a thousand li a day).

People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are active, clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. They cannot bear too much constraint. However they are interested in only the superficial level of an object, neglecting the essence. Once they suffer from failure, they become pessimistic.

Best match: tiger, sheep, dog; Avoid: rat, ox, rabbit, horse

I myself am a Dragon. Therefore, my affinity for horses has nothing to do with being born “in the year of…”

Book selection …um, no
I wanted something really good here, a book you wouldn’t guess…so in lieu of a book, I am offering up a movie. It’s HIDALGO. If you haven’t seen it but you have a Netflix queue (and you have some affinity for horses),  I recommend it. The ending is “wow.” The denouement is really wow.

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§ 9 Responses to Stone Pony …

  • Snarl says:

    Horse photo week? Hmm, we’ll see how I feel at the end of the week. I hope you don’t fudge the bucket.

  • anne says:

    My guess is PF Changs…. is the award a heaping plate of their Orange Chicken?

  • ds says:

    No clue as to franchise; photos are beautiful, though. As for “Hidalgo” forget about the horses–give me Viggo Mortensen 😉

  • laylou says:

    PF Changs! Only because I still want to figure out a way to climb on top of them somehow and have my picture taken.

    And a wedding party at PF Changs? What???

  • qugrainne says:

    Yeah, that one restaurant that’s at the mall out in the ‘burbs. Never went in – the horses out front were too intimidating!

    I love those terra cotta horses, along with the army that was buried, in China. Way cool.

    I’m a horse! Won’t comment on the negative aspects of the personality… superficial? pessimistic? limelight!!!??? No one has mentioned this…..

  • oh says:

    Aha, Snarl – let’s just see how the horse theme goes, eh? I confess I’m not very creative; distracted by due dates, which I know you understand!

    Anne – You are the Winner!!! Um, how about you, Laylou and I meet for drnks somewhere as your “prize?”

    ds- You’re right – Vigo is the key to the film and his character in Hildalgo is just very … cool.

    Laylou- we’re gonna need a ladder to get you on one of those horses. And it was a bridal shower thing, not a wedding – I misspoke.

    Dear Q – those “year of.. ” defnitions are all over the place. And this one came from Wikipedia. The Dragon (me) was described as self aggrandizing and borderline megalomanica! Pooh. On the contrary,I’m the one in the corner, observing.

  • jeanie says:

    Well! These are very handsome. And I loved the background — all new to me. I was going to guess PF Chang’s, too. Too late, but still, worth a jaunt over to the one near me to see if they look as light as these — I thought ours were black, too!

  • Alesia says:

    I’m a horse, but not a pessimist.

    Nice pictures.

  • Lovely photos, i didn’t know it was horse photo week…

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