39: “I wish we could stay like this forever.” -
First and foremost I just wanna say… the (considerably
shorter) Strifentine fic response to your other prompt suggestion is also coming, I just
figured this post was long enough already without it and I felt bad for making you wait forever for anything as is. So, super sorry for the delay… the more I wrote the more emotionally invested I
got in this thing, and the more important it became to me that I did it right. The prompt felt like it fit really easily into the
rosy lens of pre-canon, so of course I had to frame it with horrible angst not
helped by the fact that my most recent encounter with Terqua content was 2.8. Oops. Either way, hope you like, and here you go:
In the realm of darkness memory was a tangible feature of
the environment. The long years spent
submerged in that chaotic abyss had done little to teach Aqua anything about its
function, but she had learned that much at least. Sometimes she found she’d walked unknowing
into others’ memories - shards of old worlds long forgotten by those who lived
in light, pockets of existence where bell-towers tolled on endlessly and fires
burned on loop without ever going out.
Sometimes she got lost in them, turned around in city blocks that had
twisted into mazes after an eternity of floating in the corrosive ebb and flow
of the shadow.
In here, she had nothing else but time, so eventually she
always found her way back out.
But the most dangerous memories to be lost in, by far, were
her own. Most often, in the rare hours
she stole of sleep, she sunk deep into dreams so real she woke still feeling
the ghost of another’s touch on her skin, still tasting the almost-forgotten
flavor of her favorite foods on her tongue.
And sometimes the dreams crept into her waking hours.
First, the featureless darkness around her would shift and
mold, just on the edges of her vision where she wouldn’t notice right
away. As she wandered onward it
gradually took familiar shapes and forms and the dread in her heart would
grow. Then she’d see a movement, turn
around, keyblade crystallizing beneath her fingertips, ready to fight off
another of the endless horrors that stalked her every hour, and find instead
that she was in a place that couldn’t possibly exist - either not down here or
not at all anymore.
Sometimes, she couldn’t even tell the difference. Sometimes, when the landscape shifted and
shed its oppressive lack of color, taking on vivid hues now so bright to her
eyes that they all but blinded her, she couldn’t be sure if she’d just wandered
into another pocket, or if her weariness had overcome her will at last and
dragged her into slumber somewhere between footfalls.
Both horses are Tennessee Walking Horses. Both horses are completely barefoot. What you’re seeing is both of the gaits a Tennessee Walking Horse can perform naturally, first in real time and then in slow motion.
The first horse is racking. Notice that she has very little head movement. A perfect rack should have 0 head movement and, if any, a very very slight up-and-down. Side-to-side head movement is always a pace. Also notice her hind legs. In the rack, a horse’s hind legs should land in the same spot as the corresponding front, or slightly behind. This eliminates suspension. You see different in the second horse because he is performing a running walk and that gait is slower than a rack. In order to pick up speed but remain smooth, the racking horse’s hind legs do not reach as far. The case may be different for speed rackers.
The second horse is doing a running walk. You can see a definite difference in head movement - his horse’s head bobs up and down pretty significantly. That’s normal and a great way to tell if a horse is in correct gait. The hind legs should either match the landing of the corresponding front feet, or overstep them slightly. An active running walk will most likely have an overstride. There is a theory that the more a horse oversteps, the smoother he will be, however that theory has not been proven.
There is no definite criteria for front leg lift between the two gaits. The racking horse in this example has pretty average lift. Not quite a daisy clipper but definitely not a park horse. A horse could have more or less front leg lift and still be in a rack. The running walk should ideally be more similar to a walk, so leg lift should not be as dramatic as a rack can get.
The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis.
“Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster,” he said during the talk. “Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics.”
To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba.
Headcanon that Kíli constantly claims his pony is either lame or too slow or too bristly for his liking just so he can ride with Tauriel. He’s found the perfect excuse to press himself against her as she guides the smooth gaited running of her elven horse. And even though she knows he just wants his arms around her as they travel she finds herself indulging his whims and enjoying it just as much. After all, to have her very personal dwarven furnace warding off any chill is most pleasant. And distracting. Mostly distracting.
This post is so long I’m sorry I just think it’s all important lol
There are more than a few things to consider. Firstly, exercise your patience muscles. This game is a lot of baby steps and waiting. Training gait is a world of its own, and chances are your BL rescue is going to need a lot of gait training. Tennessee Walking Horses are supposed to do one or both of two gaits: running walk and rack. Putting stacks on horses that do a running walk gets the desired effect, but soring a horse that does a true four beat gait can “"unfortunately”“ mean the lameness is noticeable. Big Lick horses have been bred to pace instead of their correct gait because it’s much, much easier to hide lameness in a pacing horse who has weight on its feet to change their timing and imitate a correct gait that doesn’t look lame. There’s like 1000 levels of bullshit involved with Big Lick guys and I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. It’s so hard to be concise when explaining gait mechanics and I would have to make another separate post to really explain it well.
Educate yourself on gait. There is a lot you can learn from books, YouTube videos and trainer DVDs but having someone beside you that understands the territory is invaluable. I also know that in some areas, finding a gaited trainer that’s worth a shit is really hard. So there’s Facebook! Join a page called Gaited Horses - Training and Behavior Advice. I believe it’s the largest gaited training page on Facebook. There are lots of opinions there but one of my favorite gaited trainers, Ivy Schexnader, is an admin and actively responds to posts.
If you happen upon a horse who is still wearing stacks, seek opinions from a vet and farrier before doing ANYTHING to the horse’s feet. Horses that have worn stacked pads for prolonged periods of time need to be transitioned gradually to a normal shoe. Their hooves have changed due to the fixed position the stacks held them in, and the length the hooves must be left at in order for the stacks to fit. They need time to change back to normal.
Every Big Lick horse I have ever met or heard of has shared one problem - they are not cool with other horses coming up quickly behind them, in the ring or on the trail. Truthfully, I don’t really know why this is such a consistent problem with these guys. When I watch Big Lick classes, the horses are always very bunched up but it’s interesting to me that the experience is so traumatic that it sticks around in all of the rescues I’ve ever seen. The reactions are different but I have witnessed this dozens of times in a gelding I know well named Bobby. He is much better now, years of training later, but still to this day will react badly to a horse coming up quickly on his ass. He has a signature blow-up.
The first thing he does is come to almost a complete stop, rock back hard onto his hindquarters and rocking-horse bounce forward while flinging his front legs upwards towards his face. Like he’s imitating the Big Lick gait. He does this for a second or two before he starts to rear, although he stays close to the ground. It makes perfect sense to me when I consider that his owner thinks he suffers from PTSD. It makes sense that he would stay low when rearing if he’s reacting to memories of being padded - padded horses don’t rear very high because then they have to come down hard on their front feet.
Laying down is often the go-to protest move for Big Lick horses because when they were padded, it was the only thing they could do to 1. Alleviate the pain from standing and 2. Try to fight back without hurting themselves even more. Rearing is second, although they usually stay low like I said before. However, their feet (hopefully) don’t hurt anymore, and if they figure this out, the rearing could get more dangerous.
You’re not very likely to find a Big Lick horse with a bucking problem because bucking puts all of their weight on their front feet.
They can be very "gotta go gotta go let’s go gotta go now gotta gait gotta go” from the moment you get into the saddle because that’s how they were always ridden. This is a habit that can be hard to break, out of all the BL horses I know, only a few have been able to truly calm down and not instantly revert back to show horse brain when they get stressed.
A lot of people think that BL horses will have a problem with the farrier, that it’ll be really hard to teach them to be ok with having their feet handled, but for some horses this isn’t true. On the flip, they have had their feet handled extensively just about every day and allowing their feet to be worked on has become second nature. BUT they could also have a LOT of problems having their feet handled. It’s about 50/50. Be very careful when handling the horse’s feet for the first time. This is an area where each horse is different and you can’t be sure what you’re going to get.
They are often unpredictable. Personally, I feel that this is because the ones who endured the worst abuse suffer from PTSD or some other form of permanent trauma. The times I have witnessed them go from 0-100, it always seemed like something in their head clicked and now they’re a different horse. Maybe I’m just too sensitive to mental health issues but to me, the seemingly unprovoked explosion often seems like a trigger moment. They seem to be prone to “random” explosions sprinkled into an otherwise well-behaved horse.
