Writer needs some expert "horse knowledge" - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 07:07 AM
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Can I just ask that the magnificent horse isn't the good ol' handsome black stallion?! Tends to get a bit tedious ;)

We will all tell you colour comes last on a horse, however the horse could have markings, or colouring that is particularly unusual. If its been left on its own for a while, I doubt anyone would be able to square it up and take a good look at its confo before determining if its a nice horse haha!

Iberian horses are very hardy, as anebel said. Just think huge muscled neck and long flowing mane and tail! (no one needs to know it would most likely hand burs and knots in it!)

Best of luck
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post #12 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 07:33 AM
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I was coming to say "Iberian!!" as well, and the fact that a thick, long Iberian mane and tail would be all in burrs would be actually a nice plot twist! Just think of it - people notice a semi-feral horse, who looks shaggy, all in burrs, possibly shedding winter coat, but a certain air of grace about him, something majestic in the movements and behavior (very characteristic to Iberians) that makes a person stop in his tracks and look at him in awe. Then, later in the story, when the horse has been tamed enough to untangle the manes and maybe brush him, his full appearance is revealed.
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post #13 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 04:41 PM
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I think you've got some technical problems that go beyond the selection of a horse. Even there... Well, my neighbor buys expensive (over $10K at 1-2 years) horses and ships them by air from Europe to the western US. To my not expert (but not completely ignorant either) eye, there's nothing but the sex to distinguish them from my two bay mares: one cost $800, the other was free-to-good-home. There are also some pretty darned good-looking wild horses running around the hills east of here.

So value is not something that's readily apparent. It's also likely to depend on having proper paperwork, for breeding.

Other problems? Well, I don't think the nature reserve thing rings true, There are a few such hereabouts, and they tend to welcome visitors. Might be more realistic to have the ranch owned by a rich man, who either died or is in a coma, the heirs/trustees are feuding over the estate, and the ranch got lost in the shuffle.

Also, many working ranches in the West don't actually own all that much land. They may have a sizeable home place, but the grazing will be done through leases on federal land (BLM or Forest Service).

Just about anywhere in Northern California, you're going to have a lot of snow in the winter if you're above 5000 ft or so (which cuts out the areas eastern California where you might find a ranch like that). Below that elevation, in the Sierra foothills and Coast Range, you're likely to get a lot of rain in the winter - Pacific storms that can last anywhere from a day to a week or more. If you get into northern Nevada/southeast Oregon, you'll have the cold but not much persistent deep snow cover. But you'll need to locate the ranch in a valley next to a mountain range, with stream(s) coming down for a water supply.
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post #14 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 05:14 PM
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I believe that your best writing advice would come from other writers. Read Teddy Roosevelt's stuff, particularly this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Theodore-Roosevelt-Autobiography-Library-America/dp/1931082650/ref=la_B001HD13LO_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382735479&sr=1-5Also, Read this:
http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Tradin-Ben-K-Green/dp/0803270860His story called, "The Easter Lily" is along the lines of "exotic" to the old west. Honestly, the only exotic horse is the missing link in China, the Przewalski's Horse.
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post #15 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 05:30 PM
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Whatever you write, either make it obviously fanciful or be accurate as children buy into this stuff. I do hope you aren't planning on having a young girl capture and "tame" this horse. Many of us deal with young girls who's head is full of notions of taming the wild horse and they are not safe to have around. They think they possess some magic power that no one else has.
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post #16 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 06:06 PM
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as long as you don't refer to a baby horse as a pony I'm happy

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post #17 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saranda View Post
I was coming to say "Iberian!!" as well, and the fact that a thick, long Iberian mane and tail would be all in burrs would be actually a nice plot twist! Just think of it - people notice a semi-feral horse, who looks shaggy, all in burrs, possibly shedding winter coat, but a certain air of grace about him, something majestic in the movements and behavior (very characteristic to Iberians) that makes a person stop in his tracks and look at him in awe. Then, later in the story, when the horse has been tamed enough to untangle the manes and maybe brush him, his full appearance is revealed.

I agree with this. Iberians a beautiful breed and, being an ancestor of the quarter horse, a breed that a rancher might get if they had the money. However, if you are writing in the U.S., more people will know them by the name Andalusian. Just google that and I'm sure you'll agree that they are gorgeous horses.
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post #18 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 06:49 PM
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I think a stunning quarter horse, like a buckskin/palomino or another nice colour other then bay/black or browns.

