In ancient China, women bind their feet for cosmetic reasons, resulting in them not able to walk without help and walking in a shuffling gait.
Possibly this can be modified such that people do it for less stupid reasons.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a racist remark since I'm Chinese myself and hence entitled to freely judge Chinese customs. NOT sexist either since I'm female as well.
The Akhal-Teke is a real horse breed that develops a metallic golden coat. A more fantastic version could have a coat the color of pure gold, or silver making the horse appear to be made of the precious metal.