They really benefit from pasture down-time, like racehorses when they come down from the track. They’ve likely not been given much turn-out, though, so monitor them at first to make sure they know how to behave and don’t injure themselves. Since they are usually over-stalled, there are lots of cribbers.
Their personalities are the best. It takes a special kind of horse to endure what these guys have and still seek attention from people. All but one of the BL horses I’ve met have been very personable on the ground.
They actually do not tend to be spooky in or out of the arena. I’ve seen Bobby do a lot of shit but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him spook. I have the most personal experience with him but I have talked to other people who have BL rescues and they are praised as trail horses because they don’t spook at much. This also has a bit to do with the wonders of the TWH brain but their time in show training has made them very focused on their job when they are being ridden.
They may never be sound again. They may never be sane enough to ride again. Every one of these horses experienced something different. They haven’t all been beaten, but some have. Patience is KEY. Stay in contact with your vet. Do tons of your own research. Reach out for help. These horses need a savior but they need someone willing to dedicate a year or more to their recovery. They need someone ready for frustration and taking 20 steps forward and then 50 back. They need a gentle hand that knows when to forgive and when to ask for more because they’re amazing horses and they can achieve so much if you know how to talk to them.
In order to create the Museum’s wolf diorama, taxidermist George Adams studied animal locomotion extensively. He knew that wolves, and indeed all dogs, use a specific sequence of foot falls when running at high speed. A feature of their running gait is “gathered suspension,” the point in each stride when all four feet are suspended off the ground and gathered below the animal. The animals here are posed as they extend their limbs into the next stride, immediately after that moment of suspension. This allowed Adams to touch one foot to the ground, providing a single point of support for the mounts through a specially designed iron support that runs through the wolf’s foot.
Here’s a big long post about the Big Lick gait in Tennessee Walking Horses.
I’ve done a lot of research on this, because even though I own Rockies, it hits very close to home and there are a few closet Big Lick sympathizers in the RMHA. The day Big Lick merges into Rockies is the day I quit.
Basically, the gait can be achieved a couple of ways. Putting heavy pads (also called stacks) on the horse’s front feet, putting chains around the ankles of the horses, or soring using various chemicals. Kerosene and mustard oil are two of the popular ones.
You may or may not have seen the Jackie McConnell video (this video can be extremely upsetting. Watch with caution). That video is an extreme. I can’t say that all BL horses are abused to that extreme, because I haven’t done my research on that.
What I can say for sure is that the gait is a result of pain. If you talk to somebody who is in favor of the gait, they’ll deny, deny, deny. You’ll either hear the “they’re not in pain” speech, or the “I don’t care, they’re just horses” speech. I’ve heard both.
Are all BL horses sored? Nope. Does that mean they’re pain-free? Nope.
Things I have heard from supporters include “stacks don’t hurt them” and “chains don’t hurt them.” I do have a question, to anyone who believes that. What happens when you put polo wraps, protective boots, or anything around your horses foot or leg for the first time? They step high and funny. But they get over it. Some horses respond to those things by stepping high and funny each time they’re put on, but they always get used to it and resume walking and moving naturally. How do you get a horse to continue stepping that high, even after countless rides with the equipment on? Pain. “The chains are just like a watch.” If that were true, the horses would get used to them. No, the chains are there to bang on their sore legs after having chemicals soaked into their flesh. Pain.
Look at the stacks. There are x-rays of stacks with nails jamming into the sole of the foot. Do all stacks look like that? Maybe not. You can put other things, like golf balls and broken glass, between the sole of the foot and the pads. Guarantee stepping on those things hurts. A lot. Are there stacks without anything between the foot and the pads? Sure. The angle the foot has to be in to wear those stacks is still uncomfortable and painful.
Now, I’ll switch gears. Let’s pretend that stacks don’t cause pain. Does anyone believe that doing that gait doesn’t cause insane stress to their muscles and feet? I’ve heard that the stacks aren’t left on all year, but that can make the feet even worse. Their toes must be left way too long for the stacks to fit when they’re put back on. Putting them on and off over and over weakens their feet tremendously and turns them into crumbly disasters.
I don’t think I even need to explain how the gait stresses and destroys the muscles in their shoulders and hind end.
