Author Topic: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program  (Read 154095 times)

MaryMarsh

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My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« on: October 21, 2011, 08:19:12 AM »
I grew up on a horse ranch in Washington, went away to college, got married, and have been looking for a way to get back to the farm ever since. Happily, Sims 3 Pets has provided me a very fun way of living my dream vicariously.

An important part of any economically viable horse operation is networking and socializing. For my ranch, I wanted a way to showcase my competition wins, stallions, brood mares, and foals; so, what better way than to provide a place where prospective clients can see everything all at once.
 
The photo below shows an overall view from stall-side.


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

The photo below shows the upper of the split levels, where potential clients can relax, discuss business, and view my horses through a glassed wall.
 

By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

The third photo (below) shows a horse's eye view of the barn.


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

I hate being away from my horses for any length, and this barn allows me to socialize and do business, while staying close to my babies.

The final photo (below) shows a birds-eye view of my entire spread; house in foreground, barn behind and to the left, and my training facilities to the right.


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

In all fairness, I used the family funds cheat (500,000 simoleans) to finance this operation, but I wanted to create my dream ranch. Through energetic sale of foals and stud fees, I have since recouped my initial investment and am doing business profitably. I must say it's a full-time job keeping the ranch going and participating in several competitions each week, but it's a blast, and highly reminiscent of memories from my childhood.

As an aside, originally I was training the foals before sale, but I have since found it more cost effective to sell them without training once they reach adulthood. I have one stallion and three brood mares that are constantly in foal; so, training each foal before sale is simply out of the question.

The name of my operation is Saracen Arabian Ranch. Obviously, we concentrate on breeding and sales, but an important component of keeping the ranch name in front of the public is energetic competition in show jumping, cross country trials, and racing.

EA really did it right with this expansion; I could not be more happy.


One thing I forgot to mention above: In real life the performance of stallions and mares in competitions affects the value of their get (foals) and stud fees. I have entered my stallion and one of the mares in several competitions, but the sale price of their get is unaffected thusfar. In a future patch, I really hope EA will remedy this oversight. I think it would add greatly to the depth of the game with seemingly little programming overhead.

LOL ... well, I'm kind of on a roll -- forgive me, I'm enjoying my ranch too much! I thought I'd share and overhead view of the ranch house (below).


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

The house features four baths/two bedrooms. The galley kitchen is separated from the dining room by a half wall. To the left of the rear entry is a mudroom/pantry, with an attached bathroom. (We don't want to tromp through the entire house with muddy boots!) To the right of the rear entry is a media room/office, and next to that is a living room (where I can entertain guests and clients). Down the hallway is a guest bedroom with attached bath. Beneath the guest room is a laundry room, and at the end of the hall is my master bedroom, with attached bath and space in alcoves for a desk and exercise equipment (fitness is important to an internationally renowned trainer/rider  ;D ) Despite some nice ammenities, like stone walls brought in from local quarries, the house is rather simple, as befitting a horsewoman who's more concerned with her animals than living in a mansion. Do note the entry area -- winters can be harsh in Appaloosa Plains.

When I can afford it, I plan on turning the training area into a covered arena with balconied viewing area. I love working outdoors, but the weather can sometimes stymie my training  ;)

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Offline Lesleyxxx

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Re: My split-level party barn
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 09:29:14 AM »
I absolutely love your ranch! I would love to be able to download it but maybe I could create my own eh?  What size lot did you use?  It looks bigger than 50x50 to me?
The big problem is do not have your background knowledge in running a ranch or even looking after horses, let alone breeding them.  I was wondering if you or someone else would be prepared to do a short tutorial in how to look after and breed horses? I have no idea how. I'm sure I'm not the only one that would be very glad for the info and advice.  :)

p.s.  Yes I have read Carl's very helpful guide http://www.carls-sims-3-guide.com/pets/horses.php  but I am guessing there's more to caring for horses when compared to real life? I would love to be as close as possible reality.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My split-level party barn
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 10:00:09 AM »
Thank you for your kind comments, Lesley!

When I said it was a full-time job, I really meant it. But I'm kind of a workaholic; so, like our workaholic sims, my happiness meter is pegged. My sim really has no life outside the ranch, except for occasional trips to the grocery. Heaven forbid a lovelife!

My horses are all purebred Arabians; thus, I wouldn't think of taking a mare to one of the lowly "mixed" stallions at the equestian center (snob that I am)  ;D

To breed your own stallion to one of your mares, you need to get relationship between the two to about 3/4; do this by having them nuzzle and socialize with one another. As their relationship improves you'll see you also get a 'groom' option in affection. Once the relationship has reached the 3/4 mark you'll find romance as an option. Within romance is a 'try for foal' option. Make sure you have a stall handy for them to go to for woohoo. Once you click 'try for foal' either the mare or stallion will enter the stall and the other will follow. You may have to click try for foal a few times before you hear the Rock-a-bye Baby tune. Happily, once their ralationship meter is high enough for romance it tends to stay high, so you don't need to go through repeated courtships for subsequent breedings. Also, there's no jealousy -- my stallion services all three mares and the mares' relationship with one another does not change.

