But what, you ask, bored with all this, is Ky Vatta up to? Well, first I have to tell you about something I wanted desperately, wrote about in an SF book, that is now available almost as I had written it, except using video screens and not a VR helmet. Which would be much better, IMO. The Racewood Horse Simulator is so doggone close (except for the VR stuff–my idea’s better!) to what I “invented” for Lady Cecelia’s space yacht in HUNTING PARTY it’s eerie. Includes almost all the things I, as a rider, wanted: sensors in the saddle to let you know if your seat bones are equally weighted and a visual display, sensors on the sides showing location and strength of leg contact, sensors for rein tension. It comes in several models, optimized for different equestrian sports. It offers walk, trot, canter, gallop at different speeds/degrees of collection, with some lateral work capability for the dressage model, faux-jumping for show jumping and cross country. Does not offer full selection of different horse types (as mine did so you could practice on a short-strided, medium strided, or long strided horse) but that will come, I’m sure. Some upscale riding schools are not using them for both practice and advanced coaching. One of the videos I saw was a riding instructor who has tried one out and found that she was posting differently, with a sort of twist in her torso, on one diagonal–something she’d never noticed, but I’ll bet her horse had. It would be a great tool for rehabbing a rider like me, who’s been out of riding too long. The boring reconditioning stuff could be done at least partly on the simulator, sparing a live horse having a floppy-bodied out of condition rider on its back. Anyway, here’s a link to Racewood: http://www.racewood.com/contact-us.html and a link to a YouTube video of someone riding on one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6HM5qgzlaM and/or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPbu0TiJeWg. Or for a cutting horse version…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac03W7einJk I do think a VR helmet would be a lot better than the screen movie. With the images actually taken from a helmet cam worn by someone on an actual horse.
Back to Ky. I’m letting her work her way through the post-INTO THE FIRE time…I know *some* of what she’s up to, but not everything, and not enough yet to get any idea of actual Story coming through. Flickers of things happening but nothing solid enough yet. INTO THE FIRE did not go where I first expected, and thus what I thought was coming up next…isn’t. I’d been working toward incorporating a scrap I wrote years and years ago and now…first off, I can’t find the scrap, and secondly, it doesn’t fit. And I have to have some space for the sword. What sword, you ask? Well. You’ll find out what sword, and I’ll find out WHY the sword (other than the obvious stuff that’s in the first pages, but the real deep-plot “why is there a sword in this book anyway?” Plot Daemon is glaring at me. I’m not supposed to talk about anything yet.