Directing a horse with your heels - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-18-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, yes, that's very reminiscent of a famous image used on one of my research books:
Good call re flanks, girth and shoulders - to the layman like me, 'flanks' just meant 'anywhere on the horse's sides'
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-19-2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gordopolis View Post
Ah, yes, that's very reminiscent of a famous image used on one of my research books:

Sowing the Dragon's Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century Dumbarton Oaks Studies: Eric Mcgeer: Books

Good call re flanks, girth and shoulders - to the layman like me, 'flanks' just meant 'anywhere on the horse's sides'
The flank is the area where the back leg meets the stomach. So it would be like kicking a person in the groin. Using any term like 'Kicked the horses sides, nudged with a heel' are all appropriate. The girth is the area where the front leg meets the stomach, where the riders leg is naturally. We turn using the reins (unless your characters are riding without any bridle/halter and is using their legs only to control the horse, then think that the horse will move AWAY from any pressure. So if you use your left leg and push on the horse's left side, then the horse is going to move away from that and go to the right.

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post #13 of 13 Old 11-19-2012, 08:53 PM
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I doubt you will get an adequate answer from here. Not because the people here don’t know what they are doing, but rather because you are writing about a time and a culture completely different to that anyone here is from, or probably familiar with. So, basically, you will be getting entirely modern answers that won’t reflect anything about what any Byzantine ever did. Not to mention that probably no one on this forum has ever ridden their horse in a pitched battle. And I’m not writing this as just speculation, I am doing an anthropology PhD so I do have some idea about representing things cross-culturally.
What I would suggest is going to a few history departments in some universities and talk to any academics you can find who specialise in Byzantine history; this should give you a better general idea about the culture you are dealing with (if you haven’t already done that of course, I’m guessing you already know how o do research). Then you have to translate byzantine concepts etc into a modern language that will reach your audience; and this is the hard part, I know, I’m trying to translate Bedouin culture into something comprehensible to English speakers without losing the meaning of it, or transposing my own meanings onto theirs; I sympathise with you, it’s a tall order.
Personally I would use the term “spurred” the horse onwards, it can be taken literally or metaphorically and still be accurate, and it is understandable to a modern audience.
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