Feeding, Breeding and Training Your Horses

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Feeding, Breeding and Training Your Horses

Postby Alabama » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:25 pm

The horses are the blood of this game. Each horse has it's own unique AI (artificial intelligence) and AG (artificial genetics) as well as many other factors. The odds of having two identical horses are bit less chance to happen than a huge meteor crashing in to earth this next year. The horse is made up of many different attributes (numbers really...) that decide on its potential and abilities.

Diet & Care:

* When zooming in on your horse you will see an overall view of your horse, a vague representation in words, bars and numbers. To care for your horse appropriately, you should have the diet choices all totaling around 100%: Alfalfa: This is a green straw, made from harvested alfalfa plants that provides a lot of basic nutrients. Alfalfa encourages energy, but shouldn't be given too much of, it can cause colic (a real bad stomache ache).
* Oathay: Oathay is a great base food that is mellow on the horses and provides some nutrients as well as keeps general weight on horse. It does not provide the horse a lot of carbohydrates (energy).
* Grain: Grain provides the horse a little treat, and supplemented vitamins that are not provided in oathay of alfalfa. It also has sugar which gives the horse a little jump start on energy. It can also cause colic if given too much of.
* Hot Oats: Hot Oats is basically what it says, with a lot of sugar. It gives the horse artificial energy but not the vitamins. It can make them very hyper, and can also cause colic if given too much of.

Tip:The default starting food for a horse is sufficient, however you may want to change it depending on what you're training for.

Breeds of Horses:

There are many, many different breeds of horses that can be created in VHR, including some created from the minds of our players called personal breeds. Each breed is unique and applies to its Artificial Genetics and base make up. For example: A thoroughbred is very fast - and a Belgian is very strong, and an Arabian has great endurance. Mixing breeds can result in a third breed (not random but specific) and also change the output to contain both mother and father characteristics . Breeding two of the same breeds more and more will result in a more pure form of its breed.

Tip: If you are looking to develop a specific breed, use the marketplace search feature and find a horse of that breed and look at its bloodlines to see what combination(s) developed that breed.

Training of Horses:

So you bought a new foal! Congratulations, now, what do you do with it? Well, using the stables or pasture link you can see your horse listed, a summary, and train your horse. Some breed types will do better than others in the given disciplines. Or you can get a closer look of your horse by clicking on its name. You will see your current training options for this foal:

* Step 1. Breaking in:
This is fundamental to all horses base training. This is where you basically teach your horse who is boss, and make them think that you are stronger than them! This is done as all other training is: Selecting Breaking In and hitting the "Train Horse" button. How fast your horse is broken in is determined by its intelligence and its spirit.

* Step 2. Choosing a Career:
After your horse is broken in, you will see that you have more options and asked to specify the horse in a career:
o Dressage: Dressage is the 'ballet' of horses. It is a prestigious equine sport that measures the horses discipline, training, and movements. Horses need to be smart to excel to higher levels, and understand that the rider's signals are telling it to do the 'passage' movement and such. A strong horse will be able to really carry itself in its stride.
o Jumping (show jumping, hunter and hunter over fence): For a horse to excel in jumping, it should be strong to be able to hurdle the obstacles, intelligent or disciplined to know the obstacle is not going to eat it and fast to be able to complete a set of jumps in a competitive time.
o Endurance Racing: Endurance racing is a judgment of the horse's fitness. When racing over long amounts of time, horses are not only judged by how fast they completed the race but by their ending condition. This is measured by heart pulse and other various vet checks.
o Eventing (3-day): Eventing is the ultimate test of a horse; it is the 'triathlon' in the equine world. It consits of 3 stages: 1) dressage, 2) cross country course and 3) Show Jumping.
o Racing (track, harness and steeplechase): Track racing is perhaps the most notorious of all equine sports, indeed the most competitive. It is a judgement mainly of speed and a bit of endurance over a mile or so around a race track.
o Driving: Driving is the realm of the draft horse. Strong horses must pull sleds or wagons solo or in teams. Horses must be strong and have some speed and endurance.
o Sport(Polo, Fox hunting): Sport trained horses are for the foxhunting and polo events. Speed and endurance is necessary to be able to compete as a team for a long period of time or to manage a timed round of jumping natural hurdles and water hazards.
o Show: Show horse events are full of the wow factor. How smoothly a horse can move, its presence in the ring. This discipline also covers gaited horses and their events.
o Halter Show: Bragging rights on how beautiful a horse is either in it's perceived ideal of the breed or how closely it matches the original physical characteristics of the breed.
o Bucking Bronco!: This out and out wild sport is based on how quickly a horse can dislodge its rider.
o Western Events: The world of western shows is filled with stock horses, horses bred to handle cows and other farm and ranch animals.

* Step 3. Training your horse further:
Once you have specified the horses career, it is important to develop the horse's skills and condition. By opening up your horse's page, you can see more details on different options to train on, pending your horse's age. Each training type helps the horses different statistics gain as specified in the options form. You can work a race horse in dressage... or a dressage horse in racing, but it may effect its attitude or confusion levels. Remember, once you have specified the horse's career, doesn't mean you are finished with its training, its training can go on for a lifetime...

Tip: The right bonuses, found on the management page can help with training. If you are wanting to compete, you can try to find a guide in the Player Provided Guides.

Stables Vs. Pasture:

Horses in stables should be trained somehow everyday, or every turn to make the most of training without aging the horse unnecessarily.

Horses in pasture do not loose stats or age. It is cheaper to put horses in pasture and if you have a lot of horses, it provides a great way to sort out your horses and cut your expenses.

Condition & Health Problems:

The condition bar on your horse's summary or its individual page represents its overall health. New horses (newborns that are .01 years old) are not at 100% condition. Condition rises over time (virtual days) if the horse is fed and trained. If the horse has a health problem, such as exhaustion, its condition can be improved a bit more each day by treating it in the train horse option. Once a horse regains condition, and energy and the treatments are given, the health problem will likely go away. Each health problem has its own effect on a horse, some may decrease speed, energy regain, or performance etc...

Tip:To improve health: Make sure diet is at 100%. You may proceed with a light training every day as long as energy is OK, to speed it up slightly, you can Treat Injury (training option for horses at least 2.5 years old).

Energy:

The energy bar represents your horse's energy level. If it competes with low energy, it will not perform as well. The level of energy that is taken from a horse for each training depends the training type and how much stamina your horse has.
Energy is regained when you click 'proceed to the next day'- the horse gets to eat and sleep in its stall. How much it regains depends on its diet and stamina.
Horses that go below 10% energy will suffer exhaustion- so watch your energy level! Exhaustion slows the energy regaining, hurts performance and its health. It can be recovered by rest, moderate workouts, treatment over time or with a cure deed from a sponsor.

Score, W/P/S, net earnings:

The horse's score is allotted to individual horses when they compete. The quantity given is based on: how many horses were in the event, how the horse placed vs. the other horses, and how open the event was, such as level. It is a good way to judge how a horse may perform, horses with higher score have had more experience in competing, and that slight extra edge. It is also important to see how many events the horse has entered, to see if it really has the natural talent and the training. This can be done by viewing the W/P/S. W/P/S stands for: Wins/Places/Shows. Wins are the number of times the horse has won an event, Places are the number of times it has received second place, and shows are the number of times it has received third place. Usually around the W/P/S it will mention out of how many events that horse has competed in, it has received these placings.

Net Earnings are how much the horse has actually won in events minus the entry fee for its owners. It does not include bets won on the horse.

Moods & Personality:

Mood represents the horse's current mood. A horse that is given a lot of sugar in its diet over time or given a booster...will probably be more hyper. Likewise a diet low in sugar or if given a tranquilizer will mellow the horse out. Training can affect a horse's mood as well. Generally, a sprint around the track will make it a bit more spirited than a discipline lesson in the arena. Mood can effect its performance when competing: for example, a lazy horse on the race track might just not run as fast as it could... where as a hyper horse in the dressage arena might think the letter 'B' was out to eat him or her.

Personality is the horse's natural state of being. It is usually determined on genetics and its breed. A few factors such as neglect can change it. A very docile horse will probably not become as hyper as easy as a horse that is naturally high strung. You can also discipline horses to make them more mellow, and enrage to increase their attitude (however- if not a bronco horse, the horse may loose training skill- confusion!).

Breeding Horses:

So you want to create your own magical horse! Once you have a mare over 3 years old, you can breed her to either one of your own stallions or stallions available at the marketplace that are older than 2.5 years old. You may breed any horse with any breed, which may result in to a third breed. The outcome of breeding the two horses will result in a unique new horse either way. It will be a combination of its mother and father and reflect attributes of its own breed, pure or not. A small percentage of genes are actually random. I call this Artificial Genetics (AG). Genes reflect its natural ability for stats or skills. You can improve the Actual ability of its stats through training.

To breed a horse virtually.. Either go to the marketplace and select a stud, then by clicking on its name you will see a form box that says "Breed this horse with one of your mares." Click that and if your mare is in heat, you will see it listed in the drop down menu. If your mare is not heat, train it and take a turn until it pops up the message saying the mare if in heat. It is pretty straight forward from there. To breed with in your stables, visit the mare or stallion's own page and if the mare and stallion are of age, the mare is in heat and not pregnant, click 'breed this horse' and you will then see a drop down of all the available horses you own to breed it too. Geldings can not breed.

Mares are the most common gender to be born. This is determined 100% randomly, by odds. I know this isn't too realistic, as you can usually choose whether a male horse is to be a stallion or a gelding. The reasoning for this is to increase the difficulty in reproducing top horses from day 1, and to increase the servicing marketing potential of a stallion. Gender or pregnancy does not effect a horses performance or health in any way.

Tip: The more a stud and a mare has been trained, the better the foal will turn out.

Individual Horse Stats or Skills: Strength, Intelligence, Endurance and Speed.

Natural Vs. Actual : Natural stat is your horse's natural potential: It is represented by the vague descriptions Poor, Average, Good, Very Good, Supurb . This is decided on its parents, and Breed. It also decides a good portion of its foals outcome.
Actual stat is the amount of training a horse has received. It is represented by a number inside parenthesis.

All horses are born with either 90% of their natural potential on a novice account or 95% on a sponsor account with breeding skill. Actual stats are improved through excericizes (its training) and are what events mostly judge on! It has a slight effect on outcome of foals. Examples: A horse with 140% Good Strength probably actually stronger than one with 90% of supurb. A horse with 90% Good Speed is indeed slower than a horse with 90% Very good Speed.

Stats are unique to each horse. Some horses are born naturally stronger than others, where other horses can be very stupid. The stats pretty much determine what your horse will be good in. When you view your horse, you will see the four stats, and a percentage above a vague description of it's potential.

There are two different types of factors for each individual stat which is listed below. The two are: natural and actual, or genetic and training.
Let's use Strength for example
The percentage is the percent of natural strength the horse has achieved. A horse with 120% strength will not necessarily be stronger than one with 90%. You will notice a weaker horse may reach its potential strength faster or the same than one that is strong. This is only because it is a smaller number to reach, however this horse will not gain strength overall as fast as one that is naturally stronger. Also, the higher the horse's individual stat is, the slower it gains, so training a horse with poor speed to become the fastest horse in the world just might not happen in its lifetime, not only does the speed get harder to gain because it is high, but it gains so incredibly slower because of it's natural speed, not only that, but it's fighting its old age which slows it down!

Factors that determine the natural stat are its genetics (mom and dad) and breed. There is a way to increase this or decrease it per an individual horse but it takes a lot of work! Think of it as this way... a horses muscles can be short and thick (strong), or long and lean (endurance). or long and strong (speed). It is up to you to balance to decide what condition your horse needs for maximum potential. This can happen technically when a horse reaches its stat cap, which means a lot of training and age. A horse that has been trained very excessively in say strength, will have its natural strength increased very slowly.

To summarize Natural vs. Actual (str, end, speed or int): Natural abilities of stats are incured mostly by inheritance and breed, as to the Actual is the actual ability which is gained by its training at a rate based on its natural ability. All horses are born with 90% or 95% of their actual stats, and given a vague description (poor, good, very good etc...) of their natural abilities. It is kept as a vague description for reasons of surprise. In reality- one does not really know if a champion is born but one can make estimates as to its potential. Almost Any horse can Be a Champion if it is TRAINED And trained as in Every Turn - a Few times a turn.

* Endurance: Endurance is your horse's stamina. It measures how fast a horse recoups energy, how far it can go at how fast, and how much work it can do. It is important to more extents than others in all training specializations. Endurance is increased by training it in any way, some ways more than others, such as a five mile ride will increase its stamina more than a dressage session.
* Intelligence: intelligence is how well your horse can accept knowledge and be trained. A smart horse will learn disciplines and understand concepts faster than a stupid one. Intelligence is increased by specific trainings such as dressage or disciplines.
* Speed: Speed is basically how fast a horse can run. Obviously it is most important in racing, but can be as important in other disciplines. It can be critical in an event such as show jumping or eventing, but strength usually determines this type of speed - how fast a horse can get over a jump course! Speed can be increased by working on the speed muscles- by going full speed, and by a heavy work out of an endurance ride.
* Strength: Strength can measure how well a horse can carry its rider, or do specific tasks such as jumping. It is important to more extents than others in all training specializations. Strength can be increased in most types of trainings, driving being more than others.

What Do the Stats Mean?
What should you event your horse in?
Eventing your horse
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Alabama
 
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