He landed with a thump and a yelp. One of the horses hooves grazed his forehead as it galloped off. Efron staggered to his feet before stumbling and falling to his knees. Hurt and frustrated he threw his head back and howled.
Good sense soon returned urging him to seek some kind of shelter from the pouring rain. Wind whipped the rain into his flesh like ice pellets. His teeth clicked and clattered against each other as the heat from his body fled through his drenched clothes. He stumbled to his feet only to stumble over tufts of grass lacking the energy required to pick up his feet. His vision blurred, darkened.
He fell. Lacking the energy to drag himself up he huddled into the crevice of a tiny grass knoll shivering wishing he were dead.
My parents signed me up for Nextdoor, which is like some kind of community-based mini facebook, and I am signed up in their neighborhood, which is (as we have established) The Boondocks.
I don’t mind belonging to their Nextdoor, it means that I will be kept abreast of local news, but also the local news is hilarious.
The latest messages concern a HEATED DISCUSSION about hoof trimming because someone posted asking if anyone knows a farrier who will trim miniature horse hooves, which apparently most farriers have some kind of BASELESS PREJUDICE against according to this poster. Battle lines are quickly being drawn between the various camps including:
Miniature horses don’t need hoof maintenance the way regular horses do
Miniature horses ABSOLUTELY need hoof maintenance you monsters
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves ain’t shit
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves have their reasons
Miniature horses are some bullshit
Everybody shut up about miniature horses
I Have A Miniature Horse For Sale
I can’t wait to see who wins. I suspect it will be me.
Okay guys, for writing/general reference, a bit about what a ‘blacksmith’ is and isn’t:
A blacksmith is a generalist, a person who uses tools and fire to work iron. Some blacksmiths work more specifically, so you get, say, an architectural blacksmith, who focuses more or less exclusively on things like gates, rails, fences, or an artist blacksmith, who makes wacky sculptures or what have you. These days, though, that’s a pretty blurry line. ‘Blacksmith’ is a pretty damn broad term, but it’s nowhere near broad enough to cover everything encompassed in ‘metalworker’, which is how I often see it used. There are a LOT of different skills for working metal, and no one knows them all. Some other terms:
A farrier shoes horses. They may make the shoes, or they may buy them and then size them, but they actually do the shoeing. Unless the blacksmith is also a farrier, they don’t know shit about horses’ hooves and are not qualified to deal with them and probably don’t want to.
A blacksmith works IRON (or steel), usually almost exclusively. They might work with bronze or do a bit of brazing, but those are really separate skillsets. If you work, say, tin and/or pewter, you are in fact a whitesmith. You could also be a silversmith or a coppersmith, and so on.
Knifemakers and swordsmiths have their own highly specialized and fairly complex specialties, and usually a blacksmith wouldn’t mess with that unless they want to pick up a new skillset or if they’re really the only game going for a long way around. By the same token, a swordsmith might never have learned the more general blacksmithing skills. They’re not the same thing is what I’m trying to say here. Likewise armorers. There’s overlap but it’s not the same thing.
If you make metal items via molds and casting, you work at a foundry and are a foundryman.
Look, when metalworkers and individual shops and masters were the height of industry, this shit got REALLY specific. There were people who spent their whole lives making pins. Just pins. Foundries specialized and made only bells, only cannon, only cauldrons, etc. This is scratching the surface, I just wanted to make the point that ‘blacksmith’ is not the same thing as ‘magical muscly person who knows how to do everything related to metal’.
I have a couple of questions about big lick and you seem like a good guy to ask. First, i dont really understand what it Is? Ive also heard that its all inhumane and abusive, but ive also seen otherwise very humane and knowledgable horse people says that big lick can be done humanely, so? I have no idea what to think of this discipline, i just feel kinda lost.
