From The Wind’s Twelve Quarters: Short Stories
by Ursula Le Guin
With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the
city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In
the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens
and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were
decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry
women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a
shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance.
Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights, over the
music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the
great water-meadow called the Green’ Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mudstained
feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race. The
horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of
silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they
were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own.
Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air
of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold
fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky. There was just enough wind to
make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the
broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and
nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled
and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.
Had a real shitty day so I decided to make a list of training principles to always remember. This is for everyone who ever doubts their capabilities as a trainer (of any species), and for those who are still haunted by the demons of their training past <3 Feel free to add to the list!
If something isn’t working, change your approach.
If your horse doesn’t understand you, speaking louder isn’t the answer.
Always break up each task into small, bite sized chunks. Train each chunk separately. Expecting all of the chunks at once is overwhelming to the horse and may be unrealistic.
Never spend too much time on one behavior. Sometimes you just need to move on.
You never have to perfect a behavior before moving on the the next one. Training doesn’t happen in a day.
Never assume that your horse already knows how to do a behavior and is just not doing it because “they’re lazy”.
If you’re having trouble training one behavior, its ok to try again another day.
Just like human athletes, horses experience muscle soreness and fatigue. Very often they will express their discomfort with unwanted behaviors.
Punishment is never the answer. Horses always have reasons for behaving the way they do.
Make a plan for modifying unwanted behaviors and stick to it. Changing partway through a training session without planning it out may result in you reverting back to old habits.
If you find yourself getting frustrated, its ok to take a break. Its better to cool down and take a break than to act on impulsive reactions and regret it later. Think first, act later!
Never be in a hurry.
You cant always expect to change a behavioral pattern in one training session.
Always reward the slightest try, or the slightest “better”.
If something is out of balance, see it as a challenge. That is, if your horse is displaying unwanted behavior, see it as a learning/training opportunity to put under your belt.
Never loose sight of the essence (lightness, suppleness, self carriage, relaxation,etc.) of an exercise.
Hi beautiful! I don't know if it's been asked before or if you're even accepting requests ...if you are, can you give sfw and nsfw headcannons for Nobuyuki or Shigezane please? I don't know which of the two I like more. :)
Hello, my lovely! Here you go!
Absolutely dying for someone to say that they need him. In any capacity. He just wants to feel like he’s important to someone who is important to him.
Understands the importance of familial love– he gets it. But he’s been longing for a deep, romantic connection.
Smiles even when he’s sad. Beloved by all, but still feels a sense of loneliness.
Secretly likes when Hiromasa musses his hair, for old time’s sake.
His taste buds are set to koshian and “everything else.”
He’s not really interested in exercising his horse, he just wants to go for a ride with you. The way you lean back against him feels like “home,” especially when you rest your head against his shoulder and look up at him. More than once, he’s lost himself in kissing you just like that, savoring the feel of your hands as they slide forward to rest on top of his, as he holds the reins.
When it’s just the two of you, he’ll try to inch his hand closer to yours, and link your pinkies together. He hasn’t yet worked up the courage to try the fake-yawn-arm-around-shoulders trick. Next time, for sure!
He got a diary as a present once. One of those types of gifts that say ‘I didn’t know what to get you, so here.’ He couldn’t bring himself to throw it out or re-gift it, but he’s glad that he kept it, because it’s now full of his thoughts of you. Any little cute thing you do, he writes it down.
Low-key nervous bringing you around Kojuro, but trusts you completely.
Cut down on getting smashed because he doesn’t want you to be embarrassed by him.
Doesn’t always use an enigmatic reply to keep his secrets– sometimes he just doesn’t want to be bothered.
Gets a little irritated with how easy it is to manipulate people. Wants someone to challenge him for a change of pace– mentally, physically –whatever! Anything to break the monotony!
Inherently lazy, but has to keep up appearances, so no one ever knows.
Feels a surge of pride to hear everyone talk about your cooking, or any of your accomplishments in general, although he keeps his own compliments vague at best, to keep you on your toes.
Waiting for the opportunity to ask you to take a bath with him. He surprisingly can’t work up the nerve.
He’s not really a cuddler, but there was that one day when you dared to fall asleep in his room, after reading a book. You looked so defenseless, which was enough to get him going as it is. With the heavy thudding of the rain against the window, and the chill fanning in from under the door, he was overtaken by the most intense desire to spoon against you, and tuck your back into his chest. His haori lay across the top of a folding screen nearby– just close enough to reach –and for the first time he wanted to do nothing more than lie with a woman…and sleep.
