Thursday, June 12, 2014

Disneyland The happiest Place on Earth…Even for the Horses

“If there’s anything to this reincarnation stuff, I’d like to come back to Disneyland as a horse someday!”…this is a quote from an officer from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals who had just finished an inspection at Disneyland. (taken from the Western Horseman magazine)

While cleaning out a closet, I came across some old Western Horseman magazines and one in particular caught my eye. It was the issue from September 1957. There was a fascinating article about the horses at Disneyland.

I took a few photos of some of the pictures in the article and decided to write a quick blog about them. The stagecoach (pictured below) was one of many ways a visitor could ride around the Rainbow Desert in Frontier Land. 

camera shot of the picture in the Western Horseman Magazine

They could also choose to ride a Conestoga Wagon or the pack mule train. (below)

camera shot of the picture in the Western Horseman Magazine

In 1957 Disneyland maintained about 200 head of horses. The horses and the ponies were kept in individual toe stalls. The mules and burros had their own corrals and lots. The animals at Disneyland worked no more than 4 hours a day six days a week.

 Walt Disney and Horse on Main Street, 1957

Disneyland also had a full time Farrier by the name of Charles Heumphreus on hand. To oversee the horse operations, Disney hired Mr and Mrs Owen Pope. They manufactured and repaired all the harnesses and horse tack for the horses. Owen was widely known for trailers he manufactured in Ft. Worth.

This is a great photo (below) of the horses all dressed up for the Easter Parade. Disneyland ordered 10 new Easter bonnets especially made for the horses at a total cost of $150.

camera shot of the photo in the Western Horseman

In this photo (below) Guy Williams can be seen riding his horse near the entrance to Frontier Land. How exciting to see Zorro at Disneyland!!!

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