Don't Create a Horse Storm
2024-02-20

Back when the quickest way to transport horses from one place to another was by boat, ship captains had to beware. Transporting inanimate objects was simple: you load the cargo on the ship, sail to your destination, and unload.

But it was a different story when cargo was alive, and horses were one of the most worrisome.

When a ship transported horses, they were stored in the bottom of a cargo hold, so the slightest wake from a passing ship or an unexpected wave could send the army of galloping creatures into a frenzy.

A wake from a passing boat could cause one of the ship’s sides to dip, startling the horses on that side. In response, they’d take a big step back, trying to balance themselves. This sudden movement startled the horses on the other side, causing them to take a step back for balance, which caused another sudden movement and startled the horses on the original side, who would then take a step back and…

This continuous back-and-forth was called a “horse storm,” and it would cause a ship to rock back and forth violently. Though it never managed to capsize a ship, it could damage a dock or a ship if a horse storm happened while the ship was docked.

Humans are the same way.

When something unexpected happens, our reactions can often make the situation worse. When the situation gets worse, we respond poorly again, making a not-so-bad situation into an absolutely terrible one.

Before you react to unexpected news, let the ship settle.

Don’t create a horse storm.


I first learned about a “horse storm” in Dead Wake.

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