He has no qualms about walking hand-in-hand in public. On the surface. He’s actually reminding himself over and over to keep his stone-faced composure, because he’s still so dumbstruck that he’s found his ideal woman.
Has no idea how to talk about his back room, but has considered leaving its door open and hoping that you ask, yourself. Please ask. Please ask. Or better yet, don’t– just walk right in and pick up one of his toys like you know exactly what you’re doing.
Absolutely devoted to attacking your sweet spot, and won’t show any mercy until you’re panting underneath him.
At which point it’s time to do the same thing until you’re panting above him.
He’s guessing it was a fluke, since you haven’t done it again, which is a crying shame, but you grabbed a fist full of his hair when you were riding out the pleasure and it turned him on more than he expected it would.
Not overly concerned with doing it to you, but desperately wants you to mark him.
You once surprised him by turning around in the saddle and giving him an old fashioned. He was so preoccupied that he almost ran his horse off the edge of a cliff.
Koshian, previously “the best sweet thing” he’s ever tasted. Now, it’s you. Wherever his lips land, whatever part of you he runs his tongue over, it’s the best thing he’s ever tasted, and nothing can compare.
He would be absolutely mortified if you saw his porn stash again, but there’s this one position that he really wants to try and he can’t figure out how to explain it to you without showing you the picture, so he’s kind of stuck.
That bj you gave him, the one where he started up standing, but ended up crumpling to his knees on the floor as he bit his lip to keep from grunting out your name, is the stuff of legend and gets him through the hard times when he’s deployed.
Somehow gets more turned on when you can only call out half of his first name. He uses it as a gauge for how good he’s making you feel.
The time that the two of you snuck out to enjoy a moonlit stroll will forever be one of the most romantic things he’s done. You didn’t get to go all the way, because you could hear Hiromasa calling in the distance. The thrill of not knowing whether or not you could straighten your clothes before you were found made it even more enticing. Of course, it was all for naught, as you were both sporting telltale hickeys at breakfast the next day.
Considered one of the greatest jockeys in history, he won three Kentucky Derbies between 1884 and 1891. This feat wasn’t matched by another jockey until 1945. His career win record at 34% has yet to be equaled in American horse racing. He also was the first person to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Why did his name fall into obscurity?
We are so sorry @kdlovehg for the delay with your gift! We hope you had a lovely birthday on the 8th of August! In order to celebrate your special day, @historywriter2007 has written a Everlark story just for you! We hope you like it:)
Happy Belated Birthday @kdlovehg, here is your
Prince Peeta/employee Katniss story.
Summary: Prince Peeta was not a fan of horses,
until he met the new stable hand.
Prince Peeta of Panem begrudgingly headed to
the stables. He didn’t particularly enjoy riding horses, but there was no way
he was going to be able to get out of this year’s charity polo game. After four
years away at university and three more in military service, as was the
tradition for Royals, he was back at the castle with his family. This meant he
no longer had an excuse to avoid the polo match, although he was horrible at
the sport and feared his clumsiness would cause him to fall from his horse. The
game also gave his mother the chance to try to set up her youngest son with an
eligible lady from a noble family, even though he wanted to find love on his
own. It’s not like he was going to lead the country anyway, that was his oldest
brother’s role, so he felt he should be able to wait until he was ready to wed.
So it needs a title (suggestions welcome!), but here’s what is the first chapter of the Obikin Equestrian AU from the conversation with @glare-gryphon and @tikkunthisfuckingolam. No promises on updates or anything of the sort on any kind of schedule. Enjoy.
@fireflyfish Apparently not much convincing was needed at all.
Moments like this made Anakin remember exactly why he was still here waking up at five am to slave in the barn every day just for a few lessons a week, a small amount of money, and a cot in a converted tackroom. Ben Kenobi was flawless in his effortlessness, no discernable place where the horse ended and he began, the bond between horse and rider palpable even from where he stood hidden in the corner. The large bay gelding floated over the dirt, collected and so balanced, it was no wonder Ben and Another Happy Landing, Happy for short, dominated back to back Olympic Games. Their chemistry together was something every horseperson strived for at least once.
