6 of Wands: A Fake Horse?


I haven't seen the other 6oW thread covering this, so I thought I should start one up.

What do you guys think of the horse in this card?

I got this card in a reading today, and one thing stood out to me. It looks as if there are a couple people under horsie's green skirt! Horsie also has a bumpy rump in place of its tail. Plus, the bump seems to take the shape of a person's head.

I'm no horse expert, but it just common sense not to "dress up" a horse with such a long skirt. I mean, what if the horse tripped on the curtain and broke its leg? The creators of the deck would of known better than to do that with a real horse! Horses were still used as transportation in their time.

Until recently, most people would of killed a horse with a broken leg and since these things were very expensive in the middle ages, it made sense NOT to place the living war weapon (the horse) at such risk.

Here are a few examples of how Middle Ages war horses may of been dressed:


If there are people underneath the green skirt, then what is the victorious rider sitting on? Is he sitting on someone's head or a piece of wood being held up by the guys under the skirt? Isn't the rider afraid he could hurt himself on that thing? I mean, if you sit on a piece of wood for so long, you're butt would be extremely sore after a while.

What it could mean: You got your victory, but it seems so cardboard-cut-out fake.

Could it also mean that victory is a pain in the a--?

So what do you think?


LOL!!! I am looking at 'horsie' right now :p

I think the bump at the rear, in proportion to the horse, is the tail. Arab breed horses have this physical attribute that when they step out in thier gaite - they raise their tail - Tenessee Walking horses do it - Welsh Mountain Ponies - many pure breds do - they also have a tendancie to arch their kneck, which then drops their head, or tucks it to their risen chest.
The front leg is in stride, and I get the impression of crowd noise around this card - (lol!! audio cards) but there is movement too - as the horse gathers in its stride. I dont see it as galloping but maybe a collected canter, ot trot.

I like the interpretaion that you give though - something has pointed this out and I can see what you mean also.

Thanks for the heads up on this one :)

Elven x


Interesting idea, I have to check on my Giant Rider when I am at home.


I cannot draw a stickman, so I won't attempt it; perhaps, Fulgour can? :grin: But it would be interesting to see the legs and tail of the horse as they extend beyond the frame of the picture. (He did this with the 8 of Wands.) It seems like the proportions would make sense if one could imagine that the front left leg is curled outward and the tail is doing that funny sort of thing Elven mentions.

For simplicity's sake I have attached a scan of the Icon 6 of Wands.



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Hehe I have lots of what I thought was useless information about Pamela's Cards. I often have wondered about the 6 Wands, and did a little study once about 'Horse Clothing'.
What you see on the horse (the only Horse with this in RWS) is called a housing or more formally a full Bard. The full Bard was mostly seen in Jousting tournaments and sometimes it covered the horse's head as well. What is surprising in this is, that it appears inside out. A Bard was traditionally covered in decoration and a plain contrasting lining was on the inside. So if Pamela knew about the Bards she would have known about the decoration.
A Full Bard covered the horse completely-down to the fetlocks, the tail especially. So I see this horse with its tail up as it walks, as in dressage, which is why they are sometimes plaited. Its front left leg is up under the Bard as in dressage steps as well (dancing?)
So what interested me was the progression of cards in the suit of Wands-
5- Strife/competitivness
6- Triumph/Victory
7- Testing times/courage
8- Swift speedy action
I think they show 'fields' of action.
Or maybe we make too much of it all. Could it be that she initially painted the Horse incorrectly and covered up her mistakes with a Bard?
But I like the Fake Horse scenario Sliderkta- like a Pantomine in a way.


On the Icon tarot the horse looks pretty bumpy but this could be due to that kind of dancing step the horse does.