OK so I’m not a big lick/TWH expert by any means but here are the basics as I understand them:
Some breeds are gaited. The Tennessee Walking Horse is one of them. It’s especially known for its running walk. Originally, this gait was really popular because it was so comfortable to ride, so they were useful plantation horses, and they Looked Fancy. Big Lick developed because of the transition from using horses for work (farming, cavalry, pony express, yada yada) to horses being used for recreation - specifically here, shows. So you have a bunch of people riding their TWHs around trying to look the fanciest, without any actual goal beyond winning and looking fancy. It becomes an aesthetic thing, like a lot of current show scenes (western pleasure, saddleseat, a lot of dressage tbh, halter shows, reining, etc). Welfare and practicality go out the window because you don’t actually have a reason to keep your horse healthy, sane, and sound. Because you don’t need them to do work. You don’t need them to live long, healthy lives. This is why we see such an increasing number of horses being competed as two and three year olds (when they’re still 2-3 years from actual physical and mental maturity), and retiring before they’re even ten or early teens. It’s all about the benjamins and about winning the biggest prize.
So, how do you get the TWH to exhibit a fancier gait? Firstly, bigger shoes and longer hooves. Weight on the legs mean that the legs are lifted higher. And there is a spectrum here, from flat shod but hooves too long:
to moderate pads:
to fucking giant stacks:
These result in a higher-stepping gait.
But where do you go from there? Well, from there you get to the most controversial part of the TWH industry, which is soring.
Soring is when you make the front feet hurt, so that the horse is really fast to snatch them off the ground because they’re so painful. There are a lot of ways to sore a horse. I’ve read about putting marbles between the hoof and pad, people putting tacks in there, people over-trimming the sole of the hoof until it bleeds or bruised, adding extra deep nails, anything to make the foot sore. The most well known method (and this is usually what people are talking about when they talk about soring) is putting caustic chemicals on the horse’s ankles, and then adding chains, so that the metal chains bang against their already super painful pasterns.
Those pictures are taken from show screencaps. These stacks and these chains are allowed at the show. They are not just training tools. They are out in the public eye. People just lie about the application of chemicals.
All of this is done to make the horse fling up their forelegs, and step deep under with their hind legs like so:
Here’s another example of the kind of ‘stepping under’ that is caused by soring:
I don’t say this lightly but these horses are crippled. The trainer in that interview says so. He acknowledges that you have to essentially torture the horses to make them ‘walk’. That horses end up dead from the pain. These are animals that can barely stand (and sometimes literally cannot stand) on their own feet. And the end result is this:
Wow so fancy! So flashy! So great! I personally don’t get the appeal, and the appeal doesn’t even MATTER, because it’s about the physical and mental abuse and not about the end result, buuuuuut let me drop this comparison in here:
This^ is Champagne Watchout, who was exhibited flatshod at the 1999 TWH National Celebration, next to horses ridden with giant stacks. I recommend watching this entire video as the contrast between the gaits is unbelievable. It’s an amazing example of the difference between the beautiful, smooth, comfortable and NATURAL gaits of the TWH, vs the clusterfuck that is Big Lick.
My gifmaker stopped working so I’ll leave you with just some pictures of un-stacked, un-sored TWHs.
These^ are the horses that were bred to be comfortable to ride for long distances. Even those last two horses, exhibiting more dramatic movement, look like actual horses instead of dying frogs.
There are so many more issues related to TWHs (historical racism, the position of the saddle and rider and the damage to the back, the riding of two year olds, horses that literally can’t stand, that colic from the pain and die, horses that collapse because they literally can’t walk, the fact that horses are trained to get through vet inspections by being punished for exhibiting signs of pain, the HORRIBLE bits, the owners and judges and trainers all colluding to lie about abuse, god I could go on forever) but these are the very basics and all I’m gonna try and pack in here lol.
If there are any TWH/big lick experts who want to correct me on any points, go ahead, I know my terminology isn’t perfect. But this is why big lick exists and why it’s so horrible, and why literally every riding discipline accused of cruelty goes ‘well at least we aren’t big lick!’. Because big lick is the actual worst.
