Breed Spotlight: New Forest Pony

Breed Spotlight: New Forest Pony

New Forest Pony

Another quasi-feral breed (it’s complicated), the New Forest Pony is far more regulated than its prior two contemporaries. Only purebloods can be added to the registry anymore, so Astranar is quite lucky to be able to start their own breed book. As a pony, the New Forest pony is one of the options for a pony-mount the player will need to complete the game and will be given a quest line for funds. Unfortunately, that isn’t in the same district as this pony resides. Maybe you can arrange your play-order of districts to help you pick it for your own pony friend?

This pony dates all the way back to the Ice Age! It is indigenous to the New Forest in southern England, where it continues to thrive to this day. They are amusingly enough described as being workman-like in their composition by the registry. They have a sloping shoulder, powerful hindquarters, and straight legs that end in rounded hooves. Their gates can be described as “free,” without being too over-exaggerated, so no dramatics here. They are usually intelligent, agile workers known for their sure-footed steps and speed.

New Forest 1

Despite being quite beloved in their home region for work and agility work, including gymkhana, show jumping, dressage, and other eventing, the New Forest Pony has been labeled a minority breed. Steps were taken to improve the quality of foals, and then in 1960, the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society began to publish their stud book. The pony found itself being exported throughout the world, and other countries began their own studbooks and registries that have helped the breed. Being from England, the moors and craggy shorelines of Citrine must feel like home, and they have their own studbook there.

New Forest 2

Breed Characteristics:
New Forest ponies are most commonly found in chestnut (red coat and mane for Mystic Rider purposes), bay, or grey. Other solid colors are possible, though blue eyes and excessive white markings (i.e. paints) are not allowed. Lighter coats palomino and sorrel (red coat with blonde mane, again for our purposes, see above) are only allowed in mares and geldings.

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    1                                              Discipline:        3
Endurance:         2                                               Agility:             6
Strength:             3

* Note, these numbers aren’t set in stone. They are Becca’s way of trying to reduce her knowledge/research of breeds and their particular skills and traits into numbers so when animators and programmers have to look at these horses, they can go, “Oh, this horse can’t turn worth beans but this one can on a dime, noted!”

Breed Spotlight: Black Forest Horse

Breed Spotlight: Black Forest Horse

Black Forest Horse

An endangered horse breed dating back to the 15th century, the Black Forest horse is good for forestry, agriculture, and in more recent times, for harness and riding work. However, agriculture and war-efforts is part of what threatens its numbers. It is one of the options for the player to purchase a draft horse, though it isn’t available in the same district that supplies that quest.

The first breed book for the Black Forest Horse can be found in an abbey, and breeding primarily stuck to the northern part of the region, with heavy ties to monasteries. The first association cropped up in 1896, but it was 1875 where the standards of the breed began to be defined, and it moved from a heavy draft horse to what is referred to as a light-to-medium draft. It is a well-muscled horse with a short neck, and an equally short head. Unlike most people’s picturing of draft horses, there is no feathering around their broad hooves.

Black Forest 2

The breed was merged with another in 1935, though the association had to be restarted following World War II. However, with the mechanization of agriculture and transport, like many other working breeds, the Black Forest Horses’ numbers began to rapidly decline as demand for them lessened. In 2017, 88 stallions and 1077 mares were all that remained registered. Never one to risk losing a horse breed, Astranar quickly swept in and gained just enough horses to begin their own breeding program in the Sphalerite District, where a light draft has plenty of work to do.

Black Forest 1

Breed Characteristics:
Only sorrels are accepted for Black Forest horses, ranging from a normal sorrel to the famous “dark fox” coloring with a nearly black coat and white mane and tail. Because they are so exceptionally rare as a breed, they can be a little more expensive.

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    2                                              Discipline:       4
Endurance:         3                                               Agility:             3
Strength:             4

* Note, these numbers aren’t set in stone. They are Becca’s way of trying to reduce her knowledge/research of breeds and their particular skills and traits into numbers so when animators and programmers have to look at these horses, they can go, “Oh, this horse can’t turn worth beans but this one can on a dime, noted!”