This was not the case with the boat in this post.
When this gondola cruised by, and I saw the cavalli, I half expected to see Conan the Barbarian rowing on the back.
The brass dragon-like creatures were bold and had a look all their own. Many other areas on the boat, such as the pusioli and fodre had carvings that matched the cavalli that seemed to hint that the gondolier would rather play heavy metal than host an accordion player on his boat.
Here's a close-up of one of the brass beasts:
And the other:
As each gondolier strives to make his boat a little different from the rest, some are more bold than others.
I'm not sure I'd like to see all the beautiful and traditional brass horses in Venice replaced by heavy-metal dragons, but I've gotta give the guy some credit for stepping out and making a statement.
And of course, if some other gondolier steals his cavalli, they won't be hard to spot when they show up on another boat.