You have the BEST stories! Can you tell me a bedtime story?
i will tell you a story friends, and probably you will regret asking me to do so, because its not really a very restful story. i….dont really have any of those.
this is the story of how steve and a horse almost gave me a heart attack.
back when i was a kid, cars were a thing that existed but were mostly really really expensive, so horses were still a common sight on the streets of brooklyn. most of these horses were exceedingly large, calm animals; they hauled around big carts of stuff on crowded streets. back then, milk was delivered to your doorstep by a milkman. the milkman who worked our block was mr. davies, and he was this very nice older black gentleman. i mention that he’s black because racism was Very Much A Thing (oh how times have changed). but mr davies always had peppermint candies in his pockets to give to thunderhead, his horse, and he would always give one to stevie and i if he saw us. so stevie loved mr davies, and if anyone was being disrespectful towards him because he was black, stevie would pretty much blow his top. mr davies loved steve for it, of course. but since mr daives didnt want to get steve in trouble, he’d usually whistle me over (if i wasnt already there) to haul steve off before he did something drastic. mr davies was great like that.
anyway, mr davies was around every morning dropping off milk with thunderhead. thunderhead was this huge dapple grey horse, i think a percheron?? a big draft horse, with hooves about the size of a dinner plate. aside from her size, her name was probably the most intimidating thing about her, because she was the most mild-mannered horse ive ever met. she would let all the little neighborhood kids climb all over her, and mr davies would usually let two or three of us ride on her back down the street. she never really noticed the extra weight. i think that if mr davies ever slept in, thunderhead would go walk his route without him. she loved stevie too–but for very different reasons. steve’s hair apparently looked exactly like hay to her, so she’d wander over and start lipping the top of his head. she never nipped or anything, but steve always got amusingly flaily when she did it, and i always suspected she thought it was funny.
one boiling hot summer morning, steve and i were sitting on the front steps of our building, just wasting time. it was early, but already awfully hot out, so when mr davies rounded the corner, steve decided to go meet him, but i stayed on the steps. it was hot. i didnt wanna move.
anyway, steve went trotting down the block, said hi to old mrs mckinnon, who was on her way to get groceries, and was about a hundred feet away from mr davies and thunderhead when the wind picked up. it was a very nice refreshingly cool breeze, which picked up some of the debris–old newspapers and leaves and such–hanging around and tossed it across the road.
now, if you know horses, you know that sometimes they get terrified by utterly ridiculous things. im told many horses nowadays think plastic bags are the minions of evil, and horses back then were much the same. id never seen thunderhead scared before, but i guess a bit of newspaper whipped in front of her and was the spitting image of Pony Satan himself, because her eyes went white around the edges and she took off running. mr davies was around back of the cart, getting milk out, so there was nobody at the reins to stop her. she went tearing down the block, the cart bouncing along behind, like there was a pack of slavering borzoi chasing after. and of course she was headed right at steve and old mrs mckinnon.
steve, being the brave little idiot he was, didnt run; old mrs mckinnon wouldnt be able to get out of the way in time, so he stood his ground, flung his arms out, and waited to get trampled by a rogue milk cart. all of us there thought we were gonna be scraping tiny blonde guy off the pavement, because thunderhead just kept going.
but about ten feet away from steve, thunderhead must have recognized him, because she went to a screeching stop. four feet down, all her knees locked, skiddin on the cobblestones. normally, she’d probably have been able to stop in that distance, but she was still harnessed to that heavy milk cart, so instead she plowed right into stevie, chest first.
he went flying. he mustve gone about six feet through the air, and he hit the ground and just laid there like a sack of really dead potatoes. i thought he must have broken his little toothpick spine. poor thunderhead looked just as scared as i was, because she got her feet back under her and crept up on him like the cart wasnt jangling right behind her. she dropped her nose down and started whuffing and lipping at his hair, and he popped up like a damn weasel. little moron was fine. he nearly gave me and mr davies and old mrs mckinnon and thunderhead all a heart attack, but he was fine.
and mr davies gave him his whole bag of peppermints, and mrs mckinnon gave him a chocolate, so he didnt even learn to not do stupid shit like that.
Requested: By me, complete and utter Robb Stark Trash
Pairings: Robb Stark x Reader
Summary: Y/N was sent to live with The Stark family at a young age, and ever since then, she seemed to fit perfectly, maybe even more than she had ever noticed.
Warnings: Complete self-indulgence, honestly
Word Count: 1,057
A/N: Umm wow, okay. So this was a joke that @secretschuylersister and I had when I started watching Game of Thrones, and then I got carried away. There is so much more of this, and Taylor and I somehow ended up with enough material for like three sequels. Feedback is always appreciated, especially becuase I am a bit unser about this, tbh
“The boys are out hunting again,” You glanced up from the book in your lap to see Arya leaning against the door, arms crossed and eyebrows raised.
“And why would you be telling me this?” you laughed, closing the book that had been failing to hold your attention for the better part of an hour. “You know that I’m not allowed to go anymore.”
It was true. When you all were younger, you had been playing with the boys in the forest and managed to break your arm. Robb had had to carry you back to the castle, where he didn’t leave your side until the apothecary insisted that he would get sick if he didn’t warm up. Even after that, Robb grumbled about it for weeks after, all the while insisting that you couldn’t carry so much as a book.
“Because, you like to sit by the window and pretend to read until they get back.” You smiled to yourself, not bothering to deny what Arya was implying. She had been insisting that you were in love with her brother ever since you had come to live with them, and repeating yourself wasn’t going to do you any good. “Even though we both know that they are going to be fine, you insist on worrying.”
“Don’t try denying it,” she laughed, backing away from you before turning on her heel and running out of the room.
You thought about staying in your quarters, after all, the window provided you a good enough view of the courtyard, but on the other hand, you did like sitting in your usual spot. So, as you made your way downstairs to your window seat you tried to convince yourself that it was for the fresh air and not because you were going to be closer when your boys got home.
You happily found your window seat unoccupied and spread your skirts out across the window seat. You knew that the boys loved going hunting, but you couldn’t find it in your heart not to worry. There were too many things that could go wrong.
Logically, you knew that nothing was going to happen to them. You had all spent years together, learning archery along with chess and reading. You busied yourself with pretending to read while simultaneously pretending not to be worried about your family.
but once the sound of horse hooves pounding the ground echoed across the square, all of your pretenses fell away. Your book was abandoned on the bench as you made your way across the square. You sighed in relief when you saw everyone riding into site, all looking to be perfectly healthy.
It took everything in you not to abandon all pretenses and sprint to where they were riding in, but mercifully you managed to stay rooted to your bench, eyes moving over the words but failing to absorb anything.
Eventually, the sound of the horse’s hooves were gone, the sounds of the bustling people around you filled up the air, and you allowed yourself to look up from your book to see him standing there, waiting.
You both knew that you had been waiting for him since he left, but neither of you were going to admit it. Instead, you grinned and rushed to him, your book already forgotten on the bench. You reached him in a matter of seconds, your arms finding their way around his neck and his holding the small of your back.
You didn’t speak, not at first. You held each other in the square, silently thankful that he was back, and relatively unharmed. “I hate that you won’t let me go with you.” you muttered, reluctantly pulling away.
“If it was up to me, I wouldn’t go at all.” he laughed, leading his horse back to the stables.
“That’s a lie, you love hunting with your brothers.” You said, shoving him softly with your shoulder.
“I would love it more if you were there. Or, if they would just stop pestering me all of the time.” He grumbled, refusing to meet your eyes.
“You know that they mean well.” You offered, attempting to win the same argument that the two of you had been having for years.
