Metal and Equine Related Questions

POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:08 am

Okay so this is not as random of a question as my recent ones. I'm picking up a new character hopefully next week who is a highly skilled horseman. Although I would not quite consider myself an expert, I'm currently in an equine degree, will be learning farrier work, and am in a harness driving class so feel that I am fairly comfortable with this material - however - where I am having issues is when I'm trying to understand where Luperci are with all this stuff. Originally I had been under the impression that things were very bare bones and basic but looking back at some other horse related post and pages, some characters seem to have more advanced pieces of tack than I might expect, so I'm kind of confused at where our characters are at with equine related things. For training I figured my character would have had some access to old books, possibly incomplete but better than nothing as well as some mentors as far as where he gets his knowledge from, but that still doesn't help me with the other technical aspects.

Also I was not going to give him a whole lot of knowledge on actually crafting equipment but I did want him to be knowledgeable on how to use them. I also did not plan on him having a whole lot of medical knowledge but did want him to have some "veterinary" skills as far as horses go, as I personally believe that any proficient horseman should have basic veterinary knowledge. I don't mean surgical but simple things like treating lameness, some illnesses, and so forth. I know that a character can not ever be as advanced as say someone with decades of experience given their lifespan, but I think in six or so years of diligent learning, they could become respectably advanced although always continuing to learn.

Saddles: On this horse wiki page it seems that there is not much detail put into current tools for working with horses. It talks about western, english, and australian stock saddles, but I question how characters even capable of making these more modern styles of saddles? Are these sort of saddles from when humans had been alive and were simply salvaged and restored? Or are the saddles here supposed to be more like accident constructions and simple saddles instead? I had been envisioning something more like this. Also an important part to the sort of saddles would be if Luperci could construct a saddle tree. I don't know if they would be more likely to make treeless saddles, or since it seems their wood work is decent, could they make the wood work that is used in saddlery?

Bridles and Bits: From what I understand bits are typically used, which requires metal. (Although could rawhide hackamores be used too?) Old bits were made of bone and antler but again, I'm not sure if this is what our characters use. If not, where does this metal come from? And bridles require buckles and metal work as well in more modern styles. What kinds of bits would they have access to making?Older styles, before buckles were made and fitted for each horse and attached with knots rather than buckles so I know bridles can be made and used without the buckles.

Farrier: I think I remember seeing something about horseshoes being allowed to be used, but the farrier tools that I have seen are rather heavy metal for trimming feet. How advanced are these sorts of things? Would a common hoof file be made of metal or somehow crafted from bone or something like that? There has to be a way to trim the feet somehow if shoes are used so that it can be fitted on to their hoof.

Harnesses: Again like the bridles, conventional harnesses have lots of buckles, straps, metal, etc to piece everything together. What style of harnesses would be used? Leatherwork of just making a modern collar of a harness is pretty extensive and commonly is filled with rye straw which I don't even know if Luperci farm this? Even the leatherwork for a saddle of modern times is somewhat complicated but a harness collar would seem really hard to make handmade like today's modern collars. The early collars were similar to these ox harness/collar but not really very effective in the longer term health and well being of a horse. Perhaps if a true collar was not possible maybe something like that with hide as padding? Leather straps would choke a horse but maybe something like what is depicted and described here would be okay? Also, what kind of carts are commonly acceptable for use here?

Hay: Speaking of farming, with an animal as capable for work as a horse, is plowing fields for crops commonly acceptable? Like are they capable of salvaging old rusty equipment or building some sort of more primitive styles of these sort of tools? Or even planting food for livestock, such as better quality hays during the spring and summer months?

Armor: For warhorses what sort of armor can be used? Early on leather armor (maybe not this fancy) was used, but given that CdC characters often have shields, I was not sure if the stereotypical metal armor was okay?

