Home Diary of a Centaur
Diary of a Centaur in a Human's World #4 - Home and to Bed


Jan 24, 11:00pm

Based upon requests of various interested persons, I've started a diary of my experiences after the EVENT. Hopefully they well help other centaurs with problems. And, of course, any others who have other problems that need solutions or have alternate suggestions should feel free to contact me at mwbard@transform.to.

And, since I at least try to write, I've tried both to keep true to my experiences, and make it at least a little enjoyable to read.

Oh, and (of course) names and places of others have been changed to protect the innocent and all that. So let's get started and finally finish off the first day.

I got home late because I walked slowly to relax. Most of the way I was alone and I think I needed the time to think. To really let my new life sink in. I detoured as much as possible and walked through quiet parks. It probably would have been nicer if there was still fresh snow but there hadn't been any in weeks. About all that was left was the battered survivors of the January thaw. At least walking didn't cause me to breathe heavily enough to need my slits and hence my glasses didn't fog up.

I arrived home and went in through the main front door and checked the mail. Nothing. Of course, that would probably change soon as what I was filtered around. Then the offers, and probably the hate, would start. Fortunately I wasn't in the US south. Again I decided not to use the elevator as I hadn't trusted them before the change, and wasn't about to trust them now with my extra mass. The stairs were a pain, but I was getting better. Finally made it to my apartment and went in and realized that I'd left the bathroom light on. Sighing, I walked over and turned it off.

Then it was over to the computer, a collapse to lay down, and then a wait as it started up, and then a wait until Outlook started. After deleting the messages I'd forwarded, I found that there weren't many more, and that there were very few people actually posting anymore. I wondered if any of them had gone into hiding. Well, if they had, then maybe my stand would help them came out. I'd decided a long time ago that I liked the modern world, and the modern conveniences, and that I wouldn't want to give them up.

Next I started searching for information on farriers, hooves, and hoofcare. There was a lot of it. Good god, was there a lot! There was discussion of oils and other substances that could be brushed onto a horse's hooves to improve their appearance and strengthen them (although some discussion warned that if used in excess the hoof would be weakened), different kinds of shoes for different environments (rubber shoes, sneakers that could be custom fit and laced on as required), and a whole debate as to whether shoeing a horse was really a necessary, or just a remnant of requirements to keep horses mobile during medieval sieges when they would have to spend months standing and walking through the mud and urine of the army encampment. One site went through a comparison of the hoof structure of wild horses compared to the hoof structure of domesticated horses - supposedly wild horses had harder, wider hooves; whilst domestic horses had softer, narrower hooves.

And there were warnings and safety tips. All kinds of things about trimming hooves. About cutting off enough but not too much. About being careful to prevent cracks and chips by keeping the hoof dry, but not too dry, and properly trimmed. Using special staples to hold cracks together so that the hoof could regrow and heal. Horses that had their shoes finally removed and then being 'ouchie' as their tender feet slowly got use to walking naked on the ground. The dangers of snow and water and the need to remove snow that could collect inside the hoof (the hoof base is actually a horseshoe shaped ring with a hollow in the middle). Medical notes about how the hoof compressed and expanded as it was pressed against the ground acting as both a suction cup for traction, and as a pump as it moved bones in the lower leg in such a way as to help bloodflow.

Simply tying on a pair of running shoes suddenly seemed much easier.

Well. First things first. I stumbled to my feet and stepped backwards and then leaned down and lifted up first my left fore hoof and then my right fore hoof. They looked wide to me, but I had no basis of comparison. Examining their base revealed scratches and signs of wear, but no cracks, and maybe one or two minor chips. So, no more galloping or trotting on pavement until I got some kind of protection. Then I leaned down and to the right and lifted my right rear hoof and moved it as far forward as possible, and then did the same for the left rear hoof. No signs of any major problems. Then I straightened out and rotated around and made my way over to the washroom and grabbed the towel that was hanging over the bathtub from the morning. I backed out and then carefully wiped off each of my fore hooves and then each of my hind hooves.