Robb insisted that his family was plotting to set you up, and you were convinced that Robb was crazy. Well, you had always known that he was crazy, but now you had evidence to back it up. His family had more important things to do than speculate about the nature of your completely platonic relationship with the eldest Stark.
“I wish that they-”
“I know,” you laughed, cutting him off. You’d had the same conversation countless times before. “I wish that they would meddle less.” She lowered her voice, mimicking the low rumble of Robb’s tone. “I think that you are imagining things.”
Robb looked like he was going to respond, but Sansa’s voice was ringing out across the courtyard, sufficiently distracting the both of them. “Y/N!” she called again, somehow rushing across the cobblestones and still managing to look regal. Catelyn would have been so proud. “There you are! Arya said that the boys were back, so I figured that the two of you would be here.” She gave Robb a pointed glance that you somehow managed to miss. “Anyways, I need you.”
“What are you talking about?” you asked, glancing up at Robb. His smile had turned sour, and your mind was turning trying to figure out why.
“The dress that I told you about, I finished it! And I thought that you could wear it to the feast tonight!” Sansa’s smile was so bright that you didn’t have the heart to tell her no. “I need you to come and try it on, and then we need to style your hair for tonight.”
Your fingers found the end of your simple braid that you preferred to keep your hair in. Most of the time, it wasn’t worth the hassle. “I was, I mean I think that we were going to-” You floundered, attempting to find a reason to stay and talk to Robb, but you were coming up short, and Sansa was very persuasive.
“I’ll bring her back when I am done.” she said quickly, grabbing your hand and hurrying you away, not bothering to look back.
i want to live in a world that feels ancient, atmosphere thick and hazy with enchantment, mist rolling over golden hills beneath a pale sunrise, clear glittering rivers spilling over luscious moss, gentle beasts of lore roaming the forests and skies, lovely rose briars and curving thickets teeming with fireflies, dandelion seeds wandering along dirt paths between the trees
vibrant market places and peddlers of spells and flutes carved by elves and charmed pendants and tapestries woven with gold thread, coin purses emptying into the hands of eager children, the sound of metal clanging in a blacksmith’s forge and hearty eruptions of laughter from a candlelit alehouse and friendly bartering and the droning nasal tone of old instruments and horse hooves against cobblestone, innkeepers welcoming weary travelers to rest in tiny rooms with four post beds, heraldic banners fluttering in the wind
witches living peacefully on the outskirts and blessing the ill with herbal remedies, floral vines over the front doors of delightful cabins with dried flowers scattering wooden tables and wicker baskets of fresh linens in the corner and crisp brown bread on clay plates, clothing lines with lace dresses strung up over bubbling streams
kingdom walls of cracked stone and creeping moss, chapels with high ceilings and mosaic windows and reverent priests and a choir of pure angelic voices, a cluttered library of stained maps and dusty scrolls and tales inked in meticulous calligraphy, a hidden armory with intricately crafted steel weapons, a vast empty courtyard and castle rising high above villages ruled fairly by a reclusive warrior queen
Kageyama remained utterly true to his word. When he said he wanted to treat Shouyou well enough to make him want to stay, he had meant it.
The second morning Shouyou woke, again far, far later in the day than he’d ever been allowed at the temple, thanks to his daily duties and the bells that rang just after dawn. But here, at the villa, no one disturbed his rest. Even after he had pulled himself from slumber, he stayed curled under the whisper soft sheets, sinking into the cushioned bed below as the gentlest breeze rippled through the room, tossing his hair on his forehead where it poked out from under the covers.
A fine fragrance eventually caught his attention, sweet and delicate on the air, the freshness of flowers. It was so pleasant that it finally roused him fully and he sat up, wondering what it was, intent on investigating. Immediately, he found he need look no further than his bedside.
“Oh…” he gasped, rubbing his eyes as he took in the sight before him.
The entire floor of his room had been strewn with rose petals, all soft pink and white.