…And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

I ran out the door and quick turned around

My crazy fool horse on the roof’s what I found.

Any other time of the year, footsteps on the roof would be cause for a desperate call to the local police. But it’s the holidays and we’ve learned from Christmas poems and songs that stomping overhead is just Old Saint Nick. Or is it?

If you ask the Downey Family of New Brunswick, Canada they’ve got a tale. The stomping on top of their barn wasn’t Mr. Clause but one of their intrepid colts who climbed a stairway before making his way on to the roof.

A few months later, the Bryant family spotted another shingle shuffler on the roof of this mobile home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

And the problem doesn’t just reside in the northern hemisphere, it’s a global issue. This horse from Coyhaique, Patagonia is quite adept scrambling onto this house and for heaven’s sake, EATING IT TOO!

My great grandmother told me stories about their childhood horse’s climbing shenanigans. I didn’t believe her cause, well great grandmother liked to tell stories. She also drank a lot of “medicine” from a teacup. Then a few years ago I found this – photographic evidence! Not one horse but a fully harnessed team standing on a Nebraska home in the 1880s. (sorry I didn’t believe you great grandmother).

So what’s going on? Its ok for a jolly old man to walk across our roof once a year, we are not alarmed by that. But this horses-on-the-roof thing seems to be out of control. Dare I say, epidemic?

What is causing this rash of rafter hoofing? Why do our grass grazing ground dwellers suddenly choose to mingle with the shingles? Do these roof hugging equines suffer some holiday horse hysterics that cause them to seek a loftier perspective? Are these incidents simply the muse of horses genetically engineered by a dollop of reindeer DNA? Or maybe they’re secretly employed by Santa to deftly toss gifts down the chimney when he falls behind schedule? Is truss trotting the horsey equivalent of a flash mob? Is this phenom the genesis for the term “BAY window”?

I don’t have any answers today. But please know that an official WARHorses investigation is under way. And should you spot a horse on your roof during the holidays. Don’t, for heaven’s sake, don’t make eye contact!!!

Photography Courtesy (in order of appearance); Archie Downey, James Bryant, P. Hartmann and Public Domain.

Update 2017 – MORE Rooftop Horses Found in Argentina

horses on roof

Figueras Stable in Argentina. PC Architectural Digest, May 2017

For most horse owners, seeing their four-legged friend on the roof would initiate a frantic call to 911 but that reaction is not the same for all. Delfina and Nacho Figueras’ (international, Argentinian polo star) horses spend a great deal of time on the roof. No worries, their unique stable was specifically designed to accommodate rooftop grazing.

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