“Prof. D. M. Bristol’s equescurriculum will begin at the Hyperion to-night. The Boston Herald says: ‘Boston has seen some wonderful performances of educated horses, but never any which surpasses the one under direction of Prof. Bristol, now at the Globe Theater. The tricks and antics of these horses are simply amazing.'”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Daily Morning Journal and Courier, Wednesday, February 6, 1889
TRAINED HORSES. — An Interview With Professor Bristol Concerning the Mode of Training and Treatment of His Equine Troupe.
“A Courier reporter visited Professor D. M. Bristol at the Hyperion last night and was kindly accorded an interview. He takes an animal standing squarely on his feet and educates him, using simply a bit and reins. The only horse he finds it necessary to whip is the sulky, stupid or lazy animal, and then only a few sharp cuts to wake him up. The animals know when they do right and when they do wrong. When they do anything extra well they almost always come to their master for a pat of recognition or a lump of sugar. While Professor Bristol has his system of rewards, he has no system of punishment for neglect of duty beyond the slight throwing of the lash which is seen at each public performance. Some people think that for every misdemeanor the animal receives a severe whipping after the performance, but this is not so. The little mule Denver was bought of a maiden lady who owns and runs a farm near Granger, Ind., for only $40. He was then a green farm mule about five years old. The professor says he would not accept $10,000 for him now. If things don’t suit him about the stable and his food is not exactly to his liking he will put on the airs of a spoiled opera singer and the teacher has no easy time with him when the performance comes off to get him to do his part. In order to get him out of his bad humor a favorite attendant of his is detailed to stay in the stall with him day and night. This attendant diverts Denver’s mind by talking to him and feeding him from his hands with small feeds of some favorite food.
He never associates with any other equine member of the troupe, and others frequently have their noses together in friendly communion, but Denver never relaxes his dignity sufficiently to admit of any demonstration of this kind. Though not devoted to social intercourse to quadrupeds, he is devoted to the ladies, and is never so pleased as when a number of these are around him and on his back. Hornet cost but $30, but he is now valuable on account of his jumping acts. Mattie, a beautiful gray, half Canadian and half Morgan, has the worst disposition of any horse in the troupe, and can and does whip them all. She does not fancy Prof. Bristol and he seldom goes near her. There are thirty horses in the troupe, and Prof. Bristol is on excellent terms with all of them, but they all know to whom they belong and who pays their board. They are kept day and night, except during the performance, in their special car. After the performance at Friday and Saturday matinee the audience will be allowed to go upon the stage and make acquaintance of the animals.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Daily Morning Journal and Courier, Thursday, February 7, 1889
Prof. Bristol’s Equescurriculum.
“A large audience attended Prof. D. M. Bristol’s exhibition of trained horses, ponies and mules at the Hyperion last evening. The horses are well educated and marvelously well trained. They perform their many acts with alacrity and an apparent eagerness to execute the commands of the professor, who gives the orders in a pleasant tone, and throughout the performance talks to the horses as if feeling for them a warm degree of kind regard. The horses evidently understand their instructor perfectly, and perform their tricks, many of which are difficult, very readily. Matinees will be given at the theater this and to-morrow afternoon at 2:30. After the matinees an opportunity will be given to children to have short rides on the ponies.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Daily Morning Journal and Courier, Friday, February 8, 1889
“Mr. Bunnell has secured the famous wrestling pony, ‘Major,’ who has just finished a successful run of ten weeks in New York, where he was visited by thousands. ‘Major’ is accompanied by ‘Babe,’ the smallest performing horse in the world, standing only thirty-two inches high and weighing only eight-five pounds. He is very cute, and is the pet of the ladies and children. ‘Major’ will wrestle between the third and fourth acts of the drama…”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Daily Morning Journal and Courier, May 28, 1894. (top) “The W. C. Coup Equescurriculum — Prof. Buckley’s Educated Horses in their Comedy of School.” Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Kansas, Ottawa Weekly Republic, December 12, 1889