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Ask Me About Horses

Discussion in 'Research' started by ArielFingolfin, May 1, 2012.

  1. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    1) it's somewhat valid. I say somewhat because I find an unrealistic tint to it somewhere else. If I'm freezing & need to get shelter or die, the last thing I'm going to do is bundle up some firewood in pretty little packages and secure them to the saddle. What I might do though is to find some larger pieces of wood, tie a rope to them, and have my horse drag them to the cave.

    2) see #1

    3) if you use the method in #1 your character could reserve 2 of the longer wood pieces to form a litter. Tie an end of each to the saddle horn (this means the character will be walking). Lash the logs they find to the litter.

    4) the biggest problem with this scene that I see could serve as a solution. If its snowing that much and the winds are really kicking, yes wind can knock a tree over. This is especially true of a dead tree or one that collapses due to the added weight of snow & ice. However, the first thing I thought of was "How is she & the horse even going to walk if that much snow has fallen?" Does she know enough woodsman lore to make herself snowshoes? If the snows aren't to dangerous levels where considerations like this aren't important then I think your tension is weakened. So.... If she isn't an experienced woodsman, use her ignorance. Snow drifts are tricky. The amount of weight that packed snow and ice can carry is vastly different from the amount of weight that a fresh drift can bear. Thing is, they look the same on the surface.
    Years ago, back in my days as a young Marine, I took part in a training exercise 200 miles above the arctic circle. I saw people with improperly fitted snowshoes (or none at all) fall right through snow banks. Don't stress they came out just fine. If they were alone though, well they might have had some serious issues. Snow and ice can hide all kinds of nasty surprises beneath a calm surface. Could she fall into a chasm? That would serve to render her unconscious while at the same time protect her somewhat from exposure to the wind.
     
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  2. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I'm not sure they're freezing to death as much as quite ready to find shelter. They have adequate clothes for the weather. They are quite fearful of wondering around a dangerous mountain slope in low visibility.

    I do like your solution. Simple and elegant. Thanks!

    Works. Good deal.

    I like this a lot as well. I had her injuring her ankle in a previous draft and don't want to change it. She can injure it in the fall, and the chasm can be deep enough that she has no hope of climbing out. Just have to figure out how her friends find her.

    Thanks again. That was a great help!
     
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    One more quick one:

    I described a huge overhang prior to the cave's entrance, and have the protagonist ask if the horses would be all right there. Here's the answer:

    Does any part of this bother you?
     
  4. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Depends on the discipline level of the horses. A well trained horse won't pull away from even a weak tether. However, if it's a concern then the rock will have to be heavy.

    If it was me I wouldn't even discuss the how & why of the actual tying off. I'd just give the setting the horses will be sheltered in. Whether or not the characters toss boulders on top of the leads or whether they just tie them off on a large rock really doesn't matter.
     
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  5. ArielFingolfin

    ArielFingolfin Troubadour

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    Well everyone's pretty much answered :)

    You can tie wood to a saddle; I attach stuff to saddles all the time. And if the horses are well trained they'll drag stuff.

    I think I've mentioned hobbling horses, but you can also have horses that are trained to 'ground tie' which is where they've been trained not to wander when they're left alone. Also the rocks would work, but they would have to be on the heavy side.

    It's so cool to see all the horse wise people here :)
     
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  6. JonSnow

    JonSnow Troubadour

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    I have a question more about what to call certain horses. For instance, I'm currently reading George R.R. Martin, so I'll use his writing as an example... he uses "garron" a lot to refer to the horses ridden by warriors in battle. I don't know if this is a general term that anybody can use, or if Martin created it himself. I've also seen other fantasy authors use generic names for horses, such as "destrier" (Robert Jordan, if I remember correctly). Again, I don't know which ones are commonly used, and which ones are made up by the author.

    I was wondering if anybody knew (or could easily compile a list, if there is one) of what certain types of horses are called (not necessarily the breed) by size, strength, speed, male/female, etc. I would assume a "garron" is a large, strong male horse that can easily carry the weight of a man in full armor, and can probably run fairly quickly.