It was certainly what had made him accept Ben’s offer of working student at a show out of the blue. Why Ben had been at the cross-country trial, he had never found out, but he’d known who the man was the minute he’d approached him and Twilight after finishing the course. Anakin suspected it had something to do with his sponsor and the push to move firmly into eventing. Still, he hadn’t looked the gift horse in the mouth and immediately accepted without thought. So far he hadn’t regretted it, even with all the hard work he had to do.
“Daydreaming doesn’t get the stalls cleaned, Anakin. You have the five horses to exercise on the list and I still need you to finish moving the remaining hay into the hay stall so we can make sure the delivery coming tomorrow is stacked correctly.” Ben had perfected the look of exasperated tolerance and used it constantly on Anakin.
Not that it did any good beyond fueling Anakin’s late night fantasies. Even nearing forty, Ben was in near perfect shape, no gray in his copper streaked hair and beard, compact and muscled in a way that perfectly filled out the tan breeches and polo. It was sinful.
For horses that are not “forward thinking” and slow off the leg aids, take them for a run (or a “Yeehaw,” as Charlotte calls it) around the large of the arena. When turning the corner down the long side, click, kick, and GO! Make sure not to pull on the reins while sending the horse forwards. Once they are responsive to the aids and moving in a good rhythm contact can be established and improved.
2: Training is everything
As a young horse Valegro was 5000 € and a chronic headshaker. One of Carl Hester’s international horses was so slow behind that many doubted he would make FEI. Dressage may seem like a money game, but it is foremost a training game.
3: Travers, travers, and more travers!
To improve bend and the overall quality of the horse’s gaits, use travers along the wall or on the circle line. Trouble with the horse anticipating the pirouettes? Travers on the circle line. Want to improve flexibility in the half pass? Begin the movement with a 10 meter circle in travers. Want better over track? Travers, travers, travers!
4. Don’t get lost in the tempo
When riding alone, it’s easy to get stuck in one gait and one tempo for long periods of time. Always ask yourself “is my horse engaged? Is he waiting for the next aids?”. Use lots of transitions between and within gaits to help make the answers to those questions a yes.
5: Two frames
Always work your horse in one of two frames: stretchy (long and low with nose reaching forwards) or up in higher self carriage (on/near the vertical with pole and ears as highest point). In both of these positions the horse must be long in the neck so that they can balance themselves. An “in between” position serves little purpose, so either ride with your hands high and together and your horse up or ride with low hands and allow your horse to stretch out.
6. Drop the handbags!
Holding the reins with palms down (“handbag hands”) interferes with the “L” shape of the rider’s arms. Ride with thumbs on top and hands slightly in front of the saddle for the best feel of the contact.
7. Don’t override to prevent mistakes
When training, allow the horse to make a mistake and then ask them again rather than attempting to correct the mistake while they are making it. That way your horse learns from their mistakes and knows what response is required, making them less reliant on the rider for correction and support.
8: Play time for the young horses
Sessions for 3, 4, and 5 year olds should be 10-30 minutes in length and free of collected work or sitting trot. As Charlotte said, “You have their entire life to teach them to collect, but when they’re young you need to teach them to go forwards.” Keep these workouts light and playful now so that the horses develop into willing partners.
9. Just another 20 x 60
When you are competing, remember that the arena is the same as at home: A at one end, C at the other. Imagine that this arena is your arena, where you know you can do every step of the test without a problem.
10. Most importantly, have fun.
Be honest about your mistakes, celebrate your achievements, and enjoy your horse!
The clinic was full of tips, so this is just a small sampler of what I was able to take away from it. A HUGE thank you to everyone who organized, to all the horses and riders, and of course to Charlotte for coming all the way to BC. I am so glad that I was able to attend, it was a wonderful event and I cannot wait to get in the saddle and try some of the exercises out!
Despite her fierceness on the battlefield,
Antiope is a remarkably tender lover, taking care not to be rough…unless you
If you aren’t a fighter she would insist on
teaching you the basics of combat. She has lost
too many sisters to be naïve on this matter.
“It is my ardent wish to always protect you my love. But I’m afraid a wish is not a promise.”
She is remarkably patient and wise, even during
the most heated arguments. This upsets
you sometimes, as her cool resolve is rarely broken. Her veneer cracked once, however, which
included your safety being compromised.
