Feb. 15th, 2012

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I made it!! I survived 'War Horse'.  (With two words - cue David Bowie, half-singing 'It's War Horse Actually.  War Horse.  As in Horse.' Refer to the album Hunky Dory if you're still confused...)

I didn't need the hankies.  I only burst out greetin' twice.  The first time was when the soldiers went over the top and braved all the shellfire/machine gun fire etcetera.  The second time was when the hero said to Joey the Horse, "That's it, boy.  We're going home."

I regret to say that Spielberg over-egged it a bit in the emotional pudding for my tastes.  If he'd played the whole thing very straight, concentrating on the human story with the horse being used as a common thread throughout, it would have been an awesome and very moving film.  But I felt that the horses were 'over-acting' - there were bits of anthromorphic behaviour from the horses which just didn't seem very horsey, and it made me go 'bleaugh!' right at the points when I should have been snivelling. They didn't need to do this - it was quite obvious from the straining sinews, snorts and groans that the poor beasts were struggling.   It's the usual Spielberg thing of 'look!  You're supposed to be feeling very upset around about now, and just to press it home, I'm going to make it even more emotional...'

Sorry, didn't work for me.  Though the lassies at the riding school thought those touches were wonderful.  Ah well.  Must just be my latent cynicsm shining through...

And then there were the little historical niggles.  Like... Why, oh why, didn't they practice field clearance before they started ploughing the dodgy field?  And perhaps lazy beds might have been a more sensible option than regular ploughing if the field in question had drainage issues?  And how come the British army had so many Andalusians taking to the field in the cavalry?  That was before The Boss gave me his diatribes on a) The Nature of Trench Fighting in WWI, and why you do not get shelled when you go Over The Top, and b) Why That Tank was an impossible Hollywood creation.

I'm glad I went - it was a good yarn, if taken with a large handful of salt.  And I can't claim the title of the post - that was J's doing.  As for my riding instructress, her description was 'Black Beauty for Boys', which was a nice one.

As for Diva...  We started lateral work tonight - leg-yielding.  We started in trot, she wouldn't or couldn't do it, so we went back to walk.  My teacher has decided she can't do lateral work and is too old to start trying (she's thirteen) but I am determined to give it a go.  We shall learn it together - even if it takes months.  She can cross her forelegs, which is a start, though the rear ones are more problematic.  Which may, once again, be down to the injury to her pelvis last year...

And now, after half an hour in walk, I am well and truly shattered...

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