Some have indicated elsewhere that foals need to be born in stalls. I have not found this to be the case. So far, all of my foals have appeared next to the dam (mother) in the pasture with no problems. Generally, I have my sim spend some time with each foal, showing affection, caring for, and reinforcing. Once the foal has achieved BFF status with my sim I trigger age up (Shift+Control+C, testingcheatsenabled true, click on foal while holding down the shift key). My sim then saddles and mounts the now-adult foal, I click on the equestian center in Map view, then select 'sell horse.' My foals sell for 10K-11K each untrained/13K if trained. I should add that I have in-game aging disabled, as I plan on playing this sim for a long time; therefore, triggering aging in the foals is necessary for me.

A big part of pets is 'reinforcing' behaviors. For instance, if you want an animal to be obedient you reinforce the behavior positively after brushing them. If you want to develop the 'Fast' trait, you praise the horse each time they gallop. Another example is developing the 'Playful' trait. I've provided a horse ball for my animals to entertain themselves. Each time they play with the ball, I praise them for being playful. Obviously it's important to cultivate these traits because they can add positive moodlets. Caring for horses (brushing and cleaning hooves) also adds temporary positive moodlets. My horses perform better in competition when I leverage positive moodlets before competion (feeding carrots, brushing, cleaning hooves, and praising).

I'm not a good writer; thus, I'll leave it for someone else to attempt a comprehensive guide.

I hope you get to love the new expansion as much as me!

Offline Anushka

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Re: My split-level party barn
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 10:34:45 AM »
Hi MaryMarch, welcome to our forum.

Your built is very interesting, but that kind of posts belong to Building tread. We already have a tread for showing our creations and, if desired, asking for advices, so feel free to show your builts there instead of here, in Pets section.
If you want, you can share your creation(s) with us in Swap Shop Board, I'm shore many of our members would love to get this ranch/party barn in their games. Here are the rules and instructions for uploading in Swap Shop.
I would also suggest changing the title of your tread into something like "Breeding and training horses", so others looking for tips can find it.

Thanks,
Anushka


Offline Metropolis Man

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 11:06:43 AM »
One thing I forgot to mention above: In real life the performance of stallions and mares in competitions affects the value of their get (foals) and stud fees. I have entered my stallion and one of the mares in several competitions, but the sale price of their get is unaffected thusfar.

Yeah, exactly. That's what I discovered with my horse article for the guide. The only thing that seems to affect sale price is how many skill levels a horse has in jumping and racing. I guess EA is just trying to keep things as simple as possible. Yes, it would make sense to program in how many wins a horse has into sale price, but they're probably thinking that a horse with a lot of skills is going to win anyway, or at least have a very good chance.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 11:33:07 AM »
Metropolis ... Thank you for the comment. I'm not sure skills correlate directly to wins. My stallion is maxed out in everything except International wins (in racing and jumping); still, he has not yet won an international competition. I kind of rushed things and probably need to have him enter more 'Advanced' competitions.

BTW, here is a photo of my current herd ...


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

Left to right: Invictus (son of Scenic and Havivi), Scenic (my breeding stallion), Medina (brood mare), Havivi (brood mare), and Sabrina (brood mare).

Invictus is about to be sold. Medina and Sabrina are awaiting arrival of their next foals.

I think EA has done a marvelous job in programming the horses. From these, you can see they really have the classic Arabian look about them. I also like that the foals tend to pick up the conformation and coloring of their dam and sire. All this really adds to enjoyment of the game for me.

Offline Metropolis Man

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 11:41:26 AM »
Mary — I sent you a PM. Given your background I think it would be awesome if you could assist with some of the horse articles still needed for the guide.

Offline Lizzy

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2011, 11:43:36 AM »
I love your ranch!!

But how can I breed horses??
(haven't figured it out yet myself haha)

And I agree, EA has done a lovely job on this expansion, but I miss Fjord horses though. :P



Offline Joria

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 11:55:41 AM »
The Arabian faces really came through.  I personally want to have a ranch for Frisians, as those big, black, feathered horses are just gorgeous to me.  I truly can imagine some knight riding on one, although I'm not terribly sure they could carry the weight of the armor.

