The Sims 3 Pets: Horses Guide
Basic Horsecare, the Riding Skill, a New Career and More!
by Tom "Metro" Schlueter
|Pet LTRs||Pet Traits||Unicorns||Cats||Dogs||Horses|
|Minor Pets||Racing||Horseman||Arc Builder||The Jockey||Zoologist|
Of the entire scope of new content in Sims 3 Pets, horse related gameplay is unquestionably the deepest and most varied. Dogs and cats (and the other minor animals) are a big addition too, but the whole new horseman career, the new riding skill, and all of the competitions you can enter at the Equestrian Center really puts horses in their own category. In this overview guide, I'll lead you through the basics of horsecare, learning the riding skill, and finally, I'll touch on the new career as well as the competitions. Saddle up!
Getting a Horse
If you're starting a new game, then obviously the easiest way to obtain a horse is creating one at the same time you're creating your Sim(s). The advantage here is you get to choose some traits that will make things a little easier and more efficient for you, like Agile (for the jumping skill), Fast (for the racing skill) and Genius (for learning skills a little quicker). The game also will throw a little extra money at you for each horse you create since you'll need to buy supplies for its care. There's no shortage of customization options available in Create-a-Pet. You can truly make your ideal horse.
The other options to getting a horse are 1) using a phone, computer or newspaper and adopting one for free, 2) befriending a wild horse (you had better be patient for this option), or 3) simply going to the Equestrian Center and buying one.
Most of a horse's 6 needs are the same as a Sims' needs (Hunger, Bladder, Energy, and Social) , but instead of Hygiene and Fun, horses have Exercise and Thirst. Horses do need a lot of exercise, that's for sure. That does not necessarily mean you always have to ride them, but you need to be on your toes and monitor their needs and give them some self direction to gallop on their own. The other needs are pretty self explanatory — have a trough of water and a salt lick near the horse's stable. The stable already has hay in it for eating.
When your Sim clicks on a horse you'll see a Care button. Click on that to clean its hooves and brush them every day. It provides nice moodlets for the horse. There are also numerous Friendly/Affection socials available to build relationships with the horses. Use the Reinforcement socials as well. They're key in unlocking additional traits sought by the Sim. Horses can also unlock additional traits if left to their own freewill.
Some players will want to care for their horses right on their Sims' home lot. But another option for taking care of your horse is to simply keep it at the stables adjoining the Equestrian Center — this will pretty much be mandatory for apartment dwellers.
Saving from Death
I have had multiple reports of Sims being saved from death by their horses. This happens independent of the lucky trait. If you haven't experienced this yet, then your equestrian duo have not made an error while jumping through the inferno hoop! Thanks Ginger Blue and Marie for passing this information along.
Horses can die of old age, but fire and meteors could also possibly kill them. This seems to be the case with a ghost foal named Glint Singleton 2.0. There is a living counterpart named Glint 3.0, which is an adult horse and must be the family's replacement for a dead foal.
Expanding the Horse Family
If you have a male and female adult horse, then depending on their relationship level they will have a Romantic social available — Try For Foal. After a few days of pregnancy the mare will bear a foal. And a foal will turn into an adult horse in approximately 5 days on Nomal lifespan. Mares and foals need to be close to each other or they'll both experience some pretty bad moodlets, so keep the foal close to mommy. You can also take a mare to the Equestrian Center to breed with an available stallion for a fee. And if you own a stallion, then you can take him to the Center for stud service and you will be paid a fee.
The Riding Skill
After you mount an adult horse, just click on the horse to Go For a Ride. In a very short time you'll hear the familiar skilling up musical notes. Like other skills such as athletic, higher skill levels of riding unlock new modes of engaging in the activity, such as Gallop. And you also need certain levels of riding skill to unlock the various competition brackets or if you have hopes of taming a wild horse.
