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Ah, the strange bits of trivia that librarians carry around in their
mental junkyards:
According an ancient green vellum volume on European art from
1400-1900 a.d. that I remember using when I worked in Telephone
Reference  at the Brooklyn Public (New York City) Library  over 25
years ago.  this was the artistic code for "military depictions":
All four hooves on the ground:   warrior died of NONmilitary causes.
One front hoof off the ground: warrior died later, of wounds inflicted in
Two front hooves off the ground: warrior died in battle.
Three hooves off the ground:  warrior and horse died in battle.
Four hooves off the ground:  warrior and horse killed each other in battle.
Well, maybe not the last one... but hooves one through three seemed to be
 accepted as standard code for the last 300 years of "artistic accuracy".
There must have been an awful lot of military horse statues throughout
Brooklyn, because we got this question at least once a month.
Our favorite, though, was the lady who asked for the name of  General
Grant's horse.   She assured us that it was a female horse;  she had
checked the underside of the horse statue, and it had no "male parts."
We didn't have the heart to tell her NO horse statues have male parts.
BTW, Grant did have a horse named Daisy.

Now, I know that not everyone needed to know that, but a good laugh is
often recommended by serious doctors for optimum mental health... and
that is something we do all need.

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