Drifter Bay Horses: Lastly, since this character will be joining Inferni (I'm so excited :D) I took a look at the Bay Horse wiki and although am pleased to see that the information is highly accurate, there is only one little thing that kind of bothers me (but I could see how it might make things easier game wise so just feel free to tell me to shut up about it lol). But anyway for sake of realism I will just like to point out, normal wild/feral herds do not have "territories" and herd members are ever changing. One of my classes last semester, we specially went out to camp on a mountain and study mustangs in their natural state and observe the structure of the herd. Keeping up with the herds is like a soap opera because there is constantly bachelor studs challenging older stallions, stallions stealing other stallion's mares, and mare sometimes running off to be other stallions. In addition to hierarchy among the members of herd, the herds themselves have a hierarchy. Even if these horses are managed by packs, without fencing it would still be hard to keep these herds specifically in their deemed "territory" because they just are not territorial animals. They are nomadic like most grazers and would only push each other around for the best watering holes and patches of grass. But again I know things are sometimes bent for simplicity sake so again I could see why the herds may have been designed this way.
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POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:02 am

For the most part, tack also varies depending on location--though some saddles might have been scavenged, it is also very possible that some Luperci learned to recreate these designs by taking apart and remaking these on their own. There would be a level of difference between a man-made saddle vs machine-made anyway, but saddles have been around forever--the Khalkha saddle is a good example of an ancient (yet elaborate) version of this. Likewise, bridles might also have been learned in this manner (or using the knotting method) and adjusted to work as such. As metalworking is not unknown, and bits are generally simple shapes, I think it stands to reason they would be possible to make--as well as crude buckles. Harnesses would also fall into this category.

I don't believe most horses in the game have shoes, personally, given the purpose of horseshoes. It would likely be more common in dense, "humanized" areas where access to metalworking and a need for such a thing would rise. We'd probably see more hoof issues because of it, tbh.

A horse could be trained to pull, but developing and using farm equipment and horsemanship are very different areas. :3 I don't think a Luperci with just one animal would be interested in large scale farming anyway. Luperci don't need to farm, after all, and small-scale gathering of grasses/etc can be done by hand.

That's very cool that you got to study a wild herd! As far as the Bay horses, as it mentions, they do roam outside of these standard areas. The territories mark their general locations as a means to be easier for us--likewise, the "management" aspect of it keeps horses in one group or another.
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POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:46 pm

I'd been looking at that Khalka saddle wondering if that was too elaborate, but that's good to know that it isn't, along with other treed saddles similar to modern saddles. :) I just wanted to make sure my writing would be accurate for what Luperci are capable of. And a crude buckle would make life much easier too as would a harness more similar todays.

I had thought there were some horses shod for snow and wintery travel with a shoe that had maybe a studded plate for traction in ice? I could be wrong about that though. Just seemed like something I had seen somewhere but not sure. I found this epic knife that I would love to have in RL, but anyway, has a rasp on the end. Could something like that be made for minor farrier type work such as filing away a crack or chip in the hoof or something? :3

As for the farming, since horses are already train to pull, the horsemanship to get that far would be relatively easy. I understand large farming would not be realistic but perhaps just a small plot of area? I'm fairly certain that I have seen "farming" as co-ranks and packs working on things like that, so it don't see why small scale plowing maybe not of hay, but whatever else is being planted, would not be possible. A plow similar to this seems simple enough to construct?

That class was really neat. And okay, I understand. As for capture of horses, Drifter Bay or not, is basic roping skills used for capture or are they herded into a corral and then individually selected once captured and the ones not wanted released or? I don't think it would take someone more than a few years of consistent training to learn how to throw a rope efficiently enough for some roping but not sure what is practiced here on 'Souls...
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POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:31 pm

I don't know much myself but as for shoes there is the hipposandal. It predates modern horseshoes. As it is made of leather and tanning is pretty popular in 'Souls then maybe something like that could be employed?

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POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:44 pm

I can't answer all your questions since I am not 100% certain on horse stuff (despite having played a cowboy, haha), buuutt...

As for the farming, since horses are already train to pull, the horsemanship to get that far would be relatively easy. I understand large farming would not be realistic but perhaps just a small plot of area? I'm fairly certain that I have seen "farming" as co-ranks and packs working on things like that, so it don't see why small scale plowing maybe not of hay, but whatever else is being planted, would not be possible. A plow similar to this seems simple enough to construct?


While there is no reason for Luperci to really farm crops for themselves, I know that AniWaya does farm small plots of land to provide food for their animals, utilizing Native American techniques. They may have a plow, but I'm not sure! I don't think that a very simple/makeshift one would be hard to make? I think they can be made of wood.

Inferni and Salsola also harvest Switchgrass and Bluejoint to provide feed for their horses. :>

That class was really neat. And okay, I understand. As for capture of horses, Drifter Bay or not, is basic roping skills used for capture or are they herded into a corral and then individually selected once captured and the ones not wanted released or? I don't think it would take someone more than a few years of consistent training to learn how to throw a rope efficiently enough for some roping but not sure what is practiced here on 'Souls...


