Sep 1, 2013

For Want of a Horse

So Jennifer Frietag over at the Penslayer recently did a post about the horses in her novel cast. Me, being lazy and also a copycat, thought "Oh, that looks fun. I think I'll spend way too much time looking for pictures of my own horses."

So either my mind was stuck in an earlier draft, or absent altogether, because after scraping all over the internet looking for pictures of one horse, I found the right one and turned back to my list - only to find that I have a mere six named horses in my current draft of 250,000 words plus. Six. That splendid Frietag woman also has pedigrees and histories and what-have-you for all of hers. Dang.

Not to be deterred, I dug up some horses from earlier drafts and figured I'd use them. Some of them were actually indignant at being bothered. Nevertheless, here are the most prominent horses in the Wings trilogy. (No, none of them are pegasi. I would have a lot more to post if we were doing dragons. Hence the wings part.)

Cascade is the first horse we meet. She, along with the next two, were bought on the black market by a desperate Arionwyn. The seller swears up and down she's been trained for battle, but Cascade is just an all-around sweetie. She was originally Aaron's horse - their personalities suited each other - but he gave her to Iri in an emergency and after that Iri refused to ride another horse into battle. Big-boned with plenty of stamina, she's a good one to have around when you're running from something.

 Lyric is the second of the three horses bought on the black market. To buy a decent horse in the Andunian-occupied city, you must have identification and valid travel papers, of which Arionwyn has neither.  Which is why she went to the black market and risked being sold nags. Lyric is no nag, but her wall eye doesn't exactly bode well - many consider it bad luck and with a personality like Lyric's, it's no wonder she ended up in the Underlevels. She and Earis tolerate each other - barely. She's feisty and unpredictable, but if you get her riled and point her in the right direction, you'll have a fast ride. Like, really fast. For a long time.

This is Spear, Arionwyn's mount throughout the trilogy, when she's not riding Smoky. He's big and friendly and easygoing, but can't be broken of the habit he has of nosing into your pockets looking for treats. He's a good match for Arionwyn because he tolerates everything, from depressing mood swings to overdone affection. Unfortunately, we don't see as much of him once Arionwyn gets a dragon. Earis does threaten to drown him in the river once, though, and that has to count for something.

Paintbrush is one of the horses I dug up from a former draft. Also the one who complained the loudest. A shaggy palomino pony with the typical shaggy-pony personality, he served as the comic relief on the now-obsolete Great Dragon Egg Quest. When the party came short of horses due to a wolf attack, it was immediately suggested that Aaron ride Paintbrush. I'll leave it to your imagination whether he let that happen.

Whisper, Fairivel's battle mount, is a light draft red roan and an oxymoron. Fairivel confessed in my interview with him that Whisper is one of the loudest horses he's ever heard and that whoever named him should be sold to the pirates. Despite that, Whisper is a very dependable horse and trained exceptionally well. He's quite fearsome (and loud) in battle.

Amulet, on the other hand, is Clark's battle mount. A huge bay stallion, he plows through just about anything you put in front of him, including enemy armies. The big problem is stopping him. He's one of the finest palace-bred battle horses until the second battle, when Klista used weird magic on him and makes him go crazy. After crushing Clark's left wrist, he's retired to stud - but many of his foals carry a tendency to go insane at just the wrong moment.

                                                                                                                                             Galaxy is Clark's backup horse, so to speak. With Amulet out of commission, he turns to her - a sometimes-skittish mare with a swirl of quite spots on her rump. Despite her refusal to go anywhere near dogs, stained-glass windows, or fallen logs, she's street smart and takes care of her royal rider.    

Well, that's it. All six of the ones that exist and one that doesn't. (Now the pony is complaining.) Perhaps next time I do one of these, I'll have more than seven...


Sandra said...

I need to work on habits, or quirks my horses have.

Victoria Grace Howell said...

Beautiful horses! I have quite a few in my fantasy. :)

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