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Horse Breeds of the Realms
By Toby Mekelburg
The Andaluarian comes from the realm of Impiltur, and is primarily used as a cavalry mount. The Andaluarian has a distinguished appearance, usually appearing in the colors white and light gray, and occasionally bay. It is a compact horse with excellent proportions, and usually stands at 15.2 hands. The mane and tail are abundant, and the breed has a flat or slightly convex nose, small ears, and its head is set on a substantial neck. The chest is quite massive and the quarters are lean. The Andaluarian is renowned for its ability to learn and its superb temperament. This particular breed was established in 1135 DR, during the early rise of the Impilturians and their battles against hobgoblins.
The Akhal-Tara comes from the Arabian lands of Zakhara. Sages and horse breeders say the Akhal-Tara has been around for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest known breeds on Faerun. This breed is another cavalry horse, seeing widespread use among the armies of the Land of Fate. It is said that one of the ancient Grand Caliphs received the first Akhal-Tara stallion from a friendly genie. Akhal-Tara horses have long and slender heads with expressive eyes. It has a short, silky mane, or often none at all and a short tail. This breed has a narrow chest, long back, and flat ribs. The legs are long and slender, clearly revealing the tendons. It averages 15-15.1 hands in height. It is often dun in color, although it can be bay and gray, with a pale golden coat preferred. Wealthy caliphs often are able to get a shiny, golden color to the horse's coat. These exquisite horses are rarely found outside of the Land of Fate. Should any be found in the Barbaric North, the price could easily exceed 60,000 gp.
The Balserran sees widespread use in Western Faerun, being a superbly fast galloper. The Balserran is quite gentle, and excels in jumping, games, reining, roping, endurance and as gentle family horses. The Balserran's coat is often colorful and features unique coat patterns, and many are of bay, white or gray in color, with black spots near the rump.
The Cyaddar is another of the unique horses of Faerun, being found exclusively in the Anauroch Desert. The Bedine tribes keep a few of these horses, primarily to counter the Zhentilar presence withing their desert. Bedine legends speak of the first appearance of the Cyaddar breed when the swirling winds sent by Kozah manifested as a horse that could "fly without wings". The Cyaddar is extremely swift and hardy, requiring little water, which makes it perfect for the harsh enviroment of Anauroch. The breed's eyes are prominent on the head, has large nostrils and a small teacup muzzle. Its gracefully arched neck rises out of a long sloping shoulder and broad chest. A short, strong back and high trail carriage complete the picture. Cyaddars come in grey, chestnut, bay and roan and an occasional solid black. Most of the breed stand between 14.2 and 15.2 hands in height and weigh between 800 and 1,000 pounds.
This breed is native to the Dalelands area as its name implies. Dales ponies are bred specifically for the farming communities of the Dales. They are able to navigate rough country under heavy weight, and their strength and surefootedness of the ponies lends them to farm work where larger horses are unsuitable. These hardy ponies are up to 14.2 hands in height, although they are frequently in the 12 to 13 hands spectrum. Their predominant color is black, other colors include brown, gray, bay and occasionally roan. Their hooves are of a hard blue horn, and well-shaped legs have the dense bone. Their action is straight and true, really using their knees and hocks for powerful drive. They have tremendous stamina, an iron constitution and great intelligence, all combined with a calm temperament. An abundant long mane of straight hair covers a muscular neck that is well laid onto sloping shoulders. The body is compact with strong loins and well-sprung ribs. Short, well-developed forearms are set into a broad chest. Under saddle they are steady and calm enough for children, but are better suited to adolescents or adults. In harness they will perform any task asked of them; dressage, plowing or carting.
The Duquala is a relatively new breed of horse appearing in Maztica. Enterprising Amnian merchants have managed to breed a few of these magnificent horses on their plantations in Payit near Helmsport. The Duquala is well suited for the humidity of Maztica's jungles. The head is lean, and the facial profile is straight or slightly convex. The size of the head is medium in the female and moderately more developed around the jaw in the male. The profile is erect, the eyes full, expressive and lively. The muzzle is medium sized, firm and with movement. The excellent senses of the Duquala have enabled it and its rider to escape from ambush. The neck is wider at its base and much finer the closer to the head, which should form a striaght angle. The manes are abundant and beautiful. Adult horses stand 14.1 to 15.2 hands high in the female and 14.2 to 15.3 hands in the male. The coat is silky and all colors are permissible, but albinos are quite rare and frowned upon.
Everlundian Ranger Horse
This breed is maintained by horse traders in Everlund in the North. The breed is often sold to rangers traversