History Main / AutomatonHorses

21st Apr '16 8:36:46 AM GreatWyrmGold
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* In ''Literature/RangersApprentice'', Rangers are incredibly fond of their horses, and will not abandon them, even if it means risking their own lives. They also talk to their horses when they're alone.
2nd Apr '16 10:18:36 PM Hadjorim
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In real life, horses can go lame if you so much as look at them funny. Leave 'em in a stall after you work 'em hard without cooling them out? Cramps. Let them drink too soon after hard work? Cramps. Eat too much? Colic. Let them roll on their backs after eating (they'll do that to cool off and relieve itching)? Colic's big brother, torsion - the intestines get twisted into a knot. Stone in the hoof? Lame. Historically, anyone who used pack animals for transportation used a mule over a horse, mules being in every way sturdier, more sure-footed, longer-lived, and in general better-tempered than horses.



* This is the origin of the phrase "rode hard and put away wet." Horses can go lame if you so much as look at them cross-eyed. Leave 'em in a stall after you work 'em hard without cooling them out? Cramps. Let them drink too soon after hard work? Cramps. Eat too much? Colic. Let them roll on their backs after eating (they'll do that to cool off and relieve itching)? Colic's big brother, torsion - the intestines get twisted into a knot. Stone in the hoof? Lame. Anyone who uses pack animals for transportation is going to pick a mule or donkey over a horse, because mules and donkeys are much hardier animals than horses.



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13th Feb '16 9:48:56 PM MasoTey
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* ''Rope of Sand'' features one mounted character following the tracks of another, only to come upon the leader's overworked horse, which has dropped dead. The pursuer then dismounts, shares the last of his (pitifully inadequate) water supply with his horse, and leads it the rest of the way. [[spoiler:It collapses anyway, and he shoots it.]]

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* ''Rope of Sand'' features one mounted character following the tracks of another, only to come upon the leader's overworked horse, which has dropped dead. The pursuer then dismounts, shares the last of his (pitifully inadequate) water supply with his own horse, and leads it the rest of the way. [[spoiler:It collapses anyway, and he shoots it.]]
13th Feb '16 5:51:54 PM TheUnknownUploader
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** After the events of "The Cave Of Two Lovers", Appa is terrified of going underground, and later episodes have circumstances where making sure he stays up above prove life-threatening.
25th Jan '16 3:20:47 PM MasoTey
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* ''Rope of Sand'' features one mounted character following the tracks of another, only to come upon the leader's overworked horse, which has dropped dead. The pursuer then dismounts, shares the last of his (pitifully inadequate) water supply with his horse, and leads it the rest of the way. [[spoiler:It collapses anyway, and he shoots it.]]
2nd Jan '16 3:35:11 PM Dhaka-dice
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** See real-life example. Also, these horses have been living where Bruce Wayne keeps his giant tank, his black helicopter and a suit designed for fighting Superman (which most likely has already been tested a lot in the cave).


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* War horses were trained to not be spooked by loud noises. Church bells were often used for this.
31st Dec '15 9:25:18 PM pittsburghmuggle
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* ''Film/AGirlNamedSooner'': Mam Hawes whips poor old William the horse into town and William does not survive.
29th Dec '15 2:22:17 PM merotoker
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* Justified in the ''Conrad Stargard'' series. Conrad receives a bio-engineered horse that is super competent, speedy, enduring, strong, etc., etc., etc. And about as smart as an 8-year-old IIRC (the horse, that is). Which makes it creepy that we find out later that the people of the future have bio-engineered [[spoiler:human versions which are more or less used as sexual playthings. Conrad winds up with at least one of them, with some implications that even if they're not terribly intelligent, they're more intelligent than their creators thought. And [[ObfuscatingStupidity smart enough to hide being that smart]].]]

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* Justified in the ''Conrad Stargard'' series. Conrad receives a bio-engineered horse that is super competent, speedy, enduring, strong, etc., etc., etc. And about as smart as an 8-year-old IIRC (the horse, that is). Which makes it creepy that we find out later that the people of the future have bio-engineered [[spoiler:human versions which are more or less used as sexual playthings. Conrad winds up with at least one of them, with some implications that even if they're not terribly intelligent, they're more intelligent than their creators thought. And [[ObfuscatingStupidity smart enough to hide being that smart]].]]smart]]]].



* At one point during the (otherwise completely realistic depiction of a vampire-hunting President) ''Film/AbrahamLincolnVampireHunter'' a character drives a coach pulled by two horses through a wall and does a power-slide into a pair of vampires to make a heroic rescue. Oddly enough in real life attempting to make horses run through walls is harder than it sounds.

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* At one point during the (otherwise otherwise completely realistic depiction of a vampire-hunting President) ''Film/AbrahamLincolnVampireHunter'' President ''Film/AbrahamLincolnVampireHunter'', a character drives a coach pulled by two horses through a wall and does a power-slide into a pair of vampires to make a heroic rescue. Oddly enough in real life attempting to make horses run through walls is harder than it sounds.



* Presumably averted in the first series of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' by the immortal phrase, "[[BrianBlessed Chiswick!]] [[LargeHam FRESH]] [[NoIndoorVoice HORSES!]]"

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* Presumably averted in the first series of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' by the immortal phrase, "[[BrianBlessed "[[Creator/BrianBlessed Chiswick!]] [[LargeHam FRESH]] [[NoIndoorVoice HORSES!]]"



* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has an (unused) art asset for Nemesis. An [[http://images.wikia.com/paragon/images/0/0f/Nemesis_Horse.jpg "steampunk automaton horse with rocket legs"]]

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* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has an (unused) art asset for Nemesis. An A [[http://images.wikia.com/paragon/images/0/0f/Nemesis_Horse.jpg "steampunk automaton horse with rocket legs"]]



* In ''ComicBook/TexWiller'', proper horse care is vital for anyone, anywhere. When the heroes stop for resting on-screen, the writers make it a point to tell what they do to care for their horses (rest them, hydrate them, check on their shoes, etc.), and Tex outright instructs several stable owners to only give water to his steed Dynamite after it's not so sweaty from effort. A decent owner also takes care not to overstrain their mount - pushing a horse to its limits is something that's beyond the GodzillaThreshold for the good guys[[note]]in one issue, Tex has to make a desperate 36-hour trek to a fort to get a medic for his ally Gros-Jean, but even then he's considerate and careful to get off of Dynamite and walk alongside it to let it rest. When they arrive, Dynamite is trembling and foaming at the mouth from exertion, but Tex himself isn't any better, about to fall off the saddle[[/note]], and the outlaws that do it generally don't care enough for the poor animal and pay for it with their steed expiring, which frequently leaves them stranded in the desert and [[KarmicDeath leads to their own shallow graves]], be it by exposure or from being unable to escape dangers such as packs of wild animals or hostile indians.

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* In ''ComicBook/TexWiller'', proper horse care is vital for anyone, anywhere. When the heroes stop for resting on-screen, the writers make it a point to tell what they do to care for their horses (rest them, hydrate them, check on their shoes, etc.), and Tex outright instructs several stable owners to only give water to his steed Dynamite after it's not so sweaty from effort. A decent owner also takes care not to overstrain their mount - pushing a horse to its limits is something that's beyond the GodzillaThreshold for the good guys[[note]]in one issue, Tex has to make a desperate 36-hour trek to a fort to get a medic for his ally Gros-Jean, but even then he's considerate and careful to get off of Dynamite and walk alongside it to let it rest. When they arrive, Dynamite is trembling and foaming at the mouth from exertion, but Tex himself isn't any better, about to fall off the saddle[[/note]], and the outlaws that do it generally don't care enough for the poor animal and pay for it with their steed expiring, which frequently leaves them stranded in the desert and [[KarmicDeath leads to their own shallow graves]], be it by exposure or from being unable to escape dangers such as packs of wild animals or hostile indians.Indians.



* Anna Sewell wrote Literaure/BlackBeauty almost specifically to combat this trope. Much attention is given to how the horses are all living, breathing, feeling animals who need food, water, rest, clean living spaces, reasonably light loads to carry, proper attention given to their injuries, and so forth just like humans. It also makes no bones about how they feel pain, fear, heat, cold, starvation and exhaustion just like humans, and failure to properly care for them can not only prevent them from doing the work humans want, but it can wreck them for life, and in the long-term it can even drive them into early graves.

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* Anna Sewell wrote Literaure/BlackBeauty ''Literature/BlackBeauty'' almost specifically to combat this trope. Much attention is given to how the horses are all living, breathing, feeling animals who need food, water, rest, clean living spaces, reasonably light loads to carry, proper attention given to their injuries, and so forth just like humans. It also makes no bones about how they feel pain, fear, heat, cold, starvation and exhaustion just like humans, and failure to properly care for them can not only prevent them from doing the work humans want, but it can wreck them for life, and in the long-term it can even drive them into early graves.



* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' averts this trope, with the eponymous horse actually being rather high-maintenance for a war stallion. It's {{lampshaded}} in the desert crossing, when the horse explains that "galloping for a night and a day" is only possible in stories and that they must limit themselves to trots and walks. This was a jab at Lewis' friend Creator/JRRTolkien and his nigh-immortal superhorse.

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* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' averts this trope, with the eponymous horse actually being rather high-maintenance for a war stallion. It's {{lampshaded}} {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the desert crossing, when the horse explains that "galloping for a night and a day" is only possible in stories and that they must limit themselves to trots and walks. This was a jab at Lewis' friend Creator/JRRTolkien and his nigh-immortal superhorse.



* {{Lampshaded}} in ''TheWizardAndTheWarMachine'', in which the eponymous wizard, who comes from a high-tech culture, realizes that his horse is exhausted because he's been unconsciously using his PsychicPowers to push it past its limit, driving it like a car. He guiltily stops to tend to the animal properly.

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* {{Lampshaded}} {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''TheWizardAndTheWarMachine'', in which the eponymous wizard, who comes from a high-tech culture, realizes that his horse is exhausted because he's been unconsciously using his PsychicPowers to push it past its limit, driving it like a car. He guiltily stops to tend to the animal properly.



* The famous Bill Mauldin cartoon from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII showing a cavalry sergeant shooting a [[http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/fredbrown/mauldinjeep.jpg jeep with a broken axle as one would a horse injured in combat]]. Later acted out by Col. Potter in a ''Series/{{MASH}}'' episode.
* Jolly Jumper in ComicBook/LuckyLuke gallops faster than his own shadow, for days if need be, sleeping in turns with Luke. He's also extremely smart, and is seen cooking beans, fishing and beating Luke at chess.

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* The famous Bill Mauldin cartoon from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII showing a cavalry sergeant shooting a [[http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/fredbrown/mauldinjeep.[[http://www.infojustice.com/_maul35.jpg jeep with a broken axle as one would a horse injured in combat]]. Later acted out by Col. Potter in a ''Series/{{MASH}}'' episode.
* Jolly Jumper in ComicBook/LuckyLuke ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' gallops faster than his own shadow, for days if need be, sleeping in turns with Luke. He's also extremely smart, and is seen cooking beans, fishing and beating Luke at chess.
23rd Dec '15 11:53:53 AM Fireblood
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* ''Film/{{Hidalgo}}''. Several of the Great Race participants die along with their horses because of the extreme conditions. Lampshaded at the beginning of the race when Hopkins hold Hidalgo back from joining the initial dramatic rush, thus saving energy that gives them a good lead by the end of the day.

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* ''Film/{{Hidalgo}}''. Several of the Great Race participants die along with their horses because of the extreme conditions. Lampshaded at the beginning of the race when Hopkins hold holds Hidalgo back from joining the initial dramatic rush, thus saving energy that gives them a good lead by the end of the day.



* The HighFantasy film ''Film/{{Ladyhawke}}'' both plays this trope straight and adverts it. While the hero (in full armor) rides his CoolHorse at a trot or canter all over the landscape, time is taken to show the horse being fed and groomed, horses are shown slipping and stumbling when ridden on stone floors, and a messenger for the BigBad is shown making a flying remount change in the style of the Mongols.
* ''Film/ThePostman'' shows the eponymous character traveling with a mule (hybrid of donkey and horse) named Bill. The Postman is shown walking along with Bill most of the time, not overburdening him with more weight than necessary, and tries to prevent his horse from drinking (presumably) tainted water. For the brief time they are shown together, the Postman talks to Bill as close friend and generally treats him as equally as a human being.

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* The HighFantasy film ''Film/{{Ladyhawke}}'' both plays this trope straight and adverts averts it. While the hero (in full armor) rides his CoolHorse at a trot or canter all over the landscape, time is taken to show the horse being fed and groomed, horses are shown slipping and stumbling when ridden on stone floors, and a messenger for the BigBad is shown making a flying remount change in the style of the Mongols.
* ''Film/ThePostman'' shows the eponymous character traveling with a mule (hybrid of donkey and horse) named Bill. The Postman is shown walking along with Bill most of the time, not overburdening him with more weight than necessary, and tries to prevent his horse him from drinking (presumably) tainted water. water before he's tested it. For the brief time they are shown together, the Postman talks to Bill as close friend and generally treats him as equally as a human being.being (it helps Bill has been his only company for some time) [[spoiler: thus it's particularly sad when Bill is killed]].



** ''Literature/TheElenium'' series also averts this, if somewhat less vocally. Horses quickly tire, and have to be cared for regularly. [[TheHero Sparhawk]] himself often states that his old warhorse - who've been through quite a lot with him - is really getting too old for this... much like himself.
* Within ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'', especially in Magician this is averted. Horses die from cold and exhaustion, and are even eaten due to lack of food. Indeed, one horse causes the death of one of the characters simply because another horse bit it and caused it to throw him off.

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** ''Literature/TheElenium'' series also averts this, if somewhat less vocally. Horses quickly tire, and have to be cared for regularly. [[TheHero Sparhawk]] himself often states that his old warhorse - who've who's been through quite a lot with him - is really getting too old for this... much like himself.
* Within ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'', especially in Magician ''Magician'', this is averted. Horses die from cold and exhaustion, and are even eaten due to lack of food. Indeed, one horse causes the death of one of the characters simply because another horse bit it and caused it to throw him off.



* Averted in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', where remarks on skittish, chaotic nature of horses are made quite often and many characters are shown as bad riders, not riders at all or deeply distrustful of the animals. Proper animal care is also touched upon: ''Discworld/TheTruth'' makes the point that, for most people, owning a horse is more trouble than it's worth.
** Death's horse, Binky, is often mentioned eating or grazing, Death is seen visiting a blacksmith to re-shoe his horses' hooves -- indeed, one discarded horseshoe is plot-relevant -- and ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'' shows the job of cleaning the Pale Horse's stables.[[note]]Unlike Death himself (as well as most usual depictions of Grim Reapers'/Death's steed) Binky is a living horse who gets perks from Death's influence.[[/note]]

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* Averted in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', where remarks on the skittish, chaotic nature of horses are made quite often and many characters are shown as bad riders, not riders at all or deeply distrustful of the animals. Proper animal care is also touched upon: ''Discworld/TheTruth'' makes the point that, for most people, owning a horse is more trouble than it's worth.
** Death's horse, Binky, is often mentioned eating or grazing, Death is seen visiting a blacksmith to re-shoe his horses' hooves -- indeed, one discarded horseshoe is plot-relevant -- and ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'' shows the job of cleaning the Pale Horse's stables.[[note]]Unlike Death himself (as well as most usual depictions of the Grim Reapers'/Death's Reaper's/Death's steed) Binky is a living horse who gets perks from Death's influence.[[/note]]



** Also averted in ''Going Postal''. Moist offends the stable keeper by implying he rents "feagued up old screws", and instead is given Boris, a psychopathic animal who would be a fine racing stalion if he weren't so violent. He's impossible to steer, impossible to stop, and leaves Moist with a severe case of saddle sore. He also eventually gets tired and stops of his own accord because he wants a drink.

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** Also averted in ''Going Postal''. Moist offends the stable keeper by implying he rents "feagued up old screws", and instead is given Boris, a psychopathic animal who would be a fine racing stalion stallion if he weren't so violent. He's impossible to steer, impossible to stop, and leaves Moist with a severe case of saddle sore. He also eventually gets tired and stops of his own accord because he wants a drink.



* Creator/CJCherryh: Adverts this strongly in multiple works. Her characters fall off horses, get horses shot out from under them, switch remounts to prevent exhaustion, have trouble going through thick woods after people on foot, and spend a tremendous amount of time feeding, brushing, and caring for their mounts. Strongest in the Morgaine, Paladin and Finisterre novels, but it even shows up in the conventional SF works like Cyteen.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' averts this trope, with the eponymous horse actually being rather high-maintenance for a war stallion. It's {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the desert crossing, when the horse explains that "galloping for a night and a day" is only possible in stories and that they must limit themselves to trots and walks. This was a jab at Lewis' friend Creator/JRRTolkien and his nigh-immortal superhorse.
** This is further inverted the next day when Creator/CSLewis points out that the horse would have been capable of a good deal more hard riding if he had a pitiless spur-wearing rider. Having been enslaved so long he lost the ability to push himself and in fact the physically weaker horse then pushes the pace.

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* Creator/CJCherryh: Adverts Creator/CJCherryh averts this strongly in multiple works. Her characters fall off horses, get horses shot out from under them, switch remounts to prevent exhaustion, have trouble going through thick woods after people on foot, and spend a tremendous amount of time feeding, brushing, and caring for their mounts. Strongest in the Morgaine, Paladin and Finisterre novels, but it even shows up in the conventional SF works like Cyteen.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' averts this trope, with the eponymous horse actually being rather high-maintenance for a war stallion. It's {{lampshade|Hanging}}d {{lampshaded}} in the desert crossing, when the horse explains that "galloping for a night and a day" is only possible in stories and that they must limit themselves to trots and walks. This was a jab at Lewis' friend Creator/JRRTolkien and his nigh-immortal superhorse.
** This is further inverted the next day when Creator/CSLewis Lewis points out that the horse would have been capable of a good deal more hard riding if he had a pitiless spur-wearing rider. Having been enslaved so long he lost the ability to push himself and in fact the physically weaker horse then pushes the pace.



*** And, bringing the trope full circle, in one of the later books, mention is made about an old song about a talking horse and his rider, who galloped day and night from Calormen to Anvard to bring word of an invasion to king Lune.

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*** And, bringing the trope full circle, in one of the later books, books mention is made about an old song about a talking horse and his rider, who galloped day and night from Calormen to Anvard to bring word of an invasion to king Lune.



* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''TheWizardAndTheWarMachine'', in which the eponymous wizard, who comes from a high-tech culture, realizes that his horse is exhausted because he's been unconsciously using his PsychicPowers to push it past its limit, driving it like a car. He guiltily stops to tend to the animal properly.

to:

* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d {{Lampshaded}} in ''TheWizardAndTheWarMachine'', in which the eponymous wizard, who comes from a high-tech culture, realizes that his horse is exhausted because he's been unconsciously using his PsychicPowers to push it past its limit, driving it like a car. He guiltily stops to tend to the animal properly.



* Averted in of all things ''Literature/BattlefieldEarth'', the book at least. Mentioning changing horses several times during strenuous work.
* Creator/RaymondEFeist constantly averts this in his works. Horses die left and right when pushed to escape enemies, and are replaced as often as possible to not tire them out too much if not because they already died. One character knew a lot about horses and his adventures constantly involved fairly detailed explanations of his care of them, impressing many other characters with said expertise.

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* Averted in of all things ''Literature/BattlefieldEarth'', the book at least. Mentioning least, which mentions changing horses several times during strenuous work.
* Creator/RaymondEFeist constantly averts this in his works. Horses die left and right when pushed to escape enemies, and are replaced as often as possible to not tire them out too much much, if not because they already died. One character knew a lot about horses and his adventures constantly involved fairly detailed explanations of his care of them, impressing many other characters with said expertise.



* Averted in ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'', and ''not'' only regarding dragons. E.g. Piemur considers his "[[CallARabbitASmeerp runner beast]]" [[note]]the Pernese have ''something'' in common with [[JustForFun/LousyAlternateTitles Leonard of Quirm]], indeed[[/note]] whom he named Stupid to be more companion than transport. In fact, it's nigh-impossible for dragonriders to start families--partly because they're already caring for something that's totally dependent on them, and partly because if they form strong attachments to their children, dying unexpectedly would be ''hugely'' traumatizing for the child(ren) in question. Female riders generally foster their kids out the minute they've recovered from giving birth.

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* Averted in ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'', and ''not'' only regarding dragons. E.g. Piemur considers his "[[CallARabbitASmeerp runner beast]]" [[note]]the Pernese have ''something'' in common with [[JustForFun/LousyAlternateTitles Leonard of Quirm]], indeed[[/note]] whom he named Stupid Stupid, to be more companion than transport. In fact, it's nigh-impossible for dragonriders to start families--partly because they're already caring for something that's totally dependent on them, and partly because if they form strong attachments to their children, dying unexpectedly would be ''hugely'' traumatizing for the child(ren) in question. Female riders generally foster their kids out the minute they've recovered from giving birth.



* Averted in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms' ''Finder's Stone'' trilogy, where the characters specifically pay attention to the needs of horses. In the third book, a cleric who knows nothing of horses "sets one free" without removing a saddle, and others scold her for this later. That the one rebuking her is 20 years old and she's ostensibly mature but in fact ''one year old'' is an icing on the cake. And other "freed" horse simply didn't go, being "too well trained to do anything stupid like that".
* Averted in the Rai-Kirah series by Carol Berg. One of the main cultures is very horse-centric, based probably on a mesh between Arabic nomads and medieval Europe. The men will take their horses into their dwellings with them if they're sick or injured, and always devote the proper time and energy into their care. It's accepted that the men will care more for their horses than their women or slaves.

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* Averted in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms' ''Finder's Stone'' trilogy, where the characters specifically pay attention to the needs of horses. In the third book, a cleric who knows nothing of horses "sets one free" without removing a saddle, and others scold her for this later. That the one rebuking her is 20 years old and she's ostensibly mature but in fact ''one year old'' is an icing on the cake. And other another "freed" horse simply didn't go, being "too well trained to do anything stupid like that".
* Averted in the Rai-Kirah series by Carol Berg. One of the main cultures is very horse-centric, based probably on a mesh between Arabic nomads and medieval Europe. The men will take their horses into their dwellings with them if they're sick or injured, and always devote the proper time and energy into to their care. It's accepted that the men will care more for their horses than their women or slaves.



* Averted by Creator/HarryTurtledove in his [[Literature/{{Timeline191}} General Order 191]] books. The characters are all familiar with horses and care is taken to show how they handle them, though, these books being set during wars, many horses still die.

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* Averted by Creator/HarryTurtledove in his [[Literature/{{Timeline191}} General Order 191]] ''Literature/{{Timeline191}}'' books. The characters are all familiar with horses and care is taken to show how they handle them, though, these books being set during wars, many horses still die.
22nd Dec '15 3:39:07 PM Fireblood
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** Ser Loras wins a joust against a knight with a taste for riding bad-tempered stallions by riding a mare in heat driving the stallion crazy so he throws his rider. In-universe audience reaction differs on whether this is hilariously creative or bad sportsmanship, but the opponent's reaction is to hack his own horse's head off and then go after Loras.

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** Ser Loras wins a joust against a knight with a taste for riding bad-tempered stallions by riding a mare in heat heat, driving the stallion crazy so he throws his rider. In-universe audience reaction differs on whether this is hilariously creative or bad sportsmanship, but the opponent's reaction is to hack his own horse's head off and then go after Loras.



* Justified in the ''Conrad Stargard'' series. Conrad receives a bio-engineered horse that is super competent, speedy, enduring, strong, etc., etc., etc. And about as smart as an 8-year-old IIRC (the horse, that is). Which makes iT creepy that we find out later that the people of the future have bio-engineered [[spoiler:human versions which are more or less used as sexual playthings. Conrad winds up with at least one of them, with some implications that even if they're not terribly intelligent, they're more intelligent than their creators thought. And [[ObfuscatingStupidity smart enough to hide being that smart]].]]

to:

* Justified in the ''Conrad Stargard'' series. Conrad receives a bio-engineered horse that is super competent, speedy, enduring, strong, etc., etc., etc. And about as smart as an 8-year-old IIRC (the horse, that is). Which makes iT it creepy that we find out later that the people of the future have bio-engineered [[spoiler:human versions which are more or less used as sexual playthings. Conrad winds up with at least one of them, with some implications that even if they're not terribly intelligent, they're more intelligent than their creators thought. And [[ObfuscatingStupidity smart enough to hide being that smart]].]]
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