This one comes to you direct from Love Like the Galaxy (LLTG), an otherwise excellent Chinese historical drama with all the right feels. Except for the horses. If you’re a horse person, the horses (and one fetlock in particular) are gonna knock you right out of the serenity.
LLTG’s opening scenes are beautiful (check out the first episode here) and set us up for a fabulous story, and I was there, I was even (kinda) restraining the urge to yell “feed your horse, you dumbass!” at the screen*. And then I saw this.
This is a swollen fetlock (think ankle) with a healing wound. Now, don’t get me wrong, horses get injured (they’re really good at that) and a high budget production like LLTG must go on, and they might not have enough horses to go around and it’s not like they’re barrel racing or anything, and the animal didn’t appear to be sore but… That fetlock is right there, centre camera, up close and personal. In. My. Face. And I’m like… “You have got to be kidding me. Get off the fucking horse, you moron!”
For a girl who worries when her horse stubs his toe and gives him an extra day off when he possibly, might, if you look hard enough, be limping, this is frustrating. And very “grrr”. I spent the rest of the 40-some-episode series watching for that horse and taking careful note of its fetlock.
FYI, it was a very pretty horse, and I think its fetlock got better.
But, as frustrating as it is, this was not Stupid Thing No. 167.
Stupid Thing No. 167
To set the scene, the heroine in LLTG is not a horse person, in fact, she’s barely even touched a horse, as evidenced by her delicate little “will it bite me?” pat on the horse’s forehead (classic newbie move).
Scene set, the Stupid Thing prize goes to episode XX where an experienced horsewoman puts the heroine on a horse and promptly leaves her along with said horse, with the equivalent of a “you’ll be right!”
Said (and did). No. Experienced. Horse person. EVER. Not unless they were actually trying to kill the newbie, then… yeah, I can see that happening. Murder by horse.
Horses are not bicycles. Shit goes wrong# on them all the time, even Old Reliable with his rock-steady temperament and unshakeable cool can have a bad day, or trip over a rock. A half-ton of horse going arse-up with you onboard is not a pleasant experience. Trust me.
Experience horse people know this, experienced horse people realise most new riders panic the moment the horse goes a little bit faster than they expect. Experienced horse people know that newbies inevitably do the wrong thing and make shit worse. Experienced horse people do not leave new riders alone, because new riders fuck shit (and horses) up.
So, Stupid Thing No. 167 is experienced horse person leaving newbie to ride a horse without supervision.
Luckily for our heroine, when the horse ran away with her, the dashing hero was there to save the day.
*Sadly, not an uncommon occurrence in Chinese dramas, particularly the older shows. In more recent productions, the horses have been in better condition.
#If you want an example of shit going wrong, here’s a short clip. Warning, it’s disturbing especially if you leave the sound on.