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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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    My concern would be danger. I wouldn't want to stand anywhere near the rear of a skittish horse.
     
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  2. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I took my young horse into a cave, of course, 16 horses were side by side in the cave, so it wasn't that much of a concern.

    You can inspire a horse to follow be leading it in danger, but following is more likely to spook them.
    Basic horse mentality:
    1.Leader decides what is safe for the herd, so they will follow a respected leader.
    2.If they see it, they might deal with it, if they are scared and son't see why, something pshing from behind that can't see any better is at least an annoyance to be kicked, at most something trying to eat them, turn trample them as you flee.
    3.When a horse is fearful, never be directly in front of or behind, they won't see you in their panic. (limited vision directly in front of the horse anyway. Eyes on the side of the head thing)

    4. Horses are safest when they can move in any direction. The more they are restricted the more they are fearful. Backing up is the least safe movement, so a limited movement to front and back is their weakest condition, as in a cave.

    One of the time I fell off a horse, I realized was my fault. I was trying to open a gate while on horseback, I side stepped my horse between a trough(immovable) infront, a shed(immovable) to the side, and a ladder(unknown) behind, when the horses butt touched the ladder, it freaked jumped to the side and I fell off. Three sides it couldn't go, with unknown behind. The reaction was quite obvious when I thought about it.

    Horses are prey animals, their whole survival instinct is based on everything in the world is out to eat them unless proven otherwise. Wind, trees movement, flags, saddles, trailers, even a person carrying hay at them could inspire fear until they realize what it is.
    Trailers are double tough, first a giant mouth to swallow them, then when inside the only way out if back, and nowhere to run forward or side if attacked.
     
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  3. MFreako

    MFreako Troubadour

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    Don't know if someone asked this question already. Sorry if it's a repeat.

    How much distance could a horse traverse in one day in a desert landscape? I mean a dry, cracked-earth, rocky desert, not the sandy type. In this instance, haste is of the essence, so waiting and traveling by night isn't a possibility. The only cargo would be the rider and a couple days' worth of food for both rider and horse.
     
  4. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I think that water would be the problem. Horses need a lot of water and they have to stand still to drink.
    You might find that you could only travel as little as 20-30 miles a day in the day... even less if the ground slows them up.
    That said you would get away with a little more if you literally rode the horse to death... but get that wrong and you're in the middle of the desert without transport and very limited water...
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
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  5. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Just for clarity, I believe the blindspot in front of a horse is ten feet directly in front(between the eyes). It will turn its head if it sees you coming.

    Normal water intake while grazing, 5 gallons per horse. A 50 gallon barrel would keep a horse alone enough water for grazing in a grassy field for ten days. Now desert heat would cause the horse to sweat, thus requiring more then usual. More along the line of 5 gallons twice or even three times a day. A man might be able to drink urine but I am not sure a horse would. Even more disgusting if you had a container the horse would probably put out 5 gallons of urine at a time, although I don't know if drinking it will be healthy for a human.
    So daily 15 gallons of water and 3 pounds of hay would be required. 105 gallons of water a week, 21 pounds of hay. One might wonder why would you haul grass with a horse. But the horse must keep its bowels moving or it will die, a steady supply of fiber is a must. The desert will probably not yeild enough to satisfy a horse. If you go light on water or hay, the horse will colic and die, as sure as if you stopped giving water at all.

    The content of horse manure is so fiberous, I would prefer to walk in it all day, rather then step in an omnivoure or carnivoure crap once. (and I have)
     
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  6. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    I have only a passing familiarity with horses but desert warfare is my forte in the military.

    You're better off on foot in the desert than with a horse. Camels are used in the desert because horses don't do well. If horses did well in the desert, more people who live in the desert would use them.

    EDIT: Don't get me wrong; there are horses in the desert. We conquered the American desert on horseback, and horses run free in the high desert of Nevada, but generally in our "deserts" there is access to water. It's just hard to find unless you know where to look -- canyons, springs, dug wells, etc. There is also, as mentioned, very little for horses to eat in most deserts. Camels can eat things that wouldn't even cross your mind as edible. I've seen camels eating acacia, thorns and all. They browse like goats.

