Smithsonian

Comanche Warrior

In 1800s, George Catlin painted horses airborne, but portrayed them like this, with legs outstretched in what is called the rocking horse position. A horse’s legs in full gallop move faster than the eye can register. Not until photography was introduced were people able to prove that all four hooves leave the ground and how they come off the ground.

Credit: Comanche Warrior Lancing an Osage, at Full Speed by George Catlin, 1837–39. Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison.