• Member Since 24th Mar, 2014
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Vivid Syntax

Convention Runner, Statistician, and lover of all things Soarburn


Ponies? Yeah, you hear a lot about them growing up in the minotaur homelands, and it isn't all positive. Actually, almost none of it is positive. They're different. They've got those weird pictures on their flanks and those little prayers they mumble to their princesses. Ponies are gentle, passive. They're not like us.

See, a minotaur is supposed to act a certain way. You bulk up. You get aggressive. You don't let anyone else push you around, and you don't associate with ponies. I've heard the same thing my whole life, ever since I was young.

Featured on Equestria Daily!
Honorable Mention in the Equestria Daily Outside Insight Contest!
Art by BGN

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 52 )

Understanding other cultures can be difficult sometimes.

Inquisitor M's epic judge-a-thon gives this 5/10. (Highest so far is 7/10, so don't think that's bad)

Prompt use: Strong

Rarely excels, but is solid in every respect. A lot of people will thoroughly enjoy this story, and I am impressed with the implementation of the initial prompt and the way the story wraps up very satisfyingly.


I thought it was a nice story, however the goats from the show didn't strike me as all that 'intelligent' or 'conniving.' Also left it open for a sequel possibility so that's a plus. Also liked that, much like the show, you showed that Iron Will wasn't bad, just misguided. Overall I give it a 6.8 out of 10.

4869321 You're... really reading all of them. :rainbowderp: Godspeed, good reviewer!

Thanks for the feedback both here and in your blog. From the sound of everything, it seems like I played this one too safely, and I could have leaned harder on the extended metaphor I was using. I'll take more risks with the next one. Thanks again! :raritywink:

4870045 I took some liberty with the goats, mostly because I wanted to explore the dangers of choosing a bad mentor. Thanks for the thoughts, and if you have any more, I'd love to hear them. I plan on giving this story a face-lift once the contest is over (wouldn't be right to change it between the deadline and the judging, after all :twilightsmile:).

Author Interviewer

Never thought I'd find myself connecting with Iron Will as a character. This was a pleasant surprise. :D

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for saying so! :twilightsmile:

Good stuff!
I think this is actually my second favorite entry in the contest. I'm sorry it took so long to find it, but better late than never. You've got Iron Will's voice down pat and your transitions are fantastic and make me incredibly jealous. The culture clash is well done, especially in how the prejudice of Bighorn (and the rest of the minotaurs) eventually seeps into Iron Will's psyche.

Huh, a sequel of this would be neat. I like this Iron Will, and I'd like to see him get fleshed out some more :D

I really like the concept. I'm always a fan for non-pony pony stories (not always). The self-talk narrative format was a little bit hard to follow at times (usually early in a scene when I wasn't sure who was a part of a scene). The climax point, where there were many ponies asking for a refund I feel was a bit too clean, "Hey I'm not sure what to say let me state exactly what to say to resolve this scene".

Gives me ideas if I ever want to include minotaurs in anything I do.

5040924 Thanks, Patch! Glad you enjoyed it. :pinkiehappy:

5041451 Thank you, Gordon! I hadn't planned on a sequel, since I said pretty much everything I wanted to in this story, but you never know. :scootangel:

5045877 Great feedback, Oreo! I agree, the crowd scene could use some re-working. If you've got any more suggestions on this or any other of my stories, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!

Okay. That was waaaaaaay more condescending than it needed to be. Do they always package up life lessons all cutesy like that?

Every episode ending in a nutshell.

Also, I'm glad someone finally made a good story based on Iron Will, and minotaurs in general, not just pushing them off as one of the barbaric and uncultured races that are always in-superior to Equestria's, as I'm glad you also comment on the flaws of the ponies to through a different race's eyes. They may have good intentions, but they often do have an air of superiority around them when they are compared to other races in the show and fanfics.

Also, I'm curious, do ponies in this universe worship Celestia as an actual goddess and more than a mother/queen because they choose to? Or because Celestia purposely sets herself as that?

5046807 Thanks for reading, BearGlitch!

As for Celestia, I'm sure different ponies think of her in different terms, some choosing to worship her outright. However, outsiders like the minotaurs only need to hear, "Oh, thank Celestia!" so many times before they assume she's their deity. She's immortal and has watched over the ponies since time immemorial, after all.

Hope that helps! If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them. :twilightsmile:

Do they always package up life lessons all cutesy like that?

:twilightblush: ...Yep!

I really enjoyed this story. Brought more life to Iron Will, and a different perspective on ponies.

Really did feel like a slice of someone's life. Great Job.

Nice characterisation of Iron Will here, and I liked the way you segued the scenes into each other. That ending also felt appropriate, given the earlier dialogue. Not the best story to come out of this contest, but a strong entry nonetheless, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

I'm rather fond of Iron Will, so I was pleased to see this -- and to see that the nigh-inevitable "Putting Your Hoof Down" section wasn't allowed to dominate. It felt believable, and after finishing it I could keep my mostly-favourable view of IW, which was nice. One or two rather distracting typos (eg you have "their" for "they're" on two occasions) but I certainly enjoyed this fic.

I can't believe I used the wrong "they're." :facehoof: The errors have been fixed, and if you saw anything else, feel free to PM me. Thanks for the tip.

And I'm glad you liked it! "Believable" was one of my major goals with this one.

