Full Answer. Some views maintain that a horse statue with one leg raised is associated with a rider who was injured but did not die in battle. Others views contend that this is symbolic of a rider who was not only injured in battle but died at a later time from those injuries.
I have heard that the number of legs a horse has in the air in a statue indicates how the rider died. According to what I have understood: 2 legs in the air: rider died in battle 1 leg in the air:...
Horse Statue Meaning of Legs Raised. ... one front leg up means the rider was wounded in battle or died of battle wounds; and if all four hooves are on the ground ...
The equestrian statue of King José I of Portugal, in the Praça do Comércio, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and is a pinnacle of Absolutist age statues in Europe.
It is a common misconception that the position of the horse's legs in a military hero's statue signifies how the rider died; i.e. both legs raised means that the rider was killed in battle, one leg raised means the rider died later of wounds caused in battle, all four legs on the ground means the rider died of natural causes.
Winchester’s raised leg symbolizes his rider was wounded in battle (the legs of [General Ulysses S.] Grant’s horse [as seen in another Chicago statue] are on the ground, meaning he was not wounded).”
The hoof code mostly holds true in terms of Gettysburg equestrian statues, but there is at least one exception. James Longstreet wasn’t wounded in this battle yet his horse has one foot raised. Even the most cursory look at the statues around Washington, D.C. quickly disproves that the hoof code at all holds sway in that locale.
One such statue he made of General William Techumsa Sherman has one of the front legs of the horse raised. Indeed, General Sherman was wounded twice in battle, and even had 3 horses shot out from under him.
It is a common misconception that the position of the horse's legs in a military hero's statue signifies how the rider died; i.e. both legs raised means that the rider was killed in battle, one ...
If one leg is raised, the general died after receiving an injury in battle. If the general died on the battlefield, the statue will have the horse with both front off the ground or perhaps one front leg and one hind leg raised.