Natural TWH are prized for one or both of two gaits: the running walk, and the rack. The gait you don’t want them doing is a pace, which is a two-beat lateral gait. Think of it as a lateral trot. Very bouncy and undesirable in most gaited breeds. TWH are being bred to pace, because pacey horses can “more easily” preform the Big Lick. Breeding for the wrong thing, effectively ruining the breed.
Now, look at the reputation of Tennessee Walking Horses. There are countries that don’t even want to import any of them because of what they see in the Big Lick ring. Those uneducated about the breed are throwing them to the curb because they assume all of them do the Big Lick. A beautiful, wonderfully temperamented breed is being dismissed because of this practice.
Even if the stacks and chains aren’t causing pain, the horse is being ruined by just the performance alone. There is no winning situation. Well, I’m wrong. The only winning situation is the one where this practice is ended.
Last week, on Mondays post, we introduced potential areas for power leaks.
The common areas for leaks are:
great toe dorsiflexion
loss of ankle rocker
loss of knee flexion/extension
loss of hip extension
loss of balance/ proprioception
let’s take a look at a video of the 1st one:
Power leak 1: Great Toe Dorsiflexion
The big toe needs to extend AT LEAST 40 degrees and CLOSER TO 60 degrees for normal walking and running gait. If you do not have that available range of motion, then you will need to “borrow” it from somewhere else.
Common compensations include:
externally rotating the foot and coming off the inside of the great toe. this often causes a callus at the medial aspect of the toe. This places the foot in more pronation (plantar flexion, eversion and abduction) so it is a poorer lever.
internally rotating the foot and coming off the outside of the foot. This places the foot in more supination ( dorsiflexion, inversion and adduction) and it is therefore a more rigid lever. This often causes tripping or stumbling because of a lack of adequate dorsiflexion of the foot.
lifting the foot off the ground and avoiding toe off at terminal stance phase
abbreviating the step length to accommodate the amount of available great toe dorsiflexion.
Are YOU losing power? Tune in here for more tips on this series in the coming weeks!
The Gait Guys. Increasing your gait literacy with each and every post.
I was thinking that a pair of Vibram 5 Fingers would be far easier to pack for all those trips where I think a run or two would be nice (or on days when I have a lot to carry). All too often, I leave my trainers home to save space.
Thing is, I don’t see myself wanting to completely transition to barefoot running. I am am heel striker who goes for neutral shoes that aren’t especially padded (Mizuno Wave Precision for the last few years). I think it’s more likely that I’d run in the Vibrams sometimes as a forefoot striker and in regular trainers as a heel striker, and I wonder if that’s just weird and asking for injuries.
Has anyone found that they run in both with differing gait? Was it worth trying?
I guess I’m just looking to hear accounts of personal experience with this.
Oh dear. I’ve seen so many police/criminal headcanons lately. So many posts about handcuffs and stuff
Elsa tried to keep running at a steady gait as she raised her arm to fire. She’d been deployed after the red-headed thief drained some classified data. The woman had managed to deflect Elsa’s initial shock shot, despite only having a moment’s notice. She had impressive reflexes. Unfortunately for Elsa, that meant that their pursuit had led all over the city and resulted in several more missed shots.
She fired. Her unit only had three more shots before the augment started draining her body for power. Given that she’d been chasing the woman on foot through the lower city for almost twenty minutes, Elsa couldn’t afford the drop in stamina.
The shot zipped past the thief’s hips, missing by an inch, but was close enough to make the woman jump and stumble.
Elsa’s legs burned as she sprinted forward, draining just a bit of her augment’s battery power for an extra edge as she vaulted over a tumbled column.
The thief glanced back over her shoulder and flashed Elsa a bright smile.
Elsa focused on closing the distance and, as the thief leapt over the hood of an ancient electric car, she fired again.
A direct hit. The thief’s body seized and tumbled to the other side of the vehicle. Elsa clambered over the car and allowed herself a triumphant smile at the sight of her quarry finally stilled.
