Most My Little Pony dolls — save the limited edition commemorative Alien 3 models — boast lustrous, improbably long manes. And back in the late 1800s, Linus the Wonder Horse and his hirsute progeny wowed carnival-goers across America. But who was this "Samson among equines?"

In 1910, the biology book Experimental Zoölogy profiled Linus — who was three-quarter Clydesdale and one-quarter French — and his long-haired kin (the equally heralded Linus II) as such:

Linus was born in 1884 and spent ten years wowing audiences with his luxurious mane. Even though Linus' Rapunzel-like locks were the result of genetics and breeding, sideshows and circuses drummed up tall tales about an Oregonian God Pony to pack in the slack-jawed gawkers, eager to fall prey to this handsome creature's intrinsic Stendhal Syndrome-inducing force field:


And in 1891, Scientific American profiled Linus II, the son of this protean deus equus, and his coiffure. You can find several photos of him below, along with the ivory White Wings:

And if you wish to see one of these equine wonders today, Prince Imperial is still around. He was a long-haired horse who once belonged to Napoleon's nephew, died in 1888, and currently sits taxidermied and dreadlocked in Marion, Ohio. A true performer, even beyond the pall.


[Via Circus No Spin (1, 2, 3), Messy Beast, American Folk Art/Cooperstown, and Syracause University]