The Morning GIF: Shake it off


Horses can be profoundly goofy creatures.

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

As the poet Robert Frost once put it in his 1918 poem “The Runaway”:

Once when the snow of the year was beginning to fall,
We stopped by a mountain pasture to say, “Whose colt?”
A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall,
The other curled at his breast.  He dipped his head
And snorted to us.  And then we saw him bolt.

There is something simultaneously awe-inspiring and alarming about a horse that is anything other than placid. Half a ton of nervous, animated flesh could suddenly break into a run that would challenge a cheetah, leap a fence taller than your head, bite, rear, kick, or simply settle back down, and even for those who work with horses, it can sometimes be hard to predict which course will win out. Thank god they don’t see it this way, or we’d never have domesticated them!

As anyone who’s ever seen a horse roll in the dirt will attest, there’s also something strangely comical about them when they’re just hanging out, being horsy. A herd animal to the very core, they’re imbued with an endearing sense of self-consciousness that sometimes causes them to stop whatever it is they’re doing once they realize they’re being watched.

Stallion Ralphy here is blissfully free of a sense of embarrassment. As the alpha male in the barn, he knows is indeed All That and a Bag of Chips; he’s the equine version of the Fonz, and he doesn’t care who knows it. Thus, it would never occur to him that readers of the hometown paper of the World Wide Web could watch this GIF of him just shaking his head, smiling slightly, and consider it anything other than breathtakingly magnificent. Well, he is, of course, but he’s hilarious too. Shhhhh, don’t tell him.

Created by youthful horse fan and Tumblr user Coyotie, the GIF has garnered 8,342 notes in the two months it’s been online.


Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy is an Ottawa-based cybersecurity journalist and founding editor of the Cryptosphere. She has a keen interest in WikiLeaks and web culture, and her bylines have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, Serious Eats, and elsewhere.