Temporarily paralyzed, the woman and her bright blue eyes could only stare blankly as Elsa flipped her onto her stomach and attached a set of handcuffs. They lit up along the edges as Elsa temporarily uplinked to them so that the police headquarters would initiate tracking. A faint blue glow indicated that the handcuffs had activated shutdown programming that would, hopefully, negate whatever augments or protoskin programs the thief might be running.
“You have the the right to be voluntarily compliant,” Elsa recited. “Any move toward noncompliance can and will be taken as a sign of resistance. All resistance will be answered with a forcible and temporary shutdown of your cybersystems.” She roughly seized the woman’s shoulders and pulled her off the ground. She then propped her into a sitting position, leaning back against the car. “The city police are not responsible for any injury that may result from such a shutdown. You have the right to a hearing.”
Ignoring the freckled woman’s glare as the paralysis began to wear off, Elsa straddled her legs so she couldn’t kick and cupped her chin. “Eyes wide, if you would.”
The woman’s eyebrows narrowed and she opened her mouth to say something, but Elsa put her thumb over her lips before she could. “The retina scan is the easy part.” She said. “And you might as well accept that it’s going to happen. Make this easy on both of us.”
The woman’s lips went taut under Elsa’s thumb before she rolled her eyes. She pressed a kiss to Elsa’s thumb, which the officer quickly withdrew, and winked before widening her eyes, which were a piercing blue-green.
Elsa brought her other hand up and scanned them. The thief’s thighs tensed and shifted between Elsa’s legs as the uplink matched the scan to the system. Her (unsurprisingly incomplete) profile scrolled in front of Elsa’s eyes.
“Welcome to being arrested, Ms. Anderson.” Elsa said, permitting a smirk to twitch at the corner of her lips. There was nothing better than the high that came with victory.
Despite her hands cuffed behind her back, the criminal managed to look a bit smug herself. “Please,” she said. “Call me Anna.” She winked.
Elsa arched one eyebrow. “And why,” she replied, “would I do that?”
Anna’s grin spread. “You’ll find out in a moment.”
She refused to say anything else as Elsa forced her to her feet. Elsa was about to check their coordinates and order a heli-lift when an alert flashed across her HUD.
Time is 1900. City Shield is activating. WARNING: You are outside the city perimeter. WARNING: You are outsid-
Elsa cut the alert with a swipe of her hand and closed her fist with the right command to clear her HUD as she looked up at the central city tower. Already, the lights were gathering. She’d had the HUD disabled during her chase because it was distracting and messed with her depth perception. And she wasn’t as familiar with lower city, so she hadn’t realized when they’d slipped over the perimeter, which wasn’t well-marked on the shit side of town.
“I hope your mother’s systems short out,” she whispered to Anna as they watched the rainbow of shifting plasmatic colors arc down in a descending arc from the central city tower. It was beautiful, in its own way. A thousand hues that shimmered like glass with their shifting shapes.
“My mother’s dead, so your wish is granted,” Anna whispered back, plopping her chin on Elsa’s shoulder.
Elsa nearly jumped. She’d been too preoccupied watching the wall of safety descend (with herself on the wrong side of it) to notice the criminal saunter behind her.
She whirled around. “Anderson, do you realize what you’ve done?! We may not live through this night, but if we do, I swear by Newton that I will see the rest of your life spent in a miserable cell.”
Anna just stepped back and leaned against the car. “I said to call me Anna,” she said. “And you’re going to want to because you and I are friends for tonight until the shields go down.”
Elsa opened her mouth when Anna continued. “And yes, I know exactly what I’ve done. I’ve put us in my territory…” She glanced down at Elsa’s name badge. “Elsa. Lovely name, by the way.” Her eyes seemed to linger a moment on Elsa’s chest before she cleared her throat and continued. “And I understand that you probably don’t want to take off my handcuffs, but allow me to assure you that you won’t last a night outside the city without me.”
A sick feeling churned in Elsa’s stomach. It was the feeling she got when somebody was right and they weren’t her.
Anna turned away from her. “But don’t worry. I’ll be perfectly cooperative. We might even have a bit of fun along the way.” Elsa went bright red as Anna bent forward over the hood of the car. “I have some useful things in my pockets, so you’ll probably want to frisk me, Elsa.”
Stepping forward, Elsa tried to tell herself she was being professional about the affair as she bent down to check Anna’s ankles first. “And why should I trust you?”