My uncle had a horse ranch for awhile.  He gave it up because truly, neither he nor his wife had a life outside of the horses and it was really difficult, and expensive, to make it a top notch breeding ranch.  Kudos to you for doing it!  The closest I ever came was a bad tempered pony for my kids!  lol 
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MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 12:00:33 PM »
Lizzy ... and Welsh ponies, Shetlands, Clydesdales, Belgian Coach Horses, and Percherons ...  ;D Still, the list of available breeds is amazing. They even have Anglo-Arabs (half Thoroughbred/half Arabian). Really incredible job by EA.

...

I gave an explanation of how to breed your stallion to your mare above. Be mindful that you can also take a mare to the equestrian center to be bred. For most interactions with the equestrian center you must either be mounted on the subject horse or have it in lead. For instance, if you want to breed a mare named Darcy to one of the stallions at the equestrian center, you must be mounted on Darcy when you click the equestrian center to make your choice. This applies to breeding mares, offering a stallion for stud service, entering a competition, and selling a horse.

Theoretically, I suppose it would be possible to breed to a neighbor's horse or one of the wild horses that roam Appaloosa Plains. Of course you would have to spend a bit of time building relationship between your animal and the target horse. There would also need to be a stall nearby.

Offline Saltypaws

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2011, 12:08:57 PM »
I also tried breeding my two horses, when I clicked on the stable or stall, the one horse went in and the other got the bubble over their head like there was a pathing issue.  When I clicked on the stall again, after the one horse went in,  the option for woohoo was greyed out and I moused over it.  It said only has room for one horse at a time.  I did get the more expensive stall, but have not had a chance to find out if that one works, but it is the same size as the other one, so not sure yet.  If there is a different way that I am overlooking, I would appreciate finding out how to do this.  Thanks :)  I love Clydesdales and I made a really gorgeous horse, so am anxious to breed them.

Edit:  I love your ranch and that is going to be my next step, is building something, but I am sure it won't look like this one.  It is gorgeous.
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Offline Metropolis Man

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 12:18:53 PM »
@Salty — you do the Romantic social "Try for Foal" outside of the stable. Then, they go into the stable on their own.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 12:23:15 PM »
Saltypaws ... thank you!!!

When breeding my animals I never click on the stall. Rather, I do this:

1. Once the 'Romantic' option is available I simply click on my intended mate and select 'Try for Foal.'

2. On their own accord, one of the horses will enter a nearby stall and the mate will follow. Thereafter they will woohoo with no further actions by you.

3. I've found that I sometimes have to click Try for Foal several times before the mare is impregnated. Also, if you do not hear the Rock-a-bye Baby tune the mare most likely is not pregnant. Other sim animals or sim humans can get in the way too, which necessitates multiple attempts at Try for Foal. My sim human wants to always let the horses out of the stall which, I suppose, results in coitus interuptus  ;D To prevent this I usually send her to watch TV while breeding is in progress.

I tried the Lifetime Rewards stall (Self-cleaning Stall), but was unsuccessful in getting any of my horses to use it for woohoo. Instead, I purchased Washington Stalls, from Buy mode, which have worked just fine.

Offline Metropolis Man

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2011, 12:26:25 PM »
Mary, I apologize for asking in this thread, but I wanted to know if you received my PM.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 12:38:45 PM »
Read and answered. Sorry, I'm multitasking and I'm not very good at it.

Offline Metropolis Man

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2011, 01:12:55 PM »
Np. :) I'm just totally impressed with your knowledge of horse stuff and I wanted to jump on the opportunity to have you help us asap.

Offline Saltypaws

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2011, 01:31:42 PM »
@Salty — you do the Romantic social "Try for Foal" outside of the stable. Then, they go into the stable on their own.

I did just that and that is when the first horse went into the stable and second horse got the pathing issue bubble over his head, but I will try it again and see.  But it said that there was room for only one horse.  I know I just repeated myself, lol. :)
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MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2011, 01:45:11 PM »
LOLOL ... my knowledge of 'horse stuff' stems entirely from mucking out 18 stalls three times every week; so, I suppose you could say it amounts to horse pucky!  :D I reckon there's about 100 hours of really hard work for every minute spent in a show ring. Before my dad would ever let me take my first jump there was two years of twice weekly dressage lessons. And we didn't do rodeo on our farm -- foals were put on a lead as soon as their little heads would fit a halter, then two and a half years on lounge line and ground driving. By the time an animal was developed enough to ride he'd already worn a saddle for months; getting on and riding was then a piece of cake. Thank GAWD Sims Pets circumvents all that.

