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Pick apart a fictional horse thread- Start with The Hell Bitch.

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  • Pick apart a fictional horse thread- Start with The Hell Bitch.

    The Hell Bitch - What was her problem? And what type of breed cross could she have realistically been she was described in the first part of the book as almost arabish but the time line in history didn't work out to me.

    Just suppose this was a real horse, aside from McMurty's poetic license is there anything that could have made a horse so hateful to humans for so long?


    My guess is that she had a nasty disposition coupled with a bad case of 'kissing spine' and was smart enough to equate live humans with a painful back and dead humans with a non painful back. Ergo kill all humans.

    But around page 900 it hit me that a horse will eventually get used to pretty much anything and my suspension of belief started to fizzle with regard to the horse.

    Anyhow if Call was such a good rider wouldn't he have known the horse was in pain?
    A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
    Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

  • #2
    She had to be some sort of cross considering she was gaited.
    McMurtry is at least a somewhat accurate author when it comes to horses, but as with all fiction we have to take into consideration poetic license.

    Could she have been hateful or nuts? Possibly, but in the story she was often ridden without issues for long periods. And there definitely are horses out there with personality issues who will give a great big FU when they feel like it. My first horse had her FU moments and it had zero due to discomfort. If she felt she was done for the day she had 3 responses she tried:
    rear
    bolt and dump (bolted and then slammed on the breaks sliding style while dropping a shoulder)
    stop, drop and roll

    However never once did that mare offer a buck.

    Some horses just do not screw around when they say no.

    And it could have been a screw loose for the mare. Or a pain issue. Or a brain tumor. I knew another horse that had absolutely no personality at all, to the extent that he was creepy. But talented. One day out of the blue he went from walking on a loose rein to flipping over and as the rider went to bail he twisted in what looked like an attempt to make sure he landed on her. And he did. She was in wheelchair after that. Never knew if he had a medical issue like a tumor or just had a screw loose. There are a few horses out there like that.

    I do love McMurtry's books.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment


    • #3
      Hah, The Hell Bitch? Lived at my house for a while...

      Ok, back on topic.

      I think she was just a bitch. Just like people, who aren't always nice, horses aren't always either. Doesn't mean anything tWas wrong with her.

      Now, on the other hand... I am old enough to remember when one saddle fit all horses and getting a horses teeth done was unheard of. If a horse acted out they got a stronger bit. I remember my father sending a mare who reared and flipped to auction with no other thought than that she was a bitch. So. Who knows. I don't think people worried too much about looking for a reason in that day and I imagine it was even worse in earlier times, the good old days weren't that good, ya know?!!!
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      ---
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
        Hah, The Hell Bitch? Lived at my house for a while...
        When I saw the thread title I was like oh no has the little pinto demon made her way back to EqT's?!
        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wasn't she bred by the Kiowa indians? Gus said in the movie "You ought to know better than to turn your back on a Kiowa mare". The Kiowas must have been pepperoni trainers.

          I don't remember her being gaited, but back then, most desireable saddle horses had a "saddle gait" such as an amble or foxtrot. Maybe she was doing the indian shuffle.
          ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

          Comment


          • #6
            Not to detract too much from the OPs topic, but this does pertain to Lonesome Dove. When Robert Duvall was interviewed by Howard Stern a couple of months ago, Howard asked him, out of all the productions he has been in, which role was he most proud of. I figured it had to be Godfather or Godfather II. Nope. His answer was playing Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove!

            Robert mentioned horses repeatedly in the interview,and credited his horse time with keeping him out of the type of trouble other Hollywood stars have run into.

            Anyway, carry on...

            Comment


            • #7
              She was like 95% of the horses back then. Only about half broke and prone to bucking fits, especially freshly caught out of the remuda on a cold morning! Horses were trained by snubbing them up, throwing a saddle on them and riding them until they stopped bucking. Then they were broke. And of course saddle fit, teeth floating, etc. were not considered so I am sure that many did have sore backs etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well I don't know if anyone who saw the mini series noticed, but her big problem in the series was that she had a penis.

                My favorite book and movie of all time. I'm not going to pick apart the hell bitch. I'm going to leave her, as is, in my brain.
                "Aye God, Woodrow..."

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Kiowas must have been pepperoni trainers.


                  Well I don't know if anyone who saw the mini series noticed, but her big problem in the series was that she had a penis.
                  Yeah, well that would piss me off too!

                  In the book, she was gaited. It was mentioned a few times that while she was such a bitch everyone still coveted her because she had a gait where she could cover ground quickly all day and the rider would still be comfy as heck...some sort of shuffle.

                  Loved all McMurtry's books. He's right up there with Michener.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!
                  ...Belefonte

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    She kind of reminded me of my mountain horse. My horse had a bad experience being started by a crazy lady, and never quite forgave people for the longest time. She'd be good about 80% of the time but sometimes just got mad and was a terror. No pain issues and she eventually grew out of it...

