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Ask me about horses.

Discussion in 'Research' started by Telemecus, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Telemecus

    Telemecus Scribe

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    I have been born and raised on a horse breeding ranch. I have broken horses, trained them, showed them, ridden them in rodeos and cattle drives, spent countless hours feeding and watering them, and more than a few restless nights delivering foals. I don't feel like I have much to offer all you scribes, since I am so young, but this is one area I can contribute to a lot. Also, if you're interested, I have hunted from horseback, and participated in training a jousting horse, and helped with the actual event. I would love to help anyone out, if they have any questions.
     
    Laurence likes this.
  2. afrisch

    afrisch Dreamer

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    Greetings! My name is Alisa and I'm originally from the eastern U.S., but now finally live in Arizona. I've been learning western horseback riding since last 2011, and although never raised with horses, I'm always trying to learn more with magazines and books. Since I recently acquired an IPad, do you know of any apps that are good for horse knowledge? Thanks!
     
  3. Telemecus

    Telemecus Scribe

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    I am sorry, but most almost all of my experience is first hand. Louis Lamour has written a number of western themed novels that are filled with accurate portrayals of old west behavior, including horse riding. Other than that, I don't know anything else you could download (we are a little lowtech out here. The computer is about all I have)
     
  4. Valentinator

    Valentinator Minstrel

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    Great, I have several questions. What is the speed of the horse when you are traveling on its back for weeks? How many hours a day a horse can carry a man of an average size? If the guy is big does it affect the horse much? Which things you are taking with you to take care of the horse?
     
  5. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Jousting? IJA?
    A few people I have met have been involved with IJA. (International Jousting Association for those that don't know it)
    International Jousting Association - USA - Home

    SCA has very modified jousting using balsa and card board tubes, but I wasn't involved with that, it was not allowed yet in my area back then.
     
  6. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

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    Hi, I#ve raised horses all my life too, and I doubt you'll be able to answer this question, but do you know anything about the harness that was used with Chariot driving? I'm trying to research it and getting no where.
     
  7. Telemecus

    Telemecus Scribe

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    When I have gone on extended horseback trips, usually a couple days, we have always gone at about a walk. A person on foot would probably cover 20ish miles a day if they didn't stop much, but I have gone 35 at not too hard a pace on a horse, and still had time for lunch and breaks. I have competed with a few very stout people in rodeos, and they do pretty well, but they tend not to turn as fast, because their horses don't wheel around on their back legs. They stay rooted to the ground for the whole event, generally. And I have never made a trip with anyone too big, but i would assume their horse would get tired at an accelerated rate. It probably wouldn't show until day two though. When I have gone on a trip, there has always been an abundance of grass and streams every few miles, so feed and water weren't an issue. It would be very hard to carry that stuff if you needed more than a day's worth. A knife is good, in case the horse gets crud wedged in it's hoof. Saddle blanket, saddle, halter, leadrope, bridle, bit and reins are the only other things you need to ride. (Bareback is not fun!)
     
  8. Telemecus

    Telemecus Scribe

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    I have rigged up sledges and sleds to a horse before, and it may not be a perfect match, but I can describe those. Two poles, extending from the ground, the sled, or whatever you are hauling, straight towards the horse's shoulders. Then, make a girth strap around the horse, like a saddle, except looping it all the way around. That should be in the middle of the horse, slightly forward on the ribs. Then go up the poles to a height that is in the middle off the shoulders, below the neck, and connect the two poles in front of the horse. Then connect this front binding and the girth strap by running a cord between the front legs and tying it all together. Pad anywhere the design touches the horse. This design has worked when hauling timber, sleds full of kids, hay, and quite a few other things, and I hope it helps. One note, though. This design has a tendency to slip and tangle up the horse when going steeply downhill, so you would need to apply brakes to whatever you are pulling. Hope this helped!
     
  9. craenor

    craenor Scribe

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    If a team of 15 had 30 horses and 5 pack mules, and none of the animals were carrying too heavy of a load at any given time, how far might they be able to travel daily, along well-kept roads, provided they intend to travel each day as long and as fast as they may?

    Not trying to trip you up with a tough question or anything. I just want to pick some realistic numbers for speedy travel of a mounted troop.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Sia

    Sia Sage

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    Hello there, I'm Sia and I ask about handedness. I have this little minor detail: For whatever reason, my world's leftie:rightie ratio is flipped as compared with the real one or our world or whatever. What does this change regarding breaking/training/riding, the feed and care of horses and so on?
     
  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Here's a non-horse footnote to craenor's question about the land speed of a fully-laden horse party: you can get some realistic numbers for travel along well-kept roads, but that's probably not realistic. It would be very surprising if any road was free of mud, bandits, storms, fords that have mysteriously moved, bridges that are washed out, unreasonable tolls put up by a local warlord, and so on.

