WhiteHouseHistory.org - Full Article
Military heroes who risked their lives in devotion to the nation have long been attractive presidential candidates. The image of a uniformed officer on a warhorse was a powerful symbol of leadership and executive ability. Presidents depicted in equestrian art include military heroes such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, and Benjamin Harrison. Warhorses like Taylor’s Old Whitey and Grant’s Egypt and Cincinnati enjoyed honored retirement at the White House.
With the invention of photography and the popularity of illustrated magazines and newspapers in the late nineteenth century, images of the presidents posed on horseback became a staple for photojournalists. Pictures of the chief executive and their families on horseback became a familiar subject for posed photographs. President and first ladies regularly rode horses for exercise and relaxation in public both in the city parks of Washington, D.C., and on vacation. This practice changed after World War II transformed security procedures...
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