Question from a Screenwriter - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question from a Screenwriter

Hi and thanks for taking the time to read my post. I write movies for a living and am in the process of writing a Western. I have limited experience with horses, but have a scene where a man is being hanged by sitting him on a horse until the horse walks away and the man falls, hanging himself from the noose.

A similar scene was used in the movie Maverick, if you remember.

So my question(s) have to do with a horse's reaction to such a situation. The horse would get thirsty, hungry, tired etc. So how long would the horse just stand there with the man on his back before leaving in search of food and water. If you could, give me a range as if the horse was heavily watered and fed just before.

Also, any other details about a horse's behavior would be helpful (do they rear when they see a snake, hear thunder, etc)

Thanks again. Your help is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:01 PM
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All im going to say is it all matters on the horse. When dealing with movies its good to get a trick horse. Some horses will scare at little things and some wont it all matters on temperament and training.

Silly boys trucks are for cowgirls...unless you haul our horses for us

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post #3 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. I guess I'm more concerned about the story aspect as opposed to the practicalities of filming the movie (especially since obviously the horse will be WELL taken care of in real life). I just mean in the fictional hypothetical realm of things, story-wise, how long could a guy really be out there in this situation until the horse says the heck with this and leaves.
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post #4 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:08 PM
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How long would a Horse sit there?

Very difficult to say.

If he was scared by a wild animal not long.

If nothing scared the Horse he could sit there for 3-4 hours.

Maybe for realism, have a coyote or mountain lion in the background coming within a 100 yards of the Horse, that would make the Horse run off and leave the man hanging, imo

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post #5 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:10 PM
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Again it matters on the horse and its training. A horse used to living in a herd or on its own without any human interaction will look for food anytime. But a horse used to humans providing its food day and night itl wait till the human gets it food. Sorry im not giving you straight out answers but animals arent straight out answers.

Silly boys trucks are for cowgirls...unless you haul our horses for us

Science only comes so far then comes god
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post #6 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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3-4 hours huh? I was actually hoping for MUCH longer than that... as in 3-4 days. The longer the better for the purposes of the movie. So you're saying if there's no food or water nearby a horse would get thirsty or hungry enough to leave that quickly? What if the horse was wearing a feedbag?

I'm trying to find a way to keep the horse in that spot for as long as possible. I really appreciate any help in that regard you could give me.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:14 PM
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In editing, one major pet peeves from many horse owners is that horses do not neigh, whinny, nicker, snort, or make any sound every four seconds. They are pretty quiet animals. Just thought I should say that.

As for the question, it really depends on the training of the horse. Leg cues mean a great deal to horses, especially ranch horses. If it is the character's horse, or one well trained, a rider on could mean to go to work and wait for instruction. You can tell a horse a lot of things with your legs, it isn't all just "kick means go". Now if acted upon by an outside force, spooking at a gunshot, or being cued by a person on the ground, then there will be a difference there too.

And how the horse moves away will be different. It could just be la-dee-dah walk away. It could be a wild RUN AWAY FROM SCARY OBJECT. It could be "Oh look some grass!" trotting away. It could be "Oh look. Open fields away from the oppression of humans." running away gallantly off into the sunset.
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Last edited by LadyDreamer; 07-28-2013 at 03:19 PM.
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post #8 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDiamonds218 View Post
Again it matters on the horse and its training. A horse used to living in a herd or on its own without any human interaction will look for food anytime. But a horse used to humans providing its food day and night itl wait till the human gets it food. Sorry im not giving you straight out answers but animals arent straight out answers.
That actually helps. As you can see in my previous post, I'm trying to keep the horse there as long as possible. So if it's used to eating at let's say 6pm, it will stay until 6pm -like it has a sort of internal clock?

Basically, tell me this: if it had a large feedbag on, would a horse even possibly stay in that position for longer than 3 days?
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post #9 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by scout1979 View Post
3-4 hours huh? I was actually hoping for MUCH longer than that... as in 3-4 days. The longer the better for the purposes of the movie. So you're saying if there's no food or water nearby a horse would get thirsty or hungry enough to leave that quickly? What if the horse was wearing a feedbag?

I'm trying to find a way to keep the horse in that spot for as long as possible. I really appreciate any help in that regard you could give me.

Thanks again.
It is possible for maybe 12 hours, depends on the Horse and how well he knows the man on his back.

3-4 day, I could never see that. I really could never see 24 hours, but maybe some others have thoughts on time frames.

It is hard to predict a Horse of course

.
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post #10 of 34 Old 07-28-2013, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LadyDreamer View Post
In editing, one major pet peeves from many horse owners is that horses do not neigh, whinny, nicker, snort, or make any sound every four seconds. They are pretty quiet animals. Just thought I should say that.

As for the question, it really depends on the training of the horse. Leg cues mean a great deal to horses, especially ranch horses. If it is the character's horse, or one well trained, a rider on could mean to go to work and wait for instruction. You can tell a horse a lot of things with your legs, it isn't all just "kick means go". Now if acted upon by an outside force, spooking at a gunshot, or being cued by a person on the ground, then there will be a difference there too.

And how the horse moves away will be different. It could just be la-dee-dah walk away. It could be a wild RUN AWAY FROM SCARY OBJECT. It could be "Oh look some grass!" trotting away. It could be "Oh look. Open fields away from the oppression of humans." running away gallantly off into the sunset.
Also very useful info. What are your thoughts on the max amount of time you could expect a horse to stay there? Let's say it had a large feedbag -the bad guys want the man on the horse to suffer for days, not hours! (nasty bad guys!)
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