I've always thought it would be interesting to train a Zebra to ride. Donkeys, wild horses and even ostriches can be trained to ride, why not a Zebra? In preparation for today's article I scoured the web for photos of Zebras undersaddle. Surprisingly, I found more antique photographs, then modern ones of Zebras carrying riders.
While I had trouble finding modern photos of tamed Zebra, I did come across a slew of photographs of horses and ponies painted to look like Zebras, like this photo below of a "Dressage Zebra".
At first all you notice are the stripes, but upon further inspection you can see the anatomy is all wrong for a Zebra and that this is really a horse that has stripes painted on him. Besides being much too big to be a Zebra (compare with the antique photo above), Zebra's have much thinner shoulders, teeny hooves, giant ears, shorter legs and completely different tails.
This short video of Belgium man who has "tamed a Zebra" makes several claims that I find hard to believe. First, the captioning purports that this is possibly the first record of a tamed zebra. That's just laziness on part of the videographer. It took me 5 minutes to find the antique photos that show tame Zebras (which are clearly not doctored, unlike the modern fake zebra photos) being used to pull carts, jump fences and carry a rider. Second, the video asserts that Zebras "bite and kick ferociously". Well frankly so do some wild horses upon being captivated. Wild mustangs are tamed all the time. All in all this video is a bit ridiculous.
For a more down to earth look at training Zebras, check out this video, episode 4 of 6, made by the "Zebra Guru" of Willis, Texas.
My conclusion is, someday down the road when I have the spare $2000, I may buy a Zebra and train it to ride. Hopefully, it won't try to kill me. I plan on naming him Argyle.