President's horses

photo: President William Howard Taft

In honor of President's day here are some fun facts involving our President's and their horses.

George Washington was one of our greatest horse loving Presidents of all time.  One of his favorite pastimes was fox hunting. One of his favorite horses was named "Nelson" and went with him to fight many battles.  Nelson made it through the fighting in Valley Forge and came back to Mt. Vernon to pass away of old age in his thirties.

For George Washington's inauguration he had 6 white horses he wanted to participate.  To prepare these horses for the inauguration his groomsmen washed them in vinegar, wrapped them entirely in bandages and the following morning unwrapped them, brushed them and they were gleaming white!

Jefferson always rode a bay horse.  He owned Morgans.

John Adams found that if he didn't ride every day he would become ill (possibly from being inside).

Many great President's loved horses. Theodore Roosevelt had very bad asthma and he asked to learn to ride as a youth, believing it would make him stronger.  He rode western style.  His sons, Archie & Quentin had a pony named Algonquin.  Once when Archie was very sick he became bedridden for 3 months. His younger brother brought the pony into the White Horse and up the elevator to cheer him up.  This made Algonquin famous as being the only pony to ride in the White House elevator.

A most surprising horse loving President was Bill Clinton.  He didn't own a horse of his own but he would borrow the park police horses.  He and Chelsea would ride often.

Ronald Reagan joined the Calvary, where he learned to ride.  He landed many acting jobs in Westerns because of his riding ability.

Some additional interesting facts:

George Washington brushed his horses teeth. Thomas Jefferson would wipe his horses back off with his handkerchief to see if it was clean before he would go for a ride.

Those of you interested in learning more fun facts, check out this book Horse's of the President's by Leah C. Taylor at