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Horses!

Whooooa nelly!
Get your free wallpaper featuring art by Simutronics artist Tracy Butler!

Saddle Up For Adventure!

The almost unbearable period of waiting is finally over. Horses have arrived and they're packed full of brilliant features and nearly countless varieties.

Here are some of the things to look for in the expansive new Horse System.

Stables and Corrals

The stable is the center of the horse world. That is where you can buy an animal, tack and food for your mount, sell your horse if desired, stable or locate your animal, receive training, as well as play with your mount. Visit a corral to pick out your new horse (or pony for Halflings and Gnomes) and ride home in style! Leave your horse at a stable, and he will be groomed and fed as needed.

Buying

At the stable, you can either LOOK IN CORRAL or simply ORDER to see a menu of the currently available horse and their price. To LOOK at a specific horse, you must use the number in this listing. For example, if you want to look at the third horse in the corral, you need to LOOK 3. Likewise, to purchase the third horse in the corral, you would ORDER 3.

Ponies are only rideable by short (Halfling, Dwarf and Gnome) races. Horses can be trained to KNEEL to allow these races to mount.

Colors and Markings

Some (But Not All!) Possible Coat Colors
  • Bay (Variants include: bay (just plain bay), cherry, dark, and medium)
  • Black
  • Buckskin
  • Chestnut (Variants include: medium, light, red, liver)
  • Dun (Variants include: flea-bitten, plain, red)
  • Grey (Variants include: dappled, dark, light, rose, silver, smoky, steel)
  • Gold-colored
  • Roan (Variants include: blue, red)
  • White

Special notes: "Flea-bitten" does not mean the horse has, or even HAD fleas. This is merely a colorization pattern that is actually quite beautiful. Also, "red" and "blue" roan horses aren't really "red" or "blue", they're more of a grayish tone with hints of brown and black, respectively.

Height

Horse height is measured in hands (abbreviated hh), which are 4" each. Note that this is the height from the ground to the top of its shoulder, not to the tip of the ears. Ponies can range from 8 to 13 hands, while horses generally range from 12 to 18 hands. There are rumors of even taller horses being available in rare instances!

Realizing he is outnumbered, Douglas suddenly regrets the "Why the long faces?" joke.
This chart illustrates the size relationships of ponies, small horses and large draft animals when compared to a Human male.
For a slighty larger (700 x 353) version of this image by Simutronics artist Tracy Butler, simply click here. For a much larger version (1000 x 505), click here.

Detailed Appearances

Horses also have a number of individual features. Coat variations, mane color, tail color, and various marks that may appear on the head, legs or elsewhere.

(Please note that these lists do not include ALL the possibilities, as some colors and markings are especially rare and the current system allows for dozens of additional markings and colors to be potentially added later.)

Examples of Possible Coat Variations
  • a medium reddish brown colored coat and light brown highlights
  • a light reddish brown colored coat and mahogany highlights
  • a dark red colored coat and light brown highlights
  • a dark grey coat that has a combination of light and dark highlights
  • a medium dark grey coat and white highlights
  • a light grey coat mottled with darker spots on the hindquarters
  • a greyish brown coat speckled with black spots over the entire body
  • a black coat that has white hairs interspersed throughout
  • a reddish brown coat that has white hairs interspersed throughout
  • a bright reddish brown coat and red highlights
  • a dark reddish brown coat and dark red highlights
  • a glistening white coat

Examples of Mane and Tail Colors
black white grey flaxen brown

Examples of Horse Markings
  • a white star-shaped mark on the forehead
  • a broad, vertical white marking extending the length of the face
  • white marks on the legs extending from the top of the hoofs to the top of the ankles
  • a white mark extending from the top of the hoof to mid-foreleg on all four legs
  • dark splotches on both flanks and white legs below the knees
  • a wide white stripe running down the center of the face
  • a wide white stripe running from below the left eye to just above the nostrils
  • a white star-shaped mark off to the right of the forehead
  • a white star-shaped mark surrounding the right eye
  • a white mark on the heels of both forelegs
  • a white mark covering the right hind leg's fetlock
  • a white mark on the left foreleg extending from the coronet to the hock
  • feathered hoofs
("Feathered" means that the hoofs have long flowing hair that partially covers the feet, like the horse in this picture.)

A fasting horse is not a fast horse.Care and Feeding

Care and feeding of your horse involves grooming and food. Basic tack, tools for grooming and food are available from a supply shops. Grooming your horse with a variety of implements: a curry comb, a stiff or soft brush (you TURN the brush to swap between the two sides), a mane and tail brush, and a hoof pick.

To purchase, just:

ASK (shopkeeper) ABOUT [tack|groom|food]

Stable shops sell hay, grain, apples, carrots and salt cubes for your horse to munch on when he or she gets hungry.

To purchase, just:

ASK (shopkeeper) ABOUT [tack|groom|food]

To feed your horse, just hold the food in your right hand and:

FEED <food> to HORSE

Grooming Guide

To clean the mane and tail, you type CLEAN HORSE with empty hands until you are told you need a brush. At that point, continue to CLEAN the horse with the soft brush until you are told to use another tool. From there, you use the mane and tail brush until you're finished.

