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October 3, 2022

Satisfying Transatlantic Equestrians, 1915

In 1915, ocean travelers who must have a horse-back ride before breakfast, were accommodated on the Cunard liner Franconia. The gymnasium of that boat was equipped with several trotters, all run by little electric motors which were adjustable to produce any gait from a canter to a wild gallop. Side saddles for ladies are provided, in addition to the regulation Western saddle with high horn, which was convenient for the rider who has had too little experience with high spirited horses.

The apparatus was composed of an ordinary gymnasium “horse” on a special pedestal with a special riding saddle, operated by a motor through an eccentric arm. The gait of the mock animal was adjusted by changing the speed of the motor through a rheostat and by lengthening or shortening the eccentric arm. The device has proved so popular that it has been installed on other ships of the same line and was beginning to usurp the popularity formerly enjoyed by other gymnasium equipment.


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