Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weird Portland Wednesday: Tethering the Horses

All photos here were stolen from the web :)
Horse rings are a throwback in time. Portland, like many cities throughout the nation, had horse rings from the late 1800s. They were embedded into curbs so visitors and customers could tether their horses or horse-drawn carriages to the side of the road.

Now it seems that some smart people in city government in the 1970s decided to remove the horse rings as the city was being 'refreshed." They thought the horse rings were a safety hazard. The people complained. They missed their rings! Today, the city of Portland helps to preserve the rings by requiring them to be replaced following sidewalk construction or repair.

In 2005,  Scott Wayne Indiana tied his first plastic toy horse to a horse ring.  He felt Portlanders weren't appreciating the rings. This act of weirdness started The Horse Project. Over a hundred, 150 or so, of toy horses have been hitched to horse rings throughout the city, especially in the southeast Portland area. 

Well, mostly horses are hitched. But other animals and creatures have been tethered, like sea horses, tigers, mules, dinosaurs, pigs. People leave hay for the animals. They leave lassos, riders, saddles, water, wool blankets and other treats for the horses.  

In 2008, Portland residents Dave Tuttle and Whitney Johnson met over a horse ring photo Tuttle had posted online.  Four years later, he proposed to her at that very tethered horse sight.  They were married in 2013.  

Hitching to our horse rings in Portland...just one more way we keep it weird.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love these little ambassadors. I was upset to come home when replacing sidewalks after the slides in '95 (??) to find the ring in front of our house had been removed. MLW