Here's an important tip: If you have any plans to sell a horse, then make sure you skill them up before selling them at the Equestrian Center. There's a huge correlation with how many skill points a horse has in the jumping and racing skills and how much you'll be paid for the horse. On a related note if you try and play as efficiently as possible like me and hate wasting time, then save skilling your horse in racing for last because when a horse Runs the Jumping Course he will not only skill in jumping, but also racing. It's a double duty deal like Inventing and Martial Arts. Your horse will max jumping first and then you'll want to max racing at the end.
Good Traits for Your Sim And Horse
The 5 traits that really stand out for me are: Ambitious, Friendly, Equestrian, Loves the Outdoors, and Lucky. We're not sure yet if Lucky has any bearing on winning races, but it obviously can't hurt. Equestrian is the most important trait for any horse loving Sim — it will greatly speed up relationship building with the horses. Loves the Outdoors is a no-brainer since your Sim will be spending lots of time outdoors. And Ambitious and Friendly are just solid all-around traits.
Horses and Unicorns share the same Trait set. You can learn about Pet Traits here.
Related Lifetime Wishes
The Jockey is the sole horse related Lifetime Wish in the Pets expansion. To accomplish it you need to max the riding skill as well as earn $40,000 simoleans from your horses (racing, sales, stud services, etc). Look for a more in-depth Guide article on all the new Pets Lifetime Wishes very soon.
And speaking of wishes, horses will regularly receive wishes just like your Sims. Fulfilling lots of wishes and keeping the horses' mood meter high is important to accumulate those happiness points — yes, horses can actually purchase rewards with happiness points (I'm picturing a horse walking into a store and putting its hoof down three times to make a selection). There are a wealth of rewards to choose from — all designed to make life with your pet better than before.
This was originally going to include a list of all horse breeds. Instead, it seems that it is largely unnecessary. Horse breeds do not affect sale price, which is far from realistic. You will not see the horse's breed indicated anywhere once you are out of the adoption screen. When you enter Edit Saddle mode, you can change the horse's colors, body features, and accessories. The colors of the mother and father will play a role in the final appearance of any foals, so two appaloosa would have a foal that looks like the parents. However, horse breeds hardly matter when you can edit the horse and make it look however you want. It's just like a Sim. For the record, cat and dog breeds don't matter either.
Wild Horses and Unicorns
Befriending wild horses requires level 8 riding skill, so that you can mount them to bring them home. It also takes patience, as you have to build a relationship before you can adopt the horse. Unicorns are a special case, and do not require riding skill to be invited. You'll need 3 BFFs, like large animals and Sims before you are accepted as a friend to all creatures. You can learn more about Unicorns here.
The Horseman Career and Equestrian Center Competitions
We'll eventually have a whole page devoted to this new career, but I just wanted to make mention of it in this overview guide. Like other self-employment careers, the Horseman career unlocks when you have attained 1 skill level in the appropriate skill (riding). So, when that happens, you might as well stay on the horse and head straight to City Hall to register. "Good morning, mayor! Would you be so kind as to hitch my horse?"
The only career metric for the Horseman career is money earned. So, if you have a desire to get to the top of the career, you'll need to make a concerted effort in bringing in money via competitions as well as selling horses and offering stud service.
Competitions are a fun new aspect of the horse gameplay and it's all accomplished via the rabbit-hole environment at the Equestrian Center. Once your riding level is sufficient, you qualify to enter the Beginner bracket of the racing, jumping, and cross-country competitions. Higher levels of racing skill eventually unlock the Advanced and International brackets. During the week (Monday through Friday) competitions begin at 5 PM and on the weekend competitions begin at noon. You must be mounted and once you and your horse enter the Center, the race begins and you'll see a popup screen showing the standings with a progress bar moving farther as the race unfolds. It's a lot of fun. You'll be cheering for your horse, and then, depending on your finish, receive your winnings.
Let me be quite blunt — I have not been overly impressed with any recent expansions. Most have fallen in the "okay" department for me. Well, folks, the breadth of the horse content alone is quite impressive, so well done, EA. It's one of the best components in an expansion pack to date and I look forward to digging in and finding out more deatil about everything else in Pets.
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