Saturday, June 16, 2012
How to Jump from a Horse to a Moving Train
In the story I'm working on at the moment, there's a scene where the protagonist (Hawthorne) is required to jump from his running horse and onto a moving locomotive.
Yes, I know it's been done before, many times, in countless Western pulp stories and action movies. What's your point?
The funny thing is, there's nothing on line about exactly HOW to do that. You'd think that, since it's such a stand-by action-y thing to do in Westerns, you'd be able to find some, I don't know, Stuntman's Bible or something to lay out all the steps involved. But I couldn't find a damn thing.
So I was forced to make it up. Here's how you do it, according to me (oh, by the way-- DON'T ACTUALLY DO THIS, WHAT ARE YOU , AN IDIOT? How sad is it that I feel the need to actually say that?):
First, spur your horse alongside the train. Make sure the path ahead is clear and smooth, so the horse doesn't stumble.
Keep a steady pace that matches the speed of the train.
Transfer the reins to the hand farthest from train. Make sure you know exactly where the hand-hold on the train is, and that it can support your sudden weight.
Remove feet from stirrups, and very carefully bring the leg closest to the train up and onto the saddle.
Crouch on saddle.
Launch yourself off the horse, thrusting with your legs. Sort of like diving off a board.
Grab hand-hold on train.
Ta-da! You have successfully jumped from a horse to a moving train.
Now get inside that train and deal with the bad guys!
**did I mention, by the way, to NOT DO THIS? Just making sure.