Then, to clean the coat, hold the curry comb and CLEAN HORSE again. After you are finished with the curry comb, take the soft brush and TURN it to use the stiff side. When that step is completed, you will use the soft brush again (TURN the stiff brush) to complete this step.

Finally, to clean the hooves, get your hoof pick and type CLEAN HORSE to clean out one hoof. (Remember, a horse has four hooves, you have to clean the other three as well!)

Tack, Gear and Barding

Horses may need some equipment before you can just jump on and ride away.

Some Items of Tack Available in Shops
  • Headgear - halters and bridles
  • Padding - blankets, quilts, caparisons and saddle pads (Note: If you want to use a saddle, you should at least have one layer of padding under the saddle to protect the horse.)
  • Saddle - Saddles range from plain to very fancy. They can also be worn on your shoulder for easy transport. (Note: You don't HAVE to purchase a saddle. While it's possible to ride with just a blanket or other form of padding, it's also possible to ride bareback, but that requires special training from a Ranger of sufficient skill.)

Of course, if you want to protect your equine associate from attacks.

Some Barding Armor Available in Shops
  • Chanfron - covers the head of the animal
  • Crinnet - covers the neck of the animal
  • Peytrel - covers the chest area and legs of the animal
  • Crupper - covers the hindquarters and legs of the animal
  • Flanchard - covers the legs and abdomen of the animal

Each of these pieces of barding is currently available in leather, chain or plate.

Movement:

Horses have four speeds: walk, trot, canter and gallop. Walk moves your horse at the same speed that your character moves, one room at a time. Trot, canter, and gallop move two, three and four rooms at a time, provided that there are enough rooms in a row in that specific direction. If you gallop north and there are only three rooms with a northern exit, the horse will travel three rooms north and then stop to see which way you want to go next.

To make your horse change speed:

SIGNAL HORSE to [walk|trot|canter|gallop]

Whinny!Teaching Your Horse

The Stablemaster can teach you the basics of horsemanship. He also teaches combat, jousting, and mounting a horse in combat to Paladins. Loading of ranged weapons while mounted he teaches to both Paladins and Barbarians.

Stablemen familiar with training horses can teach Rangers the various "tricks" possible, once the Ranger has had a basic horsemanship class from the Stablemaster. In turn, the Rangers can teach these tricks to horses. Tricks include BEG and SPIN. You can also teach your horse to JUMP over certain things. (Some stables and training areas have special places set up where you can jump barrels, fences, and the like.)

To use a trick:

SIGNAL HORSE to [beg|spin]
SIGNAL HORSE to JUMP (thing)

Certain guilds are able to use the INSTRUCT verb to teach horses and players how to do different things. As always, effectiveness of lessons to be taught depend on the skill of the teacher and of the student.

Lessons Each Guild is Able to Teach

  Specific lessons include:

KNEEL - required for allowing shorter races like Halflings, Gnomes, and Dwarves to mount a horse.

ANIMAL or RACE - teaches horses not to be scared of certain races like Rakash or Prydaen. If your horse is not trained to tolerate these races, the horse is likely to bolt when someone approaches it.

LEADROPE - teaches your horse to allow bridles or halters to be placed on it.

SADDLE - trains your horse to tolerate a saddle.

(Note: Most horses bought in corrals will come with LEADROPE and SADDLE already learned, but some horses, particularly those caught in the wild when that part of the system is released will not.)

COMBAT - teaches horses to go into combat.

JOUSTING - an advanced course on the jousting skill. The basics on jousting are included in the horsemanship lecture you get from the stable master, but the advanced course allows your horse to perform even better.

MAGIC - teaches your horse to remain calm during the preparation and casting of offensive spells.

PREPARE - teaches you the proper way of casting of non-combat spells without spooking your horse while mounted.

Horses may also learn WAR, which allows your horse to fight along your side in combat. While any horse may learn the skill, only a Paladin's horse may truly utilize the training.

A skill exclusive to Paladins is MOUNT, which teaches them how to allow their horse to fight while mounted.

Lessons range from 20 to 180 minutes, real time.

Once your horse has been trained for combat, this leads to...

For the last time, my name's not ED!Jousting

Jousting requires that you have a lance in hand, be mounted on your horse, and issue a challenge to another mounted character.

To initiate the challenge, you must SIGNAL HORSE TO JOUST <player> and the other player will automatically be told how to respond. If they agree, the joust will automatically begin in ten seconds.

Holding a shield and wearing armor (particularly heavy plate) is recommended while jousting!

You may purchase a blunted lance, but regular lances will work as well. Be wary, however. There's a strong chance that lances will be broken and lost during a successful joust.

Some training fields and jousting areas include quintains to facilitate jousting practice. To use them, just GO QUINTAIN while mounted on your horse and holding your lance.

Other Forms of Interaction With Your Horse

Currently, you can PET, HUG, TOUCH, KISS, SCRATCH, and RUB your horse. The APPRAISE and STUDY verbs are also quite useful in order to make sure your horse is in good shape, well fed, and properly groomed.

The Future

Future system enhancements will include features like horse trading, capture and training of wild horses, horse theft, and a whole lot more!


Rated E: Everyone Interactive -- The content of this site may change due to interactive exchanges.  Mild Violence.
Simutronics Corporation

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