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Horsemanning is a way to pose for photographs in which the subject appears to be decapitated. This Internet meme involves two subjects in various poses so that one person appears to have no head, while the only the other person’s head is visible. This creates a humorous and often bizarre photo that is shared widely online through websites and social media.
Horsemanning is believed to have its origins in the 1920s – or perhaps even earlier – and archived photos exist to support this theory. The trend stems from a short story by Washington Irving called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, which features the Headless Horseman, who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.
Horsemanning followed on the heels of other photographic Internet trends such as planking and owling. The photographs are displayed online and promoted through social media. Participants submit new photos in an effort to create new and innovative versions of the trend. Horsemanning is considered more interactive than other similar memes because it involves two people.