                    Well, mostly. Just the other day I was leaning against the rail she was tied to as my husband was brushing her, and the bitch reached out and bit my arm for no reason. Just very casual and friendly then chomp.
                    exploring the relationship between horse and human

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Long Spot View Post
                      My favorite book and movie of all time. I'm not going to pick apart the hell bitch. I'm going to leave her, as is, in my brain.
                      I have a hard time thinking of a better movie myself. The characters, the acting, the music (B. Polidoris outdid himself on that one).

                      They could have found a mare though everyone, but everyone noticed the appendage.
                      A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                      Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I remember reading that there were three horses used in filming to be the Hell Bitch. And you can tell, they have different degrees of graying out (plus, if one is a gelding, that'd be noticeable).

                        I love watching "Lonesome Dove" because both Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones are riders in real life.

                        And, of course, that was the first big appearance by the great actor Chris Cooper. My favorite line is Gus saying, "Yesterday's gone and there's no getting it back" after Cooper's character lets his companions get killed by Blue Duck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I never thought of the Hell Bitch as gaited. The book says several times that Jake always rode a fine pacing horse. Seems I remember the other guys made fun of him or something to that effect because he wouldn't ride a trotting horse(I think...it's been a while). I pictured her as one of those horses that just has a very nice comfy trot that doesn't jar your teeth out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't remember from the book if the Hell Bitch was gaited or not, although I do seem to remember that she might have been (been awhile for me too ) but IIRC the thing about Jake wasn't just that his horses were gaited but that they were very fancy. It was kind of a way to illustrate the whole style over substance thing he had going on.
                            exploring the relationship between horse and human

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jake didn't ride the Hell Bitch. Call did.

                              I think there was a reference to Jake riding gaited horses tho and definately flashy ones.
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              ---
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                LOVE Lonesome Dove. Am embarrassed to admit that I did not pay much attention to the horses in either the book or movie.

                                OK, so this may be a lame and obvious contribution, and is affected by the fact that all of my Black Stallion books disappeared during a cross-country move and I haven't read them in years and years.

                                I remember that the Black was supposedly not a purebred Arabian, being huge and having some other (unstated?) characteristics that indicated he was a crossbred of some sort, but of what sort? And I can't recall if there was any explanation given of how he managed to become a racehorse and to sire horses that ran in regular TB races.

                                If this is all common knowledge and only unknown to me because of my poor memory of the books, ignore me and carry on.
                                MelanieC * Canis soloensis

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                                  Jake didn't ride the Hell Bitch. Call did.

                                  I think there was a reference to Jake riding gaited horses tho and definately flashy ones.
                                  Sorry, guess I didn't quite get out what I was thinking clearly there...looonnngg day at work lol.

                                  My point was more that Jake always rode pacing horses because he thought the trot was to uncomfortable to ride (and yes, to the other poster, I agree to also demonstrate that he wanted the "finer" things) and I think I remember Gus, at some point early on, poking fun at Jake for it. So I got the impression that none of the other men, especially Call who avoided most comforts(for lack of a better word) and held himself to a higher standard, were riding gaited horses.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by awqawq View Post
                                    Sorry, guess I didn't quite get out what I was thinking clearly there...looonnngg day at work lol.

                                    My point was more that Jake always rode pacing horses because he thought the trot was to uncomfortable to ride (and yes, to the other poster, I agree to also demonstrate that he wanted the "finer" things) and I think I remember Gus, at some point early on, poking fun at Jake for it. So I got the impression that none of the other men, especially Call who avoided most comforts(for lack of a better word) and held himself to a higher standard, were riding gaited horses.
                                    I understood you. That does make sense, though...maybe I will have to reread the book to find an answer.
                                    exploring the relationship between horse and human

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Long Spot View Post
                                      My favorite book and movie of all time. I'm not going to pick apart the hell bitch. I'm going to leave her, as is, in my brain.
                                      I was in college and raced home every evening to watch the mini-series. It was one of the first movies that motivated me to read the book . . . which was excellent.

                                      In Return to Lonesome Dove, didn't the Hell Bitch kill Newt (I think that was his name) Rick Schroder? I believe the horse started bucking and the saddle horn hit him in the heart.

                                      I need to DVR the series and watch this winter when it's too cold to ride.
                                      "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by MelanieC View Post
                                        LOVE Lonesome Dove. Am embarrassed to admit that I did not pay much attention to the horses in either the book or movie.

                                        OK, so this may be a lame and obvious contribution, and is affected by the fact that all of my Black Stallion books disappeared during a cross-country move and I haven't read them in years and years.

                                        I remember that the Black was supposedly not a purebred Arabian, being huge and having some other (unstated?) characteristics that indicated he was a crossbred of some sort, but of what sort? And I can't recall if there was any explanation given of how he managed to become a racehorse and to sire horses that ran in regular TB races.

                                        If this is all common knowledge and only unknown to me because of my poor memory of the books, ignore me and carry on.
                                        Wasn't the black stallion a thoroughbred in the book? Guess I have to go dig it out.....

                                        Comment

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