I kind of wish Sims 3 Pets was a little more like gardening, where each succeeding generation is better than the last -- the goal of animal husbandry is to improve the breed -- so, with careful selection of mates for extant breeding stock the offspring are USUALLY better than their forebears (and more valuable). This is most effectively characterized in a game by demonstrating improved performance; vis a vis racing/jumping/cross country competitions. I really do hope EA can add this component at some point. There would then be a reason for continued play well beyond achievement of the Lifetime Wish. But that's just me  ;D

I still hope EA will come out with a Farm expansion, where we get cows, chickens, and pigs. The purpose would be to breed animals that yield higher produce over a series of generations (and with careful breeding). Perhaps the mechanism allowing such game progression could be extended to horses, dogs, and cats. With Pets, the foundation is certainly in place. An add-on would include a county fair, with midway and livestock competitions (much like the competitions at the current equestrian center). Barn dances would provide temporary respite for hardworking sim farmers/ranchers.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2011, 01:47:55 PM »
Salty ... try a different stall. As I said, I've had great luck with the 'Washington Stall.' Not once have I ever gotten a message that a stall was too small; so, I posit you need to try a different stall.

Offline Lizzy

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2011, 01:53:39 PM »
Lizzy ... and Welsh ponies, Shetlands, Clydesdales, Belgian Coach Horses, and Percherons ...  ;D Still, the list of available breeds is amazing. They even have Anglo-Arabs (half Thoroughbred/half Arabian). Really incredible job by EA.



Yes!! I was missing Shetlands too, would be perfect for kids :P

Saltypaws ... thank you!!!

When breeding my animals I never click on the stall. Rather, I do this:

1. Once the 'Romantic' option is available I simply click on my intended mate and select 'Try for Foal.'

2. On their own accord, one of the horses will enter a nearby stall and the mate will follow. Thereafter they will woohoo with no further actions by you.

3. I've found that I sometimes have to click Try for Foal several times before the mare is impregnated. Also, if you do not hear the Rock-a-bye Baby tune the mare most likely is not pregnant. Other sim animals or sim humans can get in the way too, which necessitates multiple attempts at Try for Foal. My sim human wants to always let the horses out of the stall which, I suppose, results in coitus interuptus  ;D To prevent this I usually send her to watch TV while breeding is in progress.

I tried the Lifetime Rewards stall (Self-cleaning Stall), but was unsuccessful in getting any of my horses to use it for woohoo. Instead, I purchased Washington Stalls, from Buy mode, which have worked just fine.

Thanks!! I will try to tomorrow :D  (2 busy playing with kittens at the moment LOL)

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2011, 03:17:25 PM »
Well, don't let me give you the idea that breeding Sim horses is super simple. I just spent an entire Sim day getting two mares bred -- horses kept getting in the way of their path to the stall or they got hung up on themselves getting there and the Try for Foal icon went away. I finally put up a fence between the main pasture and the barn, which with the gate locked prevented other horses from blocking their path. Even so, I didn't get the Rock-a-bye Baby tune until three or four successful woohoos.

In real life the horse breeding process can be a real PITA and this game is no different; though, thank goodness, there's no need to have a veterinarian out every day to determine if a difficult mare is ovulating.

It just takes patience.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2011, 05:21:35 PM »
And it was very much worth the trouble ...

New babies, with proud papa looking on.


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

Offline Lesleyxxx

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2011, 05:42:58 PM »
With you for inspiration I started my own little horse ranch this evening.  2 mares, 1 stallion and 1 sim. This is hard work for me to juggle as I've only ever played a single sim so far. Anyway I built a very simplified version of house and stables as a starter, and fenced in the lot [not forgetting a gate of course]. Plenty of time to expand on it later. They have space, stalls, hay, water trough, salt lick and a ball.  I have a feeling most of my weekend will be spent learning how to care for a sim and 3 animals all at the same time. I'm looking forward to it though so thank you for inspiring me to give it a go.  ;D

On the practical side, I'm guessing my sim should take  riding lessons to start learning to ride?  She's has actually ridden one of her horses, at a walk, twice now.  However she  doesn't have a skill-learning bar above her head.

MaryMarsh

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2011, 06:11:25 PM »
I didn't take lessons with my Sim, though I probably should have (sometimes I get real life mixed with Sim life  ::) )

You get the skill learning bar only at the gallop. The same applies to  horses' racing skill.

It's actually not too difficult to handle a human sim and multiple pets. Only rarely do I have to click on a pet to control it, which is to say I'm playing my human sim about 95%. You'll find that when your human sim wants to interact with an animal the horse will stand still and let her do as she wishes. Normally I click on horses only during relationship building and breeding, or to move them out of the way. Still, with three horses to care for you'll be plenty busy ... and you'll love it!

Offline cassims

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Re: My Horse Ranch/Breeding Program
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2011, 06:50:55 PM »


By marylcmarsh at 2011-10-21

Left to right: Invictus (son of Scenic and Havivi), Scenic (my breeding stallion), Medina (brood mare), Havivi (brood mare), and Sabrina (brood mare).


Is Scenic named after the great racing horse, whose bloodline has almost died out? Or is it just a coincidence?
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