    But that 35 miles a day figure from Telemecus is not bad, at least for European horses. The Mongols could do better, but that was in no small part because they learned to ride carrying next to nothing. Even their remarkable achievements, though, were accomplished mainly by war parties, who conveniently left behind camps, breeding stock, elderly or sick, and so on. They were built for speed.

    Wagon trains in the American West sometimes covered as little as eight miles a day, or less, when the going was rough.

    At the other end, post riders in early modern Europe could cover sixty miles a day or even more. But they had changes of mount and carried no baggage.

    In short, as long as you don't go higher than maybe 40 miles a day, and don't keep that up for more than a few days, you won't strain credibility. And you can always slow things down for any of the reasons given above.
     
  12. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    @ Sia:

    Well, for one thing, the side your riders mount on would be flipped--most horses are trained to allow riders to mount from the near (left) side, not from the off (right) side. This is because in olden times, calvalry wore their swords on their left hips so to keep from getting their swords tangled in their saddles they mounted from the left. Some horses are trained like this to the point that they will throw a fit if you try to mount from the right (at least a few I have had experience with).

    Horses are also usually led from the left side on a halter and tacked up from the left side of the body. Also, when riding at a lope or canter, most right-handed people feel most comfortable cantering on a right lead, and vice versa, as the horse leads with the leg on your dominant side.
     
  13. Sia

    Sia Sage

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    Could you tell me more about horses throwing a fit if you try to mount them from the wrong side?
     
  14. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    When you mount a horse, the horse shifts to counter your weight, in a horse not use to being mounted on either side, it won't feel right, and it will balk*. The biggest problems with horses is they panic quickly and can't figure out how to correct problems they aren't ready for. Simple things like leaning the other way, might be a problem for a horse that been trained to "think" properly. (Left brain right brain thing, fear and panic is one side of the brain, reasoning and learning is the other)
    *Balking can be as little as a verbal objection or a side step away, or as much as a kick or a jump away from the offending rider. Any time a horse isn't happy it can react or over react, bite, kick, charge, jump away, buck, head butt, etc. (The more the horse is conditioned to think(reason) rather then react(fight or flight), the less the overreaction will be.)

    A well trained modern trail horse should be mountable from both sides, as you might need to remount the horse next to a mountain or a cliff, which would prevent you from mounting "properly". You could turn the horse around if you have room, but for my horse, all I had to do was expose it occasionally to mounting from the other side.
    I really miss my horse.
     
  15. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I have a grudge against a horse at the stable I used to work at. He hated being mounted and would sidle up to the fence on his left so you couldn't mount. So one day, I finally lost patience and tried to mount him from the right. Bad idea!

    Oh, another thing that just occured to me is that you'd need to reverse the hardware on your saddles and bridles. Most saddles and nearly all bridles have their buckles and cinch fasteners on the left.
     
  16. druidofwinter

    druidofwinter Sage

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    Hi Tom, thanks for this thread! I ride horses myself, and so i know how to stay on and control one but i don't know to much about them. Just wondering, how would a horse do in the desert? Saying there are oasis every 10-15 miles. Would it be able to walk in loose sand? Withstand the heat? I know there are many different breeds, and some would most likely do better than others but in general, is a horse in the desert a good idea?
     
  17. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Arabs are the best horses for the desert. They have small, incredibly tough hooves that are perfectly adapted to walking on loose sand, and their coats are very fine, almost like mesh, which allows their skin to breathe. They can survive on very little food and water and can withstand temperatures above 100 F. A good Arab could give you a lot more than 10 miles in a day, so you wouldn't need to worry about dehydration between oasis. They're a small, light-boned breed, so they don't need that much food.

    Just a note on Arabs, though--they're extremely flighty and hot-blooded.
     
    druidofwinter likes this.
  18. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    If this is related to mounting on the other side of the horse, you only mount on the other side occasionally to keep the horse use to it. You can still saddle normally.
    I have seen a horse not react kindly to a person getting on the wrong side, no one was hurt but they won't forget which side to get on.
    Personally, I don't see a need for mounting a horse next to a cliff or narrow trail. But it was nice the few times I did it. (a couple times just to show others I could.)
     
  19. Sia

    Sia Sage

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    So if you knew about a horse that verbally objected to being mounted on the wrong side but didn't actually do anything about it. besides 'complain'....what sort of training would you expect it to have had?
     
  20. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Sia! You're back! :)

    So...let's see. Rodeo horses are always trained to accept a rider mounting from both sides, as are most working cow horses. Cowboys need to be up and in the saddle quickly if there's a problem, and a horse that objects to being mounted from one side could be dangerous. I'm not sure about the English discipline's training practices; I mostly rode Western.
     
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