The last time Inferni and Salsola rounded up the Drifter Bay horses, they indeed herded them into a corral and individually picked the foals/yearlings to keep, setting out the others. :> I don't know about roping techniques really, but I am sure that it's feasible as long as attention is paid to realism (i.e., no roping a horse and hopping on it and riding it around for drama).

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POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:00 pm

I don't know much myself but as for shoes there is the hipposandal. It predates modern horseshoes. As it is made of leather and tanning is pretty popular in 'Souls then maybe something like that could be employed?


I had never seen those, but very interesting. Xenophon is like a legendary horse trainer amongst us Natural Horsemanship trainers so I find it fascinating that he was involved with that. Doesn't look too complicated to make, though is still different than shoes. I'm personally more for keeping horse barefoot in RL but sometimes shoes are important, and given the environment, studded shoes would greatly help riders traveling in ice and snow. Or even some other type of shoe to prevent the clumping of snow in their hoofs. I know that my personal horses look like they are walking on stilts or high heels when snow balls accumulate in their feet and they pack up fast. I could not imagine trying to travel on horse back in that sort of condition where the snow was doing that.

Raze - You would certainly know if farming would benefit IF or not. If it doesn't then no big deal, but it is an idea I would like to explore maybe in the future when I understand things better. Thanks for the links to the Switchgrass and Bluejoint, I had not seen that! But hand picking those seems pretty crazy. Depending on size, age, and work load, an average 1200lb horse needs 15-20lb of hay a day It would take forever to collect just one serving of grass for one horse. Perhaps instead of a plow I could bring something in that would be more efficient. These things are usually used a decorations and antiques in ranchers yards. Horse drawn hay tedders are used to cut the grass/ hay down while a horse drawn rake collects the grass to put it all on one side for easy bundling. I figure they'd be relatively rare to find but maybe this could be used instead? Or I can try and find a more primitive version?

And lol, certainly had not had any rodeos in mind. I have a good handful of friends who can humanely train and ride a wild mustang the first day of working with them, and get them to accept a saddle and rider without bucking or spooking, but these guys and gals have probably have 10-30 years of experience at least and my character would not be at that level. I've saddle a wild six year old gelding on the fifth day of gentling him but he had some serious issues of having a rider on his back (because horses are funny with looking out at their two eyes and different brains and such and he was an extreme case but that's a long story). He was goofy horse....The first horse I started a couple years ago was a wild four year old mare, and she was riding quietly without problems after 12 days of training. Then again it depends on the horse. I have a yearling I just got last month who was recently rounded up out of Wyoming who I still can barely touch. I'm familiar with roping methods but don't use them myself. I haven't been around horses my whole life and only started ground training horses the last 5 and a half years and training and starting horses under saddle the last two years, and I don't even do it every day. I figure it would be realistic for a character more gutsy than myself and working with horses every day such the character I have in mind, after five years, would have the potential to be slightly above my own level of horsemanship - but still not riding a wild horse a few hours after catching it either. ;)
Last edited by Vidar on Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:12 pm

I'm not sure if Inferni has the land for it, and I think that they're okay as it is. I'm not sure exactly how the grass is harvested, but I assume there would be use of tools like sickles, etc. I dunno; I would have to defer to Sie/Mel for that answer. However, the feed is more of a supplement for the winter, I think, as 'Souls pack horses would roam and take most of their food in through grazing, etc. like normal wild horses. Again, I'd have to do some more research on that.

And yeah, I don't imagine you would do something like that -- was more for the benefit of others reading the thread, as most of us are city-slickers and don't have any experience with horses beyond childhood riding lessons (or such is the case with me). But that is good experience that will def help with realism and whatnot for your character, which is great. <3

Again, I can't really speak to what methods are used for harvesting the grass, or what tools would be realistically available. There are farms scattered around NS, I believe, but equipment would be degraded from rust and things. Primitive versions of tools that a Luperci could feasibly create would work best, just in case, though. :>

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POSTED: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:54 am

I would argue that it would be reasonable to have horseshoes today, though there are a limited number of characters on souls at the moment that have the blacksmithing knowledge necessary to make the horseshoes. Reasonably, these things have been around for over 2000 years so it stands to reason it'd be relatively commonplace - as was said - in highly populated cities. I know I am waiting a few years probably before Anna can smith them properly, but I think it's possible that shoeing is very possible? It'd be uncommon though since farriers aren't a thing atm, really since that's such a big specialty to get.

