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BigDon
2010-Jan-05, 10:33 PM
Thought I'd give ABR a break from identifing bugs he doesn't study and ask some questions about animals I'm actually ignorant of.

Like horses. Considering the history of humans and horses I found the ignorance annoying. I think the only other animal with a closer history, aside for our parasites, would be the dog, and I already known a lot of dog stuff.

One thing that gets me is horses always startle me with their awareness. They don't seem to be "lawn mowers with legs" like a lot of herbivores. A discriptor I first heard applied to wilderbeasts.

Now the purpose of my post is I wanted to relate a weirdness I saw on one of the local beachs that has a horse rental. And as I was walking in a southerly direction I saw coming towards me a party of three on horseback, with one man in his early fifties who had obviously never been on a horse before. His two younger companions where shouting all kinds of advice and instruction, making it clear to all this guy was a total newbie at this.

Then his two friends did something even I knew was a mistake. They goosed their own horses into a into full gallop. Of course the old guy's horse wanted to keep up so it went into a full gallop as well.

Now this guy was in trouble from the beginning. He got totally out of sinc with the horse so his butt would rise about a foot and a half up off the saddle and come crashing down hard on it in every pace cycle. I'm sure you guys must have a name for that.

The poor ol cuss then abandoned the reins altogether and grabbed the horse around the neck. And I recall hoping he had all the children he wanted as I'm sure his stones were fairly flattened by this time, and as he came abreast of me I turned to follow his progress and saw something that took my breathe away.

Another party of horsemen coming the otherway! Also at a gallop!

Holy Mother of Pearl! The runaway and another horse from the second party collided fully chest to chest! I've never even heard of that before!

And these weren't no ponies! These were both big bays!

Both riders hit head to head and messed each other up hard and the horse with the old guy on it did a complete cartwheel in the air. Let me say that again. The horse did a complete cartwheel in the air. And got up again.

The cartwheeling horse went into the merry go round posture while airbourne. As this happened only about thirty feet away from me I definately had the feeling I got when I saw those oliphants collide in the last Lord of The Rings. An incredibly meaty smack followed by a moment of shocked silence as if the whole landscape sucked in its breath in surprise.

The two riders and the other horse where knocked unconsious. I had a huge sinking feeling at what I thought was decortical posturing in the down horse, but apparently I'm not familiar enough with horse anatomy. The down horse woke up and got up even before the ambulances got there. While I can't say about internal injuries neither horse had a broken leg.

How often do horses collide like that?

The bouncing rider, was his issue because he lost his grip with his legs?

How could he have un:silenced:ed himself once he started bouncing that that? (I want to try to learn to ride, but not like that!)

I told this story to two other horsemen I know and both got really angry, one got red faced and sputtery. Said that place shouldn't have rented a big horse to a rank newbie.

I thought horses had better auto-pilot than that. (I guess the horse thought that too. About his rider that is.)

In cavalry actions was that more prevalent than Hollywood let's on? Cartwheeling horses, that is. As the SPCA didn't like trip wires for horses in movies I'd imagine something that made horses cartwheel through the air would have them pooping wolverines.

(My old command Master Chief would poop wolverines once in a while. Never a pretty picture.)

More questions later.

ABR.
2010-Jan-05, 10:42 PM
Well, BigDon, it's kind of like this...oh, cartwheeling horses did you say? Nevermind. I think I'll just turn back to my scope now....

sarongsong
2010-Jan-05, 11:17 PM
Wow, BigDon, you're #1 at google for cartwheeling horses (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=opera&rls=en&q=cartwheeling+horses&aq=f&oq=&aqi=)! :clap:

BigDon
2010-Jan-05, 11:38 PM
Sarong,

No point in doing things halfway. :)

Ronald Brak
2010-Jan-06, 05:12 AM
Holy Crud! I would never have expected a horse to get up again after cartwheeling. Perhaps it would need to be put down, but maybe it survived. Stranger things have happened. I know my sister was upset that after totalling her car by hitting a kangaroo, the kangaroo got up and hopped away. Unfortunately the roo probably didn't survive long, although they are a species that can survive the odd cartwheel. (When you are an the habit of leaping at high speed through the Australian bush, you gotta be tough.) I feel sorry for the riders. Lots of risk of serious brain and neck damage, although if they were both wearning helmets they might get off relatively lightly.

As for how often horses collide like that, I'd say it certainly would have happened in battles, but how often I don't know. There is a lot of debate on the topic. My guess is it would have happened much more than some people think simply because there is so much scope for disaster in any battle, let alone one involving charging horses. Although horses definiately don't want to collide with objects they can have trouble seeing what's ahead and I imagine that in some calvary charges horses would have stampeded in a blind panic and in such a state they will collide with objects, drown themselves in rivers and so on.

Here is a link to someone discussing horse collisions with some youtube links:

http://www.investigations.4-lom.com/2008/03/13/when-horses-collide/

And it looks like the same person has written more on the topic:

http://www.investigations.4-lom.com/2006/12/13/cavalry-charges-shock/