Well, that was it for this towel. Backing up, I carefully dropped it in the hamper. Next project was a rubdown. I couldn't see any sweat on my hide, but it was probably there. After thinking for a moment I rotated around and squeezed into the kitchen, realized I couldn't reach the closet without turning around somehow, proceeded forward into the sunroom (a little room that I use for some storage and to hold my bike - another no longer useful piece of equipment), rotated around, squeezed back to the kitchen, opened the kitchen closet, and pulled out the mop. Then I walked and squeezed back around and into the living room and then started rubbing down my lower chest, lower shoulders, fore and hind legs with the end of the mop.

It actually worked not too badly and it didn't feel too bad. Probably not as good as a brush, and I was NOT going to try a rake, but not too bad. It was awkward but especially relaxing around my rear which I hadn't gotten to earlier. Finally done I rotated around again, made my way back into the kitchen, put some water in the kitchen sink, rinsed out and cleaned the mop, let the water out of the sink, and backed up and put the mop back away. Then I got out a two-litre bottle of coke and a couple of apples and made my way back to the computer. A lay down on the increasingly hard (or at least it felt so) wooden floor and then back to work. There was more e-mail so I sat down to read while I sipped and nibbled. The apples didn't last very long.

A quick check showed that most were from other mailing lists and I read those first to get back a sense of normality. It's nice to read about creating an Eldar army for a Grand Tournament and being asked others for criticisms and comments. No mention of transformations, no questions, no accusations. Just normality.

Note: For those visitors who have no idea as to what I'm talking about, follow this link - http://www.games-workshop.com/40kuniverse/40kuniverse.htm - and take a look around - all your questions will be answered. And yes, it may be a bit childish but I've played it for almost 15 years and have almost always had fun doing it, which is the important thing. And I do have a lot of fun playing with the background. Go to http://www3.rogers.com/mwbard/exodites/ or http://www3.rogers.com/mwbard/squat/ to see what I mean. Back to the diary.

I posted a couple of comments back and then went to my personal mailbox. There was one entry (all the mailing list items are sent to boxes although CCd ones tend to confuse the system) and it was from Wanderer. Now, I remembered Wanderer from the TSA list and he had mentioned that he'd become a wolf of some kind. But this mail item was actually to me personally - and it revealed that he had found a farrier in the Toronto area.

Now how about that!

First I sent back a thank-you reply (maybe I should send a little gift later - what do you send a wolf though? A hairbrush? A rawhide bone?) and then clicked on the handy provided link.

Unfortunately the place wasn't actually in Toronto, but up by Milton which is actually a fair distance away. They were also more of a complete service stables providing stabling for horses, care, exercise, horse and rider training (maybe I could take a course in more elegant form of trotting and walking...), and farrier services from a licensed farrier.

Hmph. So there was actually a licensing organization in Ontario for farriers.

And, glory be, the farrier would travel to other locations and shoe horses there. Wonderful. There was a link to a list of what should be gotten ready and how the horse should behave - so I clicked and looked through the list. There were common sense things like the owner had to be there at the appointed time, and then more amusing things, at least in my case. Things like the horse had to not mind having his hooves handled and they had to be quiet and well behaved.

As long as it didn't hurt, I would be sure to stay quiet and well behaved.

And then, uncontrollably, I yawned and stretched. What time was it? Three am?! Time for bed - I'd have to contact this place and arrange an appointment at a reasonable hour of the morning. Hopefully I could arrange something on an emergency basis since I really needed to get it done before Monday although they suggested a few weeks as a requirement of the horse owner. If I'd know a few weeks ago this was going to happen, then I would have been much more prepared..

I stumbled upward, backed up and rotated around, used the washroom as I had this morning, took the sweater off, folded it, and put it on the chair, and then went to bed.

