With the recent Presidents’ Day holiday and the popularity of “Hamilton”, we thought it was time that the horse(s) of these historical heroes were honored as well.
Blueskin was a gray horse (gone white later in life) ridden by George Washington and was one of Washington’s two primary mounts during the American Revolutionary War. The horse was a half-Arabian, sired by the stallion Ranger (also known as “Lindsay’s Arabian) and was said to have been obtained from the Sultan of Morocco. Due to his then white coat, Blueskin was the horse most often portrayed in artwork depicting Washington on a horse.
However, Washington’s primary riding horse was Nelson, a chestnut gelding. Thomas Nelson of Virginia sent the horse to General Washington in New York as a gift. Washington named the horse for his generous friend. Better in the chaos of war time than Bluestone, it was Nelson who is said to have carried the General almost always during the American Revolution. Described as a “splendid charger,” the animal stood sixteen hands high, and was a light sorrel or chestnut (reddish-brown) in color, with white face and legs.
Both horses were retired after the Revolutionary War and lived out their lives at Washington’s Mount Vernon home.
Thomas Jefferson once commented that George Washington was “the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback.