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Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 12:11 AM
Hi - I've got my MC in a village - he knows the village headman. MC has just failed to apprehend the person he came to get, two villagers were hurt and the MC's fightingman killed. MC has traveled by horse for two days, traveling overnight for the second night. He wants to leave that morning but the village headman and one villager want to stall the MC for at least the night. I was wondering what legit or seemingly legit (the MC is in a suggestible frame of mind) reasons care for the horses could provide for stalling the MC at least till nightfall. There are two horses, his own and his man's. Would say, the horses really need a rest? They've had a whole night, just like the MC. Is there any kind of special care that might take a bit more time that the headman could convince the MC the horses need? Would it be too much of a coincidence that one of the horses needs a new shoe? (I'd prefer not to make these villagers do something less than honest)

wow - that was a long explanation. Well, if anybody has any idea, I'd be very grateful to hear them :)

LN

Elaine Margarett
07-07-2012, 12:26 AM
I honestly don't know, except a horse needing a shoe or shoes isn't something that would take long at all to remedy. And I can't imagine they'd be out of the correct size or type of shoe (something that might trip up a modern day blacksmith) since in your MC's case the shoes in the village would all be hand-forged.

Sorry. Hopefully someone else can help.

Angie
07-07-2012, 12:43 AM
One of the horses may come up lame, either from being overtired due to hard riding for two days, or from stepping on something sharp and bruising the area inside the hoof. A horse can be lame and require rest for a couple days or weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.

As Elaine pointed out, replacing a shoe takes very little time, especially for a skilled blacksmith.

AllTheWine
07-07-2012, 01:04 AM
Traveling a day and a night is a totally legit reason to rest a horse overnight. A thrown shoe works too-blacksmith is drunk and can't get his forge going until morning, perhaps ;)

onuilmar
07-07-2012, 01:13 AM
I got confused a bit. Did they (the men and horses) travel for two days with a night's rest in between, or did they travel for two days with the second day including all night?

Even in the first scenario, I think it might depend on how fast they are traveling. My gut feeling is that two full days, even if it's mostly at a walk, is a lot. Remember, the horse is carrying the rider.

Also, my instructor once told me that more than 13 hours of riding a week is the breaking point for a typical horse. Those hours of riding will be mostly trotting, cantering, (galloping?) and jumping. Some walking in between.

I asked because someone implied that my riding my horse four hours a week was too much for the horse.

Though a bit garbled, hope that helps.:)

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 01:22 AM
Hi everyone - thanks for the info. So, they traveled for one day, rested at an inn, then travled the second day. There was a skirmish on the second day and both men & horses only got a few hours light sleep. On the third day there was an incident in the village, something like an explosion or lightning. The fighting man was killed. The horses were present but not injured. The third night the MC & both horses rested in the village. So it's the 4th day, the MC wants to turn back, the two villagers think if they can get him to stay one more night they can change his mind & he'll continue his mission. I was hoping the horses could provide the villagers with some kind of believable inconvenience to stall the MC until close to nightfall.

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 02:08 AM
One of the horses may come up lame, either from being overtired due to hard riding for two days, or from stepping on something sharp and bruising the area inside the hoof. A horse can be lame and require rest for a couple days or weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.


Oh I missed this when I posted just now. I guess it's just possible that something like this could show with a days delay, so that the MC might not have noticed it when he was riding, but the villager taking care of the horse might notice it...

jclarkdawe
07-07-2012, 02:24 AM
Any reason for delaying will seem manufactured, and not work for long. A shoe is half an hour of delay. Farrier not available and you just pull the other shoe on the same end. Broken tack and maybe an hour at the most to patch something together. If one of the horses is lame, ride the other and lead the one that is lame. Or leave the one that is lame behind.

Best I can think of is feed both horses some bad corn or grain and let them both colic. If the village animals were only oxen and cows, it's believable.

Personally, I'd buy either a girl or a hangover as more likely to keep him.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

espresso5
07-07-2012, 04:57 AM
What if one (or both) of the horses ran away? Someone left the stall/corral gate open and the horse wandered out. It probably wouldn't go far, but maybe it could go far enough. Horses typically come back at nightfall, so maybe the MC waits until nightfall for the horse/s to come back.

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 05:07 AM
hmm that's interesting. Thank you!

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 05:16 AM
Any reason for delaying will seem manufactured


Hi jclarkdawe, thanks for the useful information. Wondering if you can clarify this a bit.

thothguard51
07-07-2012, 05:25 AM
Based on your scenario, I am with JC. Anything with the horses is going to sound manufactured to anyone who knows a bit about horses.

I would use another excuse, something/someone in the village. Maybe the local Sheriff could be persuaded to lock him up for a night based on what happened. Or a serving girl could be persuaded to give him a mickey at breakfast which makes him sick, or fall asleep.

We really don't have a lot to go on here since we do not know your character, his thinking, his urgency, or much of anything else. But, its your story, use whatever you need to use, so long as it make sense...

thothguard51
07-07-2012, 05:40 AM
Hi jclarkdawe, thanks for the useful information. Wondering if you can clarify this a bit.

Layla, please take no offense, but this post and others you have posted show you have little knowledge about horses and horsemanship. No harm in that so long as you research what you need so experienced horsey people can believe in your storyline.

You are writing in what I assume to be a medieval setting. Horses were expensive, both to own and maintain. Therefore, horses were taken care of by those who owned them. And anyone who owned horses know signs of injury, fatigue, or whatever. So..any sudden delay because of the horses, is going to sound manufactured if the rider did not notice these things himself.

As JC said, shoeing a horse is a simple task and will not take all day. If the tack is bad, most riders know how to fix it, even if its temporary. Illness, well, the rider would of felt a horse going lame so he would suspicious I think to suddenly learn both horses have gone lame.

I am more concerned with what occurred in the village and the dead man if I was a village elder, priest, or sheriff. That alone should be enough to delay his exit until matters are resolved and if there was damage to the village, he might have to pay before allowed to leave.

There are all kinds of ways to go with this, and using the horses as an excuse to delay his leaving just does not sit right with me...

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 05:59 AM
I'm asking because I know very little about horses. Why would I take offense?


And anyone who owned horses know signs of injury, fatigue, or whatever. So..any sudden delay because of the horses, is going to sound manufactured if the rider did not notice these things himself.

I still have trouble understanding 'manufactured' in this context, but I guess you are saying that this is impossible:


I guess it's just possible that something like this could show with a days delay, so that the MC might not have noticed it when he was riding, but the villager taking care of the horse might notice it... I made that guess because a couple of times I've had an injury that I only became aware of some time after doing the things what every it was that injured it.

thothguard51
07-07-2012, 07:16 AM
Layla,

By manufactured, I simply mean the horses being the reason will seem unbelievable to the rider, if the rider has any horse sense at all.

Look at it this way, the rider has ridden this horse for two days, the last day straight through the night with very little rest. When he pulls into the village, I assume he takes the horse to a local stable. If he is depending on this horse as his get away or to take him to where ever he is going, he is going to take care of the horses. He is going to pay to have them well fed and watered. He may even pay to have them rubbed down with a liniment, and if there is none, with manure. Think of manure as a medieval bengay treatment.

Now, if your character does not know anything about horses then I would think it is he who is going to need the extra day to tend to his riding sores. But you have not mentioned your characters knowledge of horses or horsemanship. So I am just throwing ideas out here...

So you see what I am saying...a lot of what you want to do will depend on your characters-character. IMHO of course...

jclarkdawe
07-07-2012, 07:28 AM
Originally Posted by jclarkdawe http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7413895#post7413895)
Any reason for delaying will seem manufactured
Hi jclarkdawe, thanks for the useful information. Wondering if you can clarify this a bit.

With Thothguard having saved me a crap load of writing (thank you), I'll answer this is a slightly different way.

As a writer, you want readers to believe that something happens naturally and in accordance with the normal rules of your world. As a writer, we should always be concerned when something seems too convenient. Here, the horse going lame seems about as likely as how no one sees Superman changing in a phone booth.

Using the horses to delay him works, but just like Superman isn't believable, anyone that knows horses isn't going to buy it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jclarkdawe
07-07-2012, 07:36 AM
What if one (or both) of the horses ran away? Someone left the stall/corral gate open and the horse wandered out. It probably wouldn't go far, but maybe it could go far enough. Horses typically come back at nightfall, so maybe the MC waits until nightfall for the horse/s to come back.

If you have a horse that will run that far, you make damn sure the horse can't run if you're at all dependent on the horse.

Last time my horse broke lose, he wandered for all of fifteen minutes before I caught him. But I know him and I know he's not going to go that far. Otherwise, he'd have been in hobbles as well as tied. (He spooked from someone suddenly popping up behind the trailer and broke his halter. I should have known better then tying him to the trailer. He doesn't like the process and gets into a flight syndrome easily.)

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Chazevelt
07-07-2012, 07:51 AM
You mentioned lightning. Perhaps a local creek or river is too flooded to ford, or a bridge is too swamped to cross? By morning the deluge will have passed?

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 07:34 PM
By manufactured, I simply mean the horses being the reason will seem unbelievable to the rider, if the rider has any horse sense at all. ok, that clears things up a bit, thanks.

...

He may even pay to have them rubbed down with a liniment, and if there is none, with manure. Think of manure as a medieval bengay treatment. wow. I'm grateful to have learned that. I know it may sound like sarcasm, but I'm genuine. That's fascinating.


thanks everybody for your responses & your help.
(adding the fyi: The MC is a kind of sherrif. He was hurt in the attack too.)

jaksen
07-08-2012, 05:16 PM
Have someone steal the horses.

buz
07-08-2012, 06:58 PM
I can't think of anything with the horses that would cause delay that your villagers would have any control over, unless they were incredibly incompetent/don't know crap about horses/bad people who would subject a horse to injury on purpose. There are a couple of things I could think of happening overnight to a horse that might take it out of commission (getting cast in the stall followed by flailing and injury, or getting turned out with an unfamiliar herd and getting injured, colic, maybe illness from tick bite or cellulitis flaring up or something, etc), but these are things that would happen either by chance, or through ignorance/incompetence.

But, there are lots of things that can cause delay...sure you can think of something! :D

frimble3
07-09-2012, 06:52 AM
If he's just going to turn back, what's his hurry? It's not like he's in hot pursuit, at this point.
Maybe he wants to stay over and bury his fightingman? It's a long way to travel back, with a dead man packed on the next horse. And, it's not like the family is going to want to see the body after it's been hauled around for a few days.
Maybe the headman sets up a bit of a wake, or at least sympathises, the night before, and makes sure the MC gets a lot to drink.
In the morning, the MC gets up a little later than he figured, not feeling too good, and the locals are already digging a grave, and are setting up a nice traditional funeral for this stranger in their midst.
Why wouldn't the MC stay to see his man sent off properly?
Depending on local burial customs, the climate, etc. In some cultures it's traditional to bury the dead quickly, within a day, even, which would make it impossible to haul his man home.
And, if you want the headman to get the MC to keep on with his mission, a funeral oration would give him a chance to make a stirring speech about 'doing it for X who died in the line of duty'.

dirtsider
07-10-2012, 03:40 AM
If the fightingman was killed, perhaps the MC was hurt as well. Possibly enough to require an extra day of rest for strained muscles. If nothing else, the local healer might bully the MC into staying the extra night.

Another thing, if the MC is now traveling alone, s/he might not want to travel alone back to his/her point of origin. Travel in the medieval period was dangerous - bandits being one threat. Perhaps the MC inquires after a group of people to join up with for the return trip and has to wait until the next day to head out. Particularly if said group has only just arrived in town that day. Think Canterbury Tales. The whole point of that 'story' was a group of pilgrims telling stories as they traveled to Canterbury.

Unimportant
07-10-2012, 04:16 AM
I think Jim's suggestions make the most sense. The villagers aren't likely to actually harm the horses, and the character isn't going to believe a made-up injury exists. Getting the guy really drunk and then telling him to stay an extra day while he gets over his hangover sounds a lot more believable. Especially if they provide a pretty young woman (or pretty young man) to press a cool cloth to his brow.

shaldna
07-10-2012, 03:37 PM
If the horse has been worked hard for a couple of days and then stalled overnight without being cooled properly, then it's concievable that it could tye-up, which could set them back days if need be. If you didn't want to go that far, then you could just have the horse very stiff and needing another day.