DaVinci drew the most beautiful horse forms - I think they are magic, so I went through my Enigma deck and there are probably 5 or six of horses. Looking at the Knight of Air from that deck - the horse is almost in the same postion (head and leading leg) as Pams horse. The thing about the sketch is that the horse is a statue, and is rearing slightly, but I think if you them next to each other you can imagine under the cloth.
In the six of cups (Enigma) the horse has a raised tail.
The seven of earth (Enigma) is a great sketch with the tail raised and the left leg leading - actually most have the left leg leading ????

roseanne said:
Or maybe we make too much of it all. Could it be that she initially painted the Horse incorrectly and covered up her mistakes with a Bard?

Roseanne - you may have something there with Pams horse drawings!

I looked at all of Pams horses and none of them have back legs - They are the hardest part to draw in my opinion.
But have a look at the hind quarter of the horse on the Knight of Wands! Look at the shape of the rump and the back flank - the horse needs a vet - very bulbous and not as proportional as her human forms she has drawn. The Knight of Cups' horse is not as bad, but still not great in form.
The head of the horse in the 6 of Cups is similar to the head of the horse in the Knight of Cups - angled differently.
No butt or legs either for Death, The Sun, Knight of Pentacles or Knight of Swords.
If Pamela had drawn the horse of the 6 of Cups without the cover - then she would have had to include the rump, tail, flank, and most of the leg length.

Another thought was Im not sure that Ive ever seen a bard cover the horses tail or its body in such a loose manner - most bards are fitted to some extent and not as long.

All Pamelas Horses ears are facing backwards as well - even on the Sun! :eek: - of all horses - this is one I would think would have its ears forward. Ears are like eyes - they tell you where the horses attention is - but a 'happy' horse usually has their ears forward - unless of course there are flies about LOL!! :p ;)
I have a feeling that she may have used the same horse to model her drawings from?

Enough horse talk!

Elven x


I hadn't noticed before, but now that you mention it, the horse's face is in a "military parade right" position --that is, she is facing the crowd (us). Therefore the left leg out in the front and that tail fanned out the back makes sense. And, this is supposed to be a victory parade, is it not?



Elven, I have looked at my Enigma. You are right. So the Victor is not sitting on his mount properly if you uncover the Horse in your minds eye- he is going to fall off!
I have attached one of Pamela's models for horses I think.Her friend and Painter Jack Yeats.~Rosanne


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yes, I see what you mean Roseanne - actually the back hind of the horse in Yeats Red Pony is also very long, and there is what I would call 'transfered or copied' (not exactly the right word) but a mistake (not the right word either - P.C ;)) in the way the leg meets the body - it should be a little more hollow - and curve slightly up into the body - not as low as it is drawn in Reids or Pams ponies, both have the same 'fault'.

If you look at that piece of Pams horses anatomy (front legs, the line along the ribs and tummy and the back leg) they are the same in the Kn/W, the Kn/P, Kn/C and Death.

I traced this outline (onto tracing paper) and they match in each one - thats why the proportions are out on each one - a copied mistake. Its not the entire horse, but the body bulk. If you draw the bodys bulk then you can arrange the legs in any stance. Its a perfect trace copy on the Kn/P, Kn/C, Death.

Another note - if you put the Kn/W and the 6 of Cups back to back the riders sitting position is very similar (line up the legs and arms) but reversed. Notice then in comparission how short the bottom half of the leg is on the Kn/C!! :bugeyed: is on the same size horse.

(This gives me the impression that the guy of the 6 of Wands is actually the Kn/W sitting on the horse that belongs to the Kn/C :p) just joking!

The knight of Swords horse looks as if it would need to have all fours off the ground for its front legs to be in that position - or in mid flight and jumping over a ravine or something.

Another anatomy thingy - all Pams horsies might be female - theres no sheath in the leg hollows to be seen ;)

Another thing - the Bard in the 6 of cups - notice where the riders crotch is (sorry - made ya look :p) - the bard seems to rise very high there - this cant be due to the horses wither bone - but might be a high point of the saddle front. High saddle fronts are evident in the Kn/C and Death. If thats the case - the saddle is under the Bard ... then where are those stirrups coming out from? The riders brown robe is following the shape of the saddle which is under the bard - I thought it was part of the saddle but its not.

Elven x