Review of "True Equitation," short story by Caitlyn Santi
Summary:Tuscany, Italy 1341.
Have you ever wondered who first turned dancing with horses into a dressage competition? Or maybe how the arena letters got their order? This short story is an enchanting ride through history to a time and place where most men considered themselves experts in all things, they were harsh riders and considered horses as merely tools of transportation. In this time when women working with horses was frowned upon by society, will one young woman teach the men a thing or two about about True Equitation?
Without a doubt Santi has considerable knowledge in the equestrian area. However, the historical value of this short story seems to stop there. Not only is it completely implausible that a woman publicly display herself in such a fashion but even more unrealistic is the fact that the knights (men) would create a competition with such loose contestant rules.
I get that it's supposed to have a fantasy feel. But there are dozens of writing devices the author could have employed in order to tell the story in a more "realistic" fashion while still driving the same point home. For example, why not pretend to be a man until the very end? But to choose what was, essentially, the easiest way out told me the author's main interest was in the horse moves.
This story is riddled with grammatical error and indentation problems. Grammar I can gloss over but indentation issues made the dialogue difficult to follow. At several points a whole conversation between multiple characters was had in a single paragraph.
There is value in this work in that I did learn something about historical horse treatment and practices. I think with some polish, this could actually be the first in an interesting short story series. As it stands right now, however, the cons outweigh the pros.
Review by Alain Gomez
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