Rider Challenge #1 - Your Capall Uisce
The First Meeting (tw: animal abuse)
Grey sand crunched under Nolan’s polished shoes as he made his way towards the maelstrom of freshly captured Capall Uisce for sale. The salty air rang with screams and squeals that were more monster than equine. One of the monsters caught his eye immediately.
The coal-black creature danced at the end of a chain, powerful jaws locked in a thick noseband. Foam speckled it’s heaving sides and lashed against the churned up sand. Clearly a stallion. His hind legs were strung out behind him, flagging his tail as his hooves cut through the air.
As Nolan approached the monger, his back pocket fat with cash, the capall’s eyes locked with his. A sneer curled his lip as the stallion launched himself at him. The portly monger screamed as the water horse almost rips him off his feet. The bells on it’s collar clang, the capall’s jaw straining to snap him in two.
The animal halted inches from him, hauled back by heavy chains. Lips pulled in a grimace, eyes rimmed with white, his head was thin and gaunt, facial bones jutting against the thin layer of flesh and hair. Nostrils flared bright pink, the under side of it’s neck bulged with over-developed muscle.
“Y-You have a good eye, sir!” Came the squeak of the monger, clearly with too much horse to handle. “Freshly caught at dawn!”
“And quite fresh itself, is it not?” Nolan replied scathingly, pale eyes narrowing.
“Yes! But fast! Very fast! Sure to win you the races at the right price!”
“Or drag me to the bottom of the ocean.”
The monger had no reply to that, biting his fat lip. Nolan ignored him, eying up the trembling creature before him. Slender ears pinned against its rippling neck. Undoubtedly an ugly beast, compared to the elegant Thoroughbreds at the track. He could feel the white-hot fury that rolled off the creature like the waves it had emerged from.
“Well?” Nolan suddenly snapped expectantly at the monger, who started violently. “Are you going to let me test the beast out?”
“O-Of course, sir! Sorry sir!”
With chains and metal and a barbed bit in it’s mouth, the creature was subdued enough for Nolan to mount onto the flimsy leather that these people clearly thought was a saddle. His stirrups were perhaps longer than what he was used to, but he had little time to think before the capall surged forward, squealing and flinging its heels into the air. After breaking in so many horses for his father, it was fairly easy to relax his body, sink his weight into the saddle and stay seated.
He slammed his spurs into the stallion’s ribs, hissing at it to go forward. Another shriek sliced through the salty air as the water horse leapt forward, arching its back as it launched into a blistering gallop. The wind roared, the bells rung in his ears, deafening the capall to the sea’s tantalising call. Nolan clung onto the thick leather reins and the locks of mane that lashed against his face. His spurs dug into the horse’s flesh, pushing it away from the sea that so beckoned it. It fought him, heavy in his hands as it pushed against his grip on the reins. He fought it back. Never let the animal win. Never give an inch. Show it who’s boss. His father’s voice growled in his ears. Nolan snarled at the beast that dared to challenge him.
He worked the capall hard, forcing it faster and faster with each snort of breath as it zig-zagged across the beach. When they were back in front of the monger, the capall’s sides were heaving rapidly, hot blood streamed down them, mingling with the thick layer of foamy sweat. Without a word, Nolan dismounts and hands the monger a wad of cash.
Triumph sung in his heart, unable to keep the smirk from his face. Cunning and swift, with fight surging through his blood like the salt in the sea, Crow was going to make him a fortune.
Sorry Nolan is such an asshole but don’t worry there will be ~Character Development~!!! For good or bad??? WHO KNOWS! But yes if you want to know more about the characters:
Nolan: Lived in the lap of luxury at his parent’s Thoroughbred stud, raised on exercising the horses and helping his dad break them in. As you can imagine, the methods were archaic and cruel and he never questioned them. A Mainlander looking for thrill and victory. Slim, lanky white 20 year old who oozes contempt for the people around him.
Crow: A vicious and sadistic capall that enjoys making his prey suffer before he eats it. Solid black, no markings, lean with a thin neck and long legs. About 6 years old and a bit of a foolish creature. Constantly on guard and anxious. Shies and spooks easily.
Thank you for reading! :D