    My apologies if this has been asked already, but I didn't see any answers to this as I read through the thread. Thanks!!
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    The more I write, the more I realize how little I know about horses. You'd think that I would've picked more up from all those fantasy novels I read. I can't express to y'all how helpful this thread is.

    My next question:

    Timmy and his family have gone camping in a snowstorm. He and his faithful horse, Lassie, go looking for firewood. Oh no! Timmy falls into a well. What does Lassie do?

    A. Return to where the other horses are.
    B. Stay by the well.
    C. Wander off.

    BTW, Lassie belongs to a militia and is well trained. I'm not exactly sure what kind of training, but there was definitely a lot of it going on.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Sorry, yet another one:

    My intrepid heroes are on the side of a mountain in a severe snowstorm. I'm assuming that it's unsafe to ride in those conditions and that walking the horses is a good idea. Does that track?

    Also, when they go to rescue Timmy from the question above, they leave the horses behind. Does this make sense? If not, I need it to make sense. Any ideas?

    Thanks again again.
     
  9. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I'm starting to regret even including horses in my story. In epic fantasy, though, it's hard to get by without them.

    I asked a similar question and got great answers earlier, but I want to describe the scene a little better.

    I need to know how to get the horses to go into a dark tunnel. It's too low to ride them. Do you pull the reins? Slap them? Will them resist? How? Kick? What?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  10. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I believe a normal horse would graze or seek out herd mates depending on how independant it is.


    Anytime you are uncertain about footing, walking a horse is best. Deep snow covering rough terrain sounds like a good time to walk them.

    Timmy in a well, if they don't have someone strong enough to pull him up, a horse could help. Otherwise horses are good staying safe, with or without being near the family.

    Don't know about the dark tunnel. I have rode a horse into a giant cave, 15 horses across took up only half of the cave width and it wasn't dark.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  11. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I stumbled upon this website with horse sounds. May be useful to some people.
     
  12. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    great list of horse sounds, each one shows what the horse is communicating.
     
  13. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    That's good to hear. I tried to find the noise a horse makes when in pain. I posted an scene in Showcase with the request that someone familiar with horses validate the authenticity of the "dying horse" segment.

    If if wouldn't bother you, could you look into that for me?
     
  14. Taro

    Taro Minstrel

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    Interesting post Ankari, i would think if the horse had been inflicted real amount of pain while dying it would be squealing of sorts... i know not very pretty
     
  15. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I did a quick look, didn't find anything.
    Sudden severe pain would be a shriek, not much different then a woman's scream. I would guess.
    Dying would a low nervous blow.
     
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  16. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    SeverinR, you can find the scene here
     
  17. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    If I read it right, the horse is suddenly stuck immobile, it would be a shriek of panic. (high pitched with terror)
    Then the pain of the attack; scream of pain, less frantic, but still high pitched.
    dying would be a low depressed sound similar to this:"An expectant nicker with a second nicker for good measure." (on the horse sounds link)
     
  18. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    New question:

    I show my heroes riding in wet/rainy/muddy conditions with the bad guys right on their tale. How dangerous is this? Should I show one of the bad guys going down? How would this happen?

    Thanks.
     
  19. gavintonks

    gavintonks Maester

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    well the horses slow down to a walk and place their feet very gingerly, so you would have a group of horses looking at the ground ignoring their riders mostly for their own safety
    they would not risk injury to themselves, so the question is how much on their tails?
    the other thing is horses do not like being in driving rain and turn their bums into the rain, so again you will have a group of people standing around with the rain at their backs
    Riding with a horse slipping underneath you is no joke either, so you would be best advised to get off and run with the horse
     
  20. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Does this apply to muddy, but not rainy, conditions as well?

    I'm sure I've seen movies with horses galloping through mud. You seem to imply that it wouldn't happen.
     
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