And even I fit had scars on it from being in the wild for that long.
I also think it'll have to be a stallion as they would be more prized then a gelding or mare.

Although if a gelding was left behind it would make more sense, as the wouldn't be able to breed from it again...

I think it would of been highly trained, western horse (I don't ride western so not 100% sure on what it should be trained in) but something like reining? Or cutting?

I'm actually starting to drool over this horse I've created lol
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post #19 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 07:17 PM
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Methinks that the abandonment of a valuable horse is a weak idea, since no owner of a valuable horse is going to abandon the horse, & even if owner dies unexpectedly/falls into a coma, there will be owner's "people" who'll surely see to the horse.

Even if the horse did escape his confines, (which isn't terribly unrealistic) all the horsemen in the country'd have to be incapacitated for them to not ride out & capture a valuable horse asap. So, the only way that such a horse could realistically live on its own for an extended period would be if USA were under chemical warfare or somesuch thing, incapacitating everyone but the little girl! :):):)

Look at the plot in "The Black Stallion": the ship sinking, with the black & the kid making it to the uninhabited island.

Last edited by Northern; 10-25-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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post #20 of 50 Old 10-25-2013, 07:44 PM
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Well, my folks just bought a piece of land out in BFE Colorado, next to a woman with a grandfathered piece of land consisting of 21,000 acres right off the Pawnee grasslands. She can easily volunteer her acreage to the government if she so chooses. She raises a herd of cattle, has a few horses. Each horse is a down-home Quarter Horse with plenty of miles put on them, though. So, I do partly disagree with Jamesqf in regards to the nature preserve thing. Only partly.

If you're looking for something "exotic" to have on a farm, you need a feasible back-story as to why such a breed is in such an out-of-place location. Cattle farmers like their stock horses. They don't have time for or want hot-headed messes running around. You might consider having this horse belong to a daughter - as was suggested - who was big into the English style of riding and show jumping or dressage. If that's the case, you're looking into Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, Lippizaners, Lusitanos, or you could get into the drafty breeds and look at Gypsy Vanners or Friesians. All of these are "exotic" and would be highly valuable with the right paper history and bloodlines. You might also consider looking into QH/Paint bloodlines, finding the best of the best, and having your horse be an "exotic", or at least an eye-catching color. Cremellos, Perlinos, Duns and Palominos, Champagnes, Silver-dapple black/bay would all be eye-catching, pretty to look at, and out of place when found on an abandoned farm.
http://www.lacyquarterhorses.com/qua...e-sales-36.JPG - Dun
http://www.angelfire.com/oh5/bluemoo...adeToOrder.jpg - Palomino
http://www.horsecoursesonline.com/co...s/image014.jpg - Perlino
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mJ4Kw54b5q...0/DSCN3087.JPG - Silver Dapple
http://arabians.jerland.com/horses/crystal_blue-01.jpg - Cremello

Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - if this "young girl" has always dreamed of horses and is a horse advocate, even a simple old 20-something schoolmaster type horse will be beautiful in her eyes. In the end, color/breed/etc is up to you as you're the writer.

As far as surviving, yes. With that much acreage I don't see any reason why a horse wouldn't be able to survive, especially with open access to water and food. You might consider looking into wildlife in the area you desire, as I've seen pronghorn, elk, and deer all keep horses company in many areas throughout Colorado. In a sense, it's no different than a horse buddying up to a goat - only, pronghorn are just like really big goats. This could make it feasible for your horse to survive alone. You might want to get realistic and have this horse covered in scabs and such, as mosquitos and other bugs would be sure to bite him up, burs wouldn't magically be removed from his main and tail, and he'd be sure to get bumps and bruises over the course of a few years.

I agree with the others - the level of his regression would largely depend on how he was handled before. This needs to coincide with your "exotic" horse's back history. If you chose to do just a wildly colored QH, it could be that the horse was green and hardly handled before humans left, leaving plenty of room for him to develop into himself over the course of the last few years. If you go with the original owners having a fancy horse for their daughter (or something like it) I do believe he'd be skittish but his training would make itself known, as someone else mentioned above. Or he'd have had to have been seriously abused. So really consider what you've gotta do to make it feasible.

On a side note, if you're going to have a small girl get her heart set on this horse, please be practical and try to avoid advocating the impractical approach that is shown in so many stories. Try to avoid midnight treks to a round pen, where she slips in between the fence panels and tries touching the horse. Please.
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