If wishes were horses
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Horse research: as it turns out, they're COMPLICATED.

So, since it's also an interesting Mal character question, I'm turning it over to you. We know Mal knows horses, so how much care would Mal have with a horse in a crisis?

Keep in mind that despite living out west, I'm in the city and don't know much about horses. I've only ridden once, and that was with the people who maintained the horses.

My initial assumption is that for practical reasons Mal wouldn't hurt the horse, as he needs it to keep going. But, once he's done with the horse, saying it's one he "borrowed." If he's on a bit of a time crunch but the horse is tacked up, would he take the time to remove the saddle or bridle before letting it loose? Would he not bother tacking up in the first place and go bareback (he might still have to remove the bridle, if the answer to the first question is yes)?

Say this gets no where near running the horse to death. But, as a side note, that's also an interesting question to ask if he would.


Monday, April 4, 2011 6:55 PM


Also a good answer, and one that I think would be reasonable in all the proposed scenarios. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011 11:15 AM


For my 2p's worth ... I think Mal would take a moment to at least slip the girth buckle so the saddle falls off. I get what you mean about the rest of the tackle, but I think he'd more or less work on the principle that the horse would probably wander towards human habitation.

As for riding it into the ground, yes, he would, if it meant he escaped from something or other. He is, after all, a rancher by birth, and I can see him accepting a horse in a pinch as a tool, nothing more. He'd be sad when it fell, probably put it out of its misery, but if it was a case of the horse or him ... Otherwise, on the long haul (maybe left miles from anywhere, knowing it was going to take a long, long time to get home) he'd take care of the horse, pretty much like he'd take care of Jayne ... :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011 10:23 AM


Facebook routinely sells out your information to corporate and government entities, so not so much.

A regular rancher whose main concern is the horses would say you never, ever leave the reins, bit, or saddle on a horse. The reins could trip the horse and cause them to break their legs, the bit could hurt their mouth or teeth, and the saddle will cut into skin and muscle or even grow fungus. You shouldn't even leave them bridled, because if the bridle caught on something while they're stabled it could break fragile bones in their faces, which is very bad if you wanted to keep riding the horse.

Mal would know this because he's a rancher, but then, he's no longer a rancher, and also has other concerns.

Sunday, April 3, 2011 8:59 AM


The only one I can think of knowing would be a friend of mine, he worked on a ranch when he was younger and now he breeds horses. dunno if you are on facebook, if you are, gimme a holler and I'll point him out.

Saturday, April 2, 2011 6:00 PM


Interesting, that's what's fun about these scenarios. They could really go any way.

Definitely Mal could have priorities higher on the list, and then not so much.

Saturday, April 2, 2011 5:26 PM


That's an interesting thought, but I really don't see Mal caring much more about a horse than a random stranger. I think he's a good man on the inside, but a lot of pain and hardship have beaten a lot out of him. In my opinion, Mal would see no reason to harm an asset but also no reason to go out of his way for it (unless perhaps Kaylee or River were watching).

If he had all the time in the world (not a likely scenario) I think he would remove the saddle and such and let the creature free, but if he's on the run, he'll take it and leave it behind as he found it (if it hasn't been ridden into the ground). 'Sides, maybe someone will find it. Someone gets a free horse and the beast is taken care of, everyone wins, right?

Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:12 AM


For a saddle, I think you may have to completely remove it to prevent any ill effects though.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:11 AM


Given enough time, I think so too. It would be almost similar to Mal's decency in Bushwhacked to the victims, which the crew found heartwarming. He may have had ulterior motives, but he also sounded like he meant what he said about them deserving any peace that can be found.

Not given enough time, I imagine the bareback version, and him still quickly removing the bridle as he goes. Or at least the reins and bit, if they're detachable, which depends on the kind of bridle. Some are bitless, but reins are still a tripping hazard for the horse.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:44 AM


Hmmm...if Mal hadn't ridden the horse into the ground, and he was not COMPLETELY pinched for time? I could see Mal stripping down the riding gear and letting it roam. Or at the very least, he would make sure the fastenings were loose enough it wouldn't affect the horse much to hang around with full tack on.


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