Unfortunately there was a problem. Just so you know, I wake up very slowly and very regretfully in the morning. Thus, my first conscious memory of today was of standing by the alarm clock. I knew I'd gotten out of bed, but I couldn't actually remember doing so.

And, this was a problem because the mattress was gone, along with a really nice blanket with horses on it. All that was left was a frame and the floor beneath it.

How the hell had I been sleeping?

I walked over and looked down and then twisted and looked back at myself. I guess I could collapse on my side on the floor inside the frame. The hooves would be hanging overtop of the frame, but I didn't think my head and upper torso would actually fit anywhere. And how would I get back up again?

But, I'd been sleeping there!

Had I been standing up?

I'd read somewhere that horses slept standing up, and that they could suffocate if they slept laying on their side, but I had no idea as to the truth of either statement. My internet searches had found a grave lack in certain basic information I needed. Things such as how long a horse could gallop on pavement before having hoof problems.

And how a horse slept.

I closed my eyes and tried to remember. I clearly remembered looking down and seeing my fore hooves. I think I remembered turning the alarm off. And I remember something about getting out of bed, but all I could picture was sitting up and rolling off the mattress which made no sense at all given my current form.

I yawned again and opened my eyes.

This was ridiculous! I had to go to bed and I didn't know how!

It had to be standing up - nothing else was physically possible given the room and furnishings available.


I rotated around, turned on the lamp on the dresser, walked back and turned off the overhead light, rotated and walked back to just beside the frame, twisted and reached and turned off the desk lamp, stepped over the frame with some success (yes, a horse's pastern - that's the bit just above the hoof - hurts when you bump it against metal), and was finally standing in the middle of the frame.

I let my arms hang loosely at my side and closed my eyes.

Sleep. It would be nice to sleep.

Really nice.

I wonder what it'll be like having shoes nailed to my hooves?

Stop. Just relax. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in...

This isn't going to work. I opened my eyes and then stepped a little closer to the corner and then leaned my upper torso against the wall.

It was cold. Cold and hard. Closing my eyes, I tried again.

I yawned and banged my head and opened my eyes.

Bloody hell.

No. Calm. Relax.

My eyes slid shut.

Breathe in, breathe out. Relax. One sheep over the centaur, two sheep over the centaur, three sheep...

My arm started going numb.

Opening my eyes I sighed. This wasn't working. Ok, on to plan B.

Slowly I stepped sideways and managed to get over the bed frame without really hurting anything. Then, through the dimness (there was some light from the building's courtyard that came through the blinds) I squeezed my way around the dresser and the shelves and into the living room. There I turned on the halogen light, pulled the cushions off of the couch and placed them on the chair, and then unfolded the spare bed out of the couch.

Hopefully this would work.

With very little room to move, I backed up, twisted, turned off the light, moved a little forward and then stumbled and fell down on my side onto the bed, at least trying to control the fall.

Crunch. Groan (the bed, not me).

Not only did the bed not sound too happy, but it was not the most comfortable thing I'd ever done. Wiggling, I slid over, trying to ignore the protests of the guest bed's frame (and the springs which dug slightly into my chest), until my hooves were no longer hanging over the edge. Fortunately I was on my side so that most of my weight was distributed or worse things probably would have happened with the spring mattress. Trying to get comfortable, I twisted my waist a bit so that my arm wasn't pressed straight into the mattress and then lay down on the side of my upper body and closed my eyes again.

At least the bed hadn't collapsed entirely.


Calm. Relax. Breathe in. It's cold. Be calm. Calm. Now breathe out. Breathe in.

Was it harder to breathe? No, it wasn't. Now relax.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in...

It is so harder!

My eyes popped open. This wasn't working either.

Then another possible position hit me. I wiggled around trying to ignore the ominous creakings of the bed until I was laying down like I did in front of the computer.

Interesting. The mattress made it much more comfortable (except for the springs - I'd have to get a foam mattress of some kind for the computer and for work). I wiggled back a bit and then leant forward so that my head was laying on my crossed arms which were sitting on the back of the couch.

Much better.

I closed my eyes and tried to get to sleep.

Breathe in, breathe out. Ignore the coolness on my upper body. Calm. Relax. Breath in. Breath out (whistle). Breath in. Breath out (whistle).


It seems that most of my breathing was passing through my breathing slits and for some reason there was a faint whistle each time I exhaled. Occasionally that used to happen when breathing through my nose and I would have to snort and clear it, but that wouldn't work here.

Or would it?

Closing my mouth and pinching my nose, I took a deep breath in, and then exhaled forcefully through my breathing slits. That felt like something. I tried again. Definitely something. Were the breathing slits structured internally like my nostrils?

A couple more snorts and I could definitely feel something move. Then I closed my eyes and cradled my head and snuggled down. Breathe in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out. Nothing. Good. I wiggled about to get a bit more comfortable - this might actually work.


Fuck! The bed was suddenly leaning downwards away from the couch at an angle towards one corner. Leaning back and twisting my waist and neck I looked. Yup, one of the legs had collapsed. But at least one of the...


I sighed. Or not. And, to make it worse, one of the springs was digging deeply into my chest, feeling like it was drawing blood.

Trying to not break anything else I wiggled and crawled off the bed, dragging spring edge along my lower chest, and stumbled to my feet beside the bed. Fortunately I lived above the entrance to the apartment building so there was nobody below me to complain about the noise. Backing up a bit, I twisted around and turned the halogen light back on and leaned down and checked my lower chest. Good, no blood. I leaned up, rotated, and tried to fold the frame back into the couch.

The frame was bent so of course it wouldn't go in.

Stop. Calm.

I was now too frustrated and tired for that to work.

I forced the legs of the spare bed to fold by brute strength and then forced the bed, which creaked and protested the whole time, back into the couch. At least only the end legs had broke and the frame wasn't too badly bent. The springs caught in each other as the mattress folded, but I didn't really care at that point and just shoved the godforsaken thing back in. Snap, TWANG! It was in. Backing up I took the cushions from off the chair, tossed them onto the floor in front of the couch, turned the light off, stepped forward, leaned down and straightened the cushions, and then walked partially onto them and lay down. Wiggling a little I was able to lean my torso against one arm of the couch but had no where to really put my arms.

This wasn't going to work either.

Shuffling around I wiggled backwards and leaned forwards until I could finally lay my upper chest and head on my arms on the end of the couch.

I was finally comfortable again.

Sighing with relief I closed my eyes. Calm. Relax. Breath in. Breathe out. Breath in.

Boy the air was cold on my upper back.

Breathe in...

Definitely cold.

I jerked up opening my eyes and clenched my fists in frustration. I'd found in the past that I really couldn't sleep without some kind of cover and even though I had not had one when I woke up it seemed that I needed one now.

Staggering to my feet, I rotated around, turned the light on, squeezed through the hallway, banged my head, swore, ducked and continued on into the bedroom, rotated around, walked back out, opened the hallway closet (since the door opened so that it blocked the entrance into the living room), rooted around and finally found another blanket which I pulled out.

Then I stepped back, closed the door, stepped forward, ducked and squeezed back into the living room, turned the light out, walked back onto the cushions, grumbled, stood up and backed off, leaned down and straightened them, carefully walked back onto them, wrapped the blanket around my upper chest, shuffled it around a bit to free my breathing slits, collapsed down, and then wiggled, leaned forward, and fiddled with the blanket until I was finally comfortable. The blanket was draped over my upper back and fell down onto the floor and side of the couch so that there was no opening.

Finally I got to sleep.

Various programs copyright their owners, particularly Microsoft. No claim or infringement is made on any copyrights or trademarks legally held.

There, that takes care of the legal stuff.

Home Diary of a Centaur

Copyright 2002-2005 Michael Bard.  Please send any comments to him at mwbard@transform.to