Nonetheless, domestic horses do not always require shoes. When possible, a barefoot hoof, at least for part of every year, is a healthy option for most horses. However, horseshoes have their place and can help prevent excess or abnormal hoof wear and injury to the foot.

Obvious hesitation when quoting wikipedia BUT SINCE I'M NOT A HORSE EXPERT BY ANY MEANS, I don't see that the shoes would even be necessary on 'souls atm c: Honestly, I think it'd be easier to fudge this data and let the fictional horses go barefoot for simplicity's sake.
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POSTED: Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:43 pm

Sorry to keep bringing this up again but although many questions have been answered, there is still a few questions floating around on here that have not given me a definite answer. I waited to see if anyone else would pop in but I'm bring the character in tomorrow so seems like a good idea to try and get more things cleared up. I personally feel that I suck as a trainer so would be the first to admit that I don't know everything. I still feel comfortable with most of this material but if this character's life is going to be revolving around horses and given this is a writing game - based on realism - I want to write about all that is involved the character's care of the horses but don't want to constantly wondering "Am I doing this wrong?" "Is this unrealistic?"

As for the horseshoes, if I gave him an cNPC who maybe was skilled with blacksmith work, perhaps that would be more tolerable? The purpose of horseshoes is to protect from wearing. They are traveling very far to get here so they are not from this area. Which also means there will be a lot of wear and tear on the horses hoofs. I get that places with big cities would have horses with shoes but even out here in the country, most domestic horses that I know that are used a lot, have to have shoes to keep from getting lame or stone bruised. Feral horses such as mustangs, who have had many generations to get use to harsh terrain, usually have harder feet, but this horse I'm bringing in is not a mustang nor does it seem that most horses on 'Souls are mustangs. Again, I'm a barefoot advocate myself but then again I have only mustangs right now - when I had quarter horses, they could not last long at all without shoes and there for were kept with shoes. Everything about a horse starts at their feet, so it is kind of important. I'm sure most people have heard "No foot, no horse," and that statement is so very true. Just having a small collection of horseshoes, not a lot, could get by I think, because they are molded to fit the horse's foot before being placed on them.

The whole harvesting grass discussion is still up in the air without a clear definite answer.

And I never heard what kind of Armor horses can have. I was leaning toward metal being used, but the amount of metal needed would be a lot, and since it seems that there is not a lot of access to metal, is leather armor an option instead?
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POSTED: Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:55 pm

Vidar wrote:As for the horseshoes, if I gave him an cNPC who maybe was skilled with blacksmith work, perhaps that would be more tolerable?

Remember that smithing is one of the most advanced Luperci skills, and he would need access to a forge to be able to create all those horseshoes. It's possible, but he'd need a reason to uproot himself and settle down with a new forge. You'd have to do your research there; there's a section on the RP Guide that goes over metalworking.

Feral horses such as mustangs, who have had many generations to get use to harsh terrain, usually have harder feet, but this horse I'm bringing in is not a mustang nor does it seem that most horses on 'Souls are mustangs.

Maybe it has or hasn't been long enough to make a difference, since I know horses don't age or breed as fast as Luperci -- but almost every horse since the apocalypse has been feral. Perhaps not wild mustangs as we think of them, but still more used to harsh terrain than domesticated horses? Maybe? @_@ The land is also a lot less pavement, road, etc., but I'm not sure if that'd make a difference.

It kind of seems like we'd have to figure out being slightly unrealistic for having horseshoes vs needing horseshoes, haha. >_>;

The whole harvesting grass discussion is still up in the air without a clear definite answer.

Yeah that is something I can't really give input on. ^^;; Feral horses survive without needing that additional sustenance, though, don't they? It would be leaner times, and that's the only reason the Luperci really bother harvesting stuff for them, but otherwise they could deal with grazing and browsing. I'd have to research more about feral horses' diet for that.

And I never heard what kind of Armor horses can have. I was leaning toward metal being used, but the amount of metal needed would be a lot, and since it seems that there is not a lot of access to metal, is leather armor an option instead?

Yeaaaah, metal armor isn't really plausible for Luperci, let alone horses. Leather armor is definitely more plausible, and some Luperci even have leather armor. :> It would take some time to figure out the shape and have that much leather and whatnot, but it's definitely doable. Any armor would more likely be primitive like that.

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