Very cool to see a serious Iron Will story. My only complaint is that it's a bit short—I would like to see more of Iron Will unlearning the prejudices of his youth. Other than that, a very thoughtful story that gives insight to an underused character and culture. Have a fave. :ajsmug:

This was originally a contest entry, and I ended up having to keep it pretty short. Thanks for the feedback, though! You're not the first to point out that I need to explore more about why IW didn't just go along with the rest of minotaur culture. I wrote the story as an allegory for hypermasculinity in current US society and how damaging it can be to both women (all the ponies in the story) and men (all the minotaurs/goats). I'm happy that the message wasn't too obnoxious, but I think I might have sacrificed some of IW's character development to keep the discussion going throughout the piece. Something to keep in mind for next time, I guess.

Thanks for reading and commenting! :pinkiehappy:


You're welcome! I didn't realize that at first, but looking back, that makes more sense. It's hard to balance both the themes and the character development in a shot story, but I still enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

Well this took a little time to come up with a response to how I felt about this story and trying to put it into words, but here it is. Your Iron Will from the very begining was very beliveable, and extremely relatable, for not everyone is able to admit their faults which is not always the fault of their own. But sometimes the influence caused by others by as showen with family members and ones that you might surround yourself with. And I can understand that it can sometimes cause your own veiw of reality to bend from said context of one's livelyhood, also considering if the person in question has a hard time fighting the change and sometimes they might need outside help. And with myself growing up with parents one whom was sexist and the other was racist and myself at time being supjected to others projection of setreotyping, and I was lucky early on that I found some good friends to help me make me into the person that I am today.
So I thank you for a great story, and don't worry too much about if some folks have problems with how you presented Iron Will, for you used him as a medium to send this message. Plus since any real knowlege is limited to how he acted on the show.:twilightsmile:

Hey there, goldenfox!

Thank you so much for the review! I'm so, so sorry that I didn't see this sooner. I must have misclicked my notifications or something. Sorry about that! :twilightoops:

I'm so glad you enjoyed the story, and I'm also impressed that you picked up on what it was actually talking about (with the theme of sexism). Most people missed that, I think. It sounds like you can relate, though, and I'm glad you found some friends that you could form healthy bonds with. :heart: Thanks again for reading, and take care!

P.S. I really like your OC! :raritywink:

That was great, man.

It's always nice to see a side character fleshed out in a believable way.

I liked this.

Thanks for letting me know! Glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Later Reviews #66.

My review can be found here.

Interesting little story. Though bit hard to see the rest of the world really being that prejudiced against ponies, and needing special laws just to prevent discrimination. If nothing else, hey, they are the ones with the literal Sun Goddess on whom all life on the planet depends on their side. But a really interesting look at things outside Equestria nonetheless, a great arc for Iron Will to try and start seeing the limitations of that world view.

Also, he needs to meet Limestone Pie and try saying Ponies are weak and timid.

Thanks for the feedback, Sarephem! I'd LOVE to see Iron Will interact with Limestone Pie sometime. :rainbowlaugh:

To your comment about the prejudice laws (warning: un-death of the author ahead): I wrote the story as an extended metaphor for toxic masculinity. You might have noticed: all the ponies in the story are female, and all the minotaurs and goats are male. Unfortunately, we do still need laws in our world to protect women, but hopefully that will change someday.

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks again!

8590818 Yeah I noticed, not really a fan of doing stuff like that as metaphor/allegory. At least directly like that where you have to go out of your way to try and make things in story match what the metaphor is about. Much prefer them to be their own self contained things, where the stuff that can be learned from it that is applicable to IRL comes from applicability over allegory.

Still well done, just, not precisely my preferred cup of tea.

Yay! Happy to hear it, and thanks for checking it out! :heart:

It’s actually at least the second time I’ve read it; I got reminded of it because there’s a guy making a list of the 1001 best stories on FimFiction, and this was on it, and I remembered liking it the first time around.

Oh, that's awesome! I'm humbled to be on the list. Do you happen to have a link?

You’re welcome!

My RiL got longer after going through the list, so I’m not sure I did you the biggest favor :rainbowlaugh: Then again, a good chance to find some great stuff you might have missed the first time around.

Exactly. I'll never complain about having too many horse words. :twilightsmile:

Me, neither. There’s always more good stuff out there, which is excellent!

Or fics that got read a long time ago that are worth a second read. :heart:

Put this on my Read Later list during your TWI Talk. I'm very glad I did. Brilliant look at toxic masculinity and the contradictory approach machismo has towards women, packaged in a fascinating take on ponies in the wider world. I especially love how the cash flow and cultural expectations made Iron Will forget why he'd set out to be a motivational speaker in the first place. (Well, I didn't like that, but I did appreciate the well-executed "victim of decadence" montage.)

Brilliant work all around. Thank you for it.

Thanks, FOME! I'm happy you enjoyed it, and thanks for coming to the TWI Talk! I'm really proud of how this story came out, and I'm glad the big themes came through.

Excellent story! I can't believe I'm only now discovering it.

Great characterization.

Now, I wonder if we'll see IW the way he was portrayed in the comic: married, with a calf, and living in a maze. :rainbowhuh:

Here's hoping! I think he's a fascinating character, and I'd love to read more of him.

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!

This was a fantastic read. :twilightsmile:

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