“Because I just stole some data that indicates that you shouldn’t trust them, that city you work for,” Anna chirped, "and they’re worried you might find out something from me, which is probably why you didn’t receive a warning alert when you crossed the perimeter. And,” Anna continued with complete disregard for the minor crisis occurring in Elsa’s head, “I never let a pretty lady die if I can help it.”
This was a lot of fun, actually~ 1169 words but I don’t even care because it was so lovely to write.
Down to 2 drabble requests!!! I’m thinking when I open them up again, to do a bit of a more general open format. So, not with the codes and such. Or maybe loosen it up a bit, at least. Let me know if you guys have any thoughts on it.
I'd like to see hiccup slip on his peg leg while running after his and astrid child.. and when he's at the ground the baby finally stops and starts to laugh at his father.. I think it's very cutee.. i'm awwwwing What do you think?
So I twisted it juuuust a little bit, but I haven’t done Daddy!Hiccup in a while and I have a weird obsession with his prosthesis.
When starting out, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. Before even lacing up your sneakers, do some research: ask friends where they like to run, use online running forums to find popular routes, and check to see if your park has designated trails. The more popular and visible the trail, the better. Popular routes tend to have clearly defined pathways, they are often well-lit, and there’s safety in numbers by choosing a trail that’s frequented by fellow runners. If you’re feeling nervous, then opt to walk the route first, or ask a friend to go running with you. Wherever your run takes you, make sure to follow these basic running tips that will help keep you safe and out of harm’s way.
2: Start Slow (and Soft)
Aside from having to deal with what nature throws at you, running without the momentum of a treadmill is also more taxing on the body. The muscles have to work harder to push the body forward, and the joints take more of a beating from running on uneven (and harder) terrain. When you first begin running outdoors, don’t expect — or even challenge yourself — to run as fast or as long as you do on a treadmill. Give your body time to adjust by gradually replacing treadmill runs with some that are outdoors, and keep your first handful of runs on the shorter side. You can pick up the pace and add mileage as your body acclimates. To make the transition easier on your joints and avoid injury, start by running on softer surfaces like grass, a track, or a wooded trail.
No. 3: There’s More to It Than Just Running
At its simplest, running is about one foot in front of the other, but your regimen should include more than just runs. Running on a treadmill allows for convenient notifications to warm up and cool down — not something that happens when you’re outside. Being away from the gym also means there are fewer visual reminders to stretch and strength train, which are important components of any runner’s routine. Prevent injury by always warming up the muscles with a brisk five-minute walk, and remember to cool down by slowly decreasing your pace and following that up with some running-specific stretches. Lastly, don’t forget to strength train! Since the body works harder when running outside, the muscles and joints need to be able to handle the challenge to ward off any overuse injuries. Check out these essential strength-training moves for runners.
No. 4: Sometimes You Just Need Support
If you’ve followed all of the previous advice, but still find yourself struggling with pain or overuse injuries, it doesn’t hurt to see a sports doctor, running coach, or physical therapist to have your running gait checked. It wasn’t until I saw a PT that I realized I severelyoverpronate when I run. Since seeing a doctor, I’ve switched to more stable running shoes and have also learned how to tape up the arches of my foot for longer runs where I need extra support. By having your own gait analyzed, you will be able to figure out what kind of runner you naturally are and learn what tweaks you can make to improve your form and time on the road.
Here’s another great straight ahead example by Bill Roberts, this one from the Mickey Mouse short, “The Dognapper”. This is a long, complex sequence, animated straight ahead and on one’s. In other words, a LOT of drawings!
A lot of different things are going on here simulateously. Mickey and Donald are running at different gaits. They tumble over each other. Their hats switch in mid air. They have to look and react to the saw blade behind them, as well as each other as they pass or contact one another. Not to mention a lot of secondary action (waving arms, hitch steps, adjusting their helmets, “takes”, etc.), effects (Donald’s feathers as the blade gets him), follow through/overlapping action (Mickey’s tail)… and just when you thought this couldn’t be any more complicated to animate, because of the complexity of the actions, both Mickey and Donald had to be drawn together on the same sheet of paper! PHEW! #billroberts #animation #thedognapper