    The trick to making it through the desert is conservation of energy, and horses don't do that. Camels, conversely, saunter around like they're stoned all the time; they do everything in slow-motion and don't waste any energy. The people who live out there are alarmingly similar in that regard. You can't train a horse to slow down; they'll overheat and crash out there without very careful management.

    I once crossed 94 miles of volcanic badlands in Africa in five days with a 12-man team, on foot, under tactical conditions, leading camels carrying jerrycans of water and a few small goats to eat along the way. We rationed 12 liters of water per day per man, hit a resupply cache halfway through, and even so none of us were in shape to fight when we reached the objective. I lost 30 lbs. and all my toenails fell off. This was, factoring humidity, in the hottest inhabited area on Earth.

    A horse weighs five times what I do, so 15 gallons a day, I think, is reasonable.

    A 55-gallon drum of water weighs a little over 450 lbs. So a week's worth of water for a horse in the desert would be nearly a thousand pounds of water. Your horse would need his own horse and cart just to haul his water. And who's going to haul the carthorse's water?

    One thing we noticed was that the men who live out there are built like high-school marathon runners. You can't carry enough water on your own to get through more than a day or two out there unless you're acclimated and light on your feet -- and not doing much other than walking really slowly. You can burn up a quart of water just repelling a short attack with a rifle.

    I would rather stash everything except my hat, my water, and primary weapon and go on foot than take my horse. Especially if it was a horse I liked. Failing that, I'd lead a horse in the desert if I absolutely had to, but first I'd be damned sure about my maps because you only get one shot at hitting your objective. You don't hit a watering hole, a cache, or the evil sorcerer's fortress of solitude on schedule, you die.

    Ideally, I'd take a whole massive caravan, hire expert guides, and rely on economies of scale. It would be a logistical nightmare but it could be done. The best way to cross the desert is with an army around you.

    BTW, one use for horse urine would be to hydrate a pit still if you had some material to make one. Waxed canvas, maybe? You'd still need to catch it in a bucket or something and then carry that with you; five gallons weighs over 40 lbs. 40 lbs. of fragrantly-evaporating horse piss is just about at the bottom of my list of things to carry through the desert.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
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  7. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Thinking about it:
    the average bale of hay weighs between 40-70 lbs, that would be a weeks worth of hay, so I was a little light. So the weekly needs of a horse would be 950-975 lbs per horse in the desert. They aren't going to travel too far carrying that. Thats equal to 3-4, maybe even 5 people on their back in the heat. That weight does not include the rider.

    the blind spot 10ft would be the extreme, horse head high so their muzzle is in the way. Nose down would probably be three to five feet. But in 4h you want the kids to be safe, and a 3 ft child might be in the blindspot at 10 ft.

    Horse urine when properly hydrated stinks, I would hate to have to consider drinking it in concentrate. From the normal appearance it might be worse then drinking nothing. So don't use my suggestion as a "survival tip."


    Remember those we lost:
    9-11-01 & 9-11-12
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  8. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    I am not proud to say this, but I have drunk distilled water made from urinating on acacia branches in a solar still and covering it overnight (you set the catchment atop the leaves, and then the moisture in the leaves -- and the urine -- collects on the still cover and runs down into the catchment).

    It is beyond horrible.

    It is actually best if you leave it in your mouth and let it soak into your tissues -- so that you at least feel less thirsty -- than if you drink it. It tastes that bad. If you swallow it, you risk vomiting it back up, and that will dehydrate you further.
     
  9. Valentinator

    Valentinator Minstrel

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    I am not sure if anybody asked this question before. How do horses express emotions? I'm looking for the visual clues of fear, joy, etc.
     
  10. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I know they do. I've seen fear/aggression. There are others because people who know more than me have said so but don't ask me what they are...
    This website "A Complete Guide On How To Draw Horses" does show you what they may look like, but again I cannot vouch for their accuracy...
     
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