Photographer Eadweard Muybridge got commissioned by Leland Stanford to prove that horses can fly.
To find an answer to the question if horses are, while galloping, have all four legs off the ground, Eadweard Muybridge performed a gait analysis. In 1878 he came up with a construction of 24 cameras that were along a track. He proved that on one instance the horses legs were all aflot.
Muybridge used these images in his zoopraxiscope, an early device for projecting rotating pictures and perfect for the sequential motions captured. The Horse in Motion, also known as Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, is sometimes credited as the first silent movie.
I went to see pictures of Muybridge at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, but to my astonishment, although they have a collection of almost 500 photos, they don’t have a regular display. The only clue for this extraordinary invention and proof is the statue of The Horse in Motion at the Red Barn.
Stanford Equestrian has a plaque to commemorate Muybridge’s role. The tribute acknowledges The horse in motion as the first academic study of Stanford. There is also an information board explaining the history in a bit more detail.
Have you seen proof about flying horses before?