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Leg extensions turn humans into horses

Ever envied equine grace? Artist Kim Graham says her Digitigrade Leg Extensions "give a person the uncanny and graceful appearance of an animal."

Digigrade leg extensions
Kim Graham

The notion of horse legs for humans just seemed strange to me--until I saw longshot Mine That Bird's gorgeously graceful sprint to the finish in Saturday's Run for the Roses. Now I sort of get why a human would want to approximate equine movement. Such strength, such speed, such hooves.

Seattle artist Kim Graham says her Digitigrade Leg Extensions "give a person the uncanny and graceful appearance of an animal." Granted, they don't look all that comfortable, though the artist insists it takes just 10 to 15 minutes of walking to get used to them. They're made of steel, cable, foam, and rigid plastic and add 14 inches of height to the wearer--kind of like stilts with an animal twist.

Graham--a fine-art sculptor who has dabbled in special effects and fantasy-based mold-making--says the leg extensions work well on level surfaces, while sharp inclines are difficult and stairs are downright risky. Walking briskly is the best way to get around in these attachments, she says. Galloping, not so much.

The extensions are custom-fitted and hand-fabricated, and they'll cost you between $750 and $780, or $1,000 with the optional spring-loaded hooves. If you're really set on fitting in at the stable and want a fur costume built around your leg extensions, that could cost you extra. Plus, Graham says it takes an additional three minutes to get into and out of the extensions when they're fur-enhanced.

Currently, you're most likely to see actors and other performers in these odd contraptions, but who's to say they won't ultimately have wider appeal? Maybe we'll see a Kentucky Derby for humans one day.

Crave contributor Matt Hickey (who, by the way, is afraid of horses) plans to step into a pair of these next week, so stay tuned for a live demo of him trotting around the streets of Seattle.

(Via Boing Boing)