A horse exercise ran amok and nearly paralyzed you. The lecturing lasted nearly as long as it
took you to recover.
Seeing the general disrobe is a delight, but you
truly marvel at her scars. At times,
when she catches you staring, she tells you how the injury occurred.
You could set a clock to the strict routine she
adheres to. At times, it can make you
feel rather ignored. Especially if you
are in some sort of emotional distress.
While taking note, and confronting the issue with you does happen, it
takes her a while. Needless to say, it is best to be straight
forward with her.
When something is weighing her down
psychologically she asks you to accompany her at the beach. The vastness of the ocean grounds
her, and soothes most worries.
She plays the lyre quite well. On restless nights, her playing can be heard
throughout your shared dwelling.
You cannot deny how her eyes gleam before a
fray. She was born to do this. And her birthright has been claimed hundreds
of times over. A battle scares you as it
could be the last time you meet, but knowing how the General meets her foes
excites you as well.
Okay so I wanted to do another gifset breaking down a training video.
This is Mike Hughes, and the video is ‘Defensive Aggression Behavior With Abused Horse’. He states that the horse in this video was abused, causing the aggressive behavior. He differentiates the behavior in this video from ‘true aggression’ by pointing out that the horse does not continue its attack, but instead only does what it has to do to escape the situation, and then flees.
He says, after the horse throws him down, ‘Immediately I’m gonna get up and send him to work round penning exercises. It’s really important that we don’t cause pain or fear to the horse, making him feel threatened worse than he already feels even though that was not our intention.’
A minute later he says again:
‘It’s really important that the exercises do not cause pain or fear to the horse. He is not being aggressive so to speak, in his mind he felt threatened from the abuse he suffered in the past.’
Obviously this guy is ten degrees kinder and more rational than our favorite downunder horsemanship, Clinton Anderson. But there are obvious flaws with what he’s saying.
First of all, he’s failing to recognize the actual stress he is inducing in the horse. Not only is the horse proving its fright by physically attacking him, you can see other signs of stress. In the last few gifs, note the heavy licking and chewing, and how the horse looks and leans away from him.
The horse has learned, through the round pen exercises, that leaving is not an option. He’s been taught a conventional exercise using light and sympathetic levels of negative reinforcement. This trainer is not driving him hard. There’s no sweat, there’s no relentless chasing and smacking on the ass, there’s just enough pressure to get the behaviors he wants (go, stop, turn, come up to me, hold still while I touch you). But the trainer is still using fear to train, despite his claims that doing so is counterproductive.
This is the inherent problem in using negative reinforcement with a horse like this. Using conventional round pen methods, you’re forced to apply a stressful stimulus in order to train. The nature of the exercise teaches the horse that he has no options. If he doesn’t stand still, he’ll be punished. He’s afraid of this. But he’s also afraid of being touched, because he has learned through past experiences/abuses that human touch is bad news bears. This leads to the dangerous scenario seen in the first two gifs. This is a horse that has learned to suppress its aggressive behaviors (notice there is no precursor to the attack, no pinned ears, no obvious body language) until it absolutely cannot stand to do so anymore, and then suddenly attacks and flees. This is what happens when you present a horse with zero options: unpredictable aggression. This horse is stuck between a rock (his fear of touch) and a hard place (the punishment of being ‘sent away’ in the round pen).
An alternative to this exercise would be to work the horse at liberty - and I mean truly at liberty, in a big arena or pasture where he has the ability to run away, and actively teach him that he is allowed to run away. Giving the horse the option to run away prevents fear-related aggression. Once the horse is no longer trapped between what he fears and what you will do to him if he flees, you can begin to offer motivation for him to permit the things that he fears. Touch his shoulder first with a whip to give yourself distance (for your own safety, and also to allow you to better observe his body language), mark and reward with food. Once he readily permits this touch in order to get a reward, he will habituate to it, lose his fear, and then be counter conditioned (this stimulus/the shoulder touch = food reward) to even enjoy the exercise. This is how I resolved aggression in my kicking, biting, late-gelded horse when I first began working with him.
There is no fast fix for this type of deeply ingrained aggression. Whether you’re using negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement, or a combination of both, it takes an accumulation of neutral or positive experiences to eventually overwhelm an enormous backlog of fearful associations. But trying to resolve fear by using fear as seen in this video, is at best counterproductive, and at worst incredibly dangerous.