Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

An open letter to fantasy authors who write about horses.

Dear fantasy authors.

Sweeties. DARLINGS. Love you. I really do. You got me through my childhood, which was not exactly a pile of rose petals. You sparked my imagination. You inspired me to start drawing. You showed me that there was a whole world of possibility outside the dreary desert I lived in.
But I'm going to have to call some of you out, just a little bit.
You see, when it comes to horses some of you, albeit inadvertently, DECEIVED me.
I fear that in light of my recent experiences of coming into the horse world and beginning to learn to ride, I must humbly submit a few revisions to your great and wondrous works.
Let's create a setting, okay?
Our heroine of $Generic Fantasy Novel shall be named Sonjya the Hapless. Sonjya the Hapless is a plucky, beautiful, and downtrodden serving wench whose parents are dead, and who is under the employ of a negligent lord with an evil, cruel, nasty and bad son. This son has been gazing upon plucky, beautiful, and downtrodden Sonjya with Ill Intent. On the night that he attacks her, Sonjya uses her plucky smarts to briefly incapacitate M'Lord Jerkface Poohead. Desperate to escape before he comes to from his Righteous Brick To The Head and rouses the guards, our beautiful heroine creeps to the stables to find Majesty the Glossy White Stallion!

You might write,
"Swiftly Sonjya crept through the shadows, and with shaking, clammy hands she unlatched the stable door. Heart pounding, she quietly made her way to Majesty's stall. Majesty, remembering all the times she would kindly sneak him carrots pilfered from the larder, stood quietly, blowing softly into her hair. She lightly scrambled onto his shining back, and with gentle urging he was off, running into the night! A cry of alarm was raised as his burnished hooves clattered over the cobblestones, and the gate began to creak and groan as the guards rushed to close it tight against the would-be horse thief. Majesty, seeing the coming peril, galloped harder with is powerful legs, and barely, just barely, darted through the gap! The pair ran into the darkness, not yet free, not yet safe... but they now had a chance. As the flew over the crest of a great hill, Majesty screamed defiantly, filled with joy that he was at last as one with his true mistress, forever!"

Whoo, that's a stirring tale!
But I'm going to have to give you a touch of realism.
"Swiftly Sonjya crept through the shadows, and with shaking, clammy hands she unlatched the stable door. Heart pounding, she quietly made her way to Majesty's stall. Majesty, remembering all the times she would kindly sneak him carrots pilfered from the larder, nickered loudly, begging for carrots. When none were produced, he butted Sonjya with his head, hard. Sonjya barely escaped falling into a manure barrow. She crept back to Majesty's stall and snuck inside. Sonjya grabbed a handful of Majesty's white mane and attempted to hoist herself onto his back.
She failed. One ankle almost over his hip, she slid back down Majesty's glossy white side. Well, it was mostly glossy, except for the greenish-brown patches where he had laid down in his own pee. She managed to twist her other ankle a bit, and uttered some unladylike, un-heroic words she'd learned from a scullery maid.
Majesty shied sideways and blew at her suspiciously. It was then that he noticed Sonjya hadn't properly latched his stall door, and he pushed it open, ambling out of his domicile. Sonjya had to run in front of him and push him back inside. Meanwhile, the sounds of people stirring began to echo from the manor.
sonjya, being plucky, tossed her beautiful hair over her shoulder and climbed up the side of Majesty's stall, hastily throwing a leg over him and heaving herself onto his back. Majesty tensed and threw his head up, swishing his tail, and with gentle urging he was off at a ponderous walk, strolling into the night. As Sonjya wobbled back and forth, throwing herself forward to grab hold of Majesty's mane, the mighty stallion turned right and wandered into the grain room, where he stuck his nose into a bin and began to munch on oats. Gentle urging was met with yet more tail swishing, and a bit of ear-pinning as well.
Eventually, with not-so-gentle urging, and probably because he was finally full, Sonjya got Majesty to keep moving. Being confused and a little cranky, Majesty went on auto-pilot and headed out towards the gate, which lead to M'Lord Jerkface Poohead's favorite hunting grounds. Given that he was walking, the courtyard was dirt except where there was excrement, in which spots it was floored with poo, and given the fact that there was just an old man serving as guard since nothing ever really happened in the middle of the night, and furthermore given that he was asleep, Sonjya and Majesty made it out the front gate. At this time, however, M'Lord Jerkface Poohead was well and truly peeved, and a great hue and cry was being raised in the manor. Torchlight began to appear, and since Majesty was bright freakin' white (mostly, except for the pee stains) plucky, beautiful Sonjya became quite concerned that she would once again become downtrodden, so she kicked her heels into Majesty's (mostly) glossy sides, urging him to run!
Majesty tossed his head, pinned his ears, and swished his tail, breaking into a very rough and irritated trot. Sonjya who, being a serving wench, had never ridden a horse before in her life, Bounced on Majesty's back like a sack of potatoes, and with every stride she began to bounce more and more to her right. She got about 8 strides before she went flying, ass over teakettle, onto the road. Sonjya pluckily shattered her right ulna, lost a chunk of her beautiful hair in the underbrush on the side of the road, and sprained her ankle. It was, of course, the ankle she HADN'T twisted earlier. Wandering over the crest of a great hill in search of broken down old plow mares to impregnate, Majesty farted defiantly."

There we go- fixed!

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