I was doing research for Kelst and Ayne on horses the other night. I needed to learn about what someone would call them, what breaking was exactly (since Red Dead can only teach so much), along with other real basic information about ranches and such. So I researched and I looked up breaking a horse and someone said it was inhumane.
Breaking is to make a horse docile, to break its spirit. I can see why this is inhumane. Ultimately it’s animal slavery. However, from what I can tell there are plenty of people who become very close to their “broken” horse.
The man who said you shouldn’t break a horse said gelding is what people do now and it’s far more humane. Well what is this gelding and would a society in the middle ages perhaps have access? I was excited to do some research!
Gelding is castration. Google was even kind enough to show a handful of photos of this act at the top of the search, wondering if I wanted to check out more images. No, Google, I must politely decline.
Know what I came away with from my research? I came away with gelding is NOT humane. It is very inhumane. I get that breaking can very realistically be seen as inhumane, but I’m going to say the removal of testicles does NOT win the humane award. Especially after those photos. Nope. Inhumane. You lose, dude. If you want to continue to make a case for this being humane treatment, he needs to be castrated first. Not just snipped. Fully castrated.
However, this did lead to some interesting concepts. One friend suggested this is how testicle toss (ladder golf) came about. I believed her, since she does have a masters and is currently in a doctorate program, and is therefore fare superior in intellect. After some more research, this was not true. She was wrong, and I felt betrayed. But I’m a writer of fantasy and I lie all the time. Whether gelding is inhumane or not, it’s going to lead to an amazing game in my book!
Edit: I discovered testicles are not actually connected. My sister-in-law, who helped me with this discovery said, “You know you have them too, right? You’ve never been curious?” I replied, obviously, “No. I’ve never wanted to write about them, so I didn’t need to know.”
This is a tragedy. This is why I hate science. Let magic reign! I’m still trying to figure out how to tie in horse castration beyond the simple act of castration. Maybe Ayne will make a meal of them or something. If the real Ayne and I were still talking, I wonder what she’d make with them. Or what jokes she’d make about it. More than likely? She’d go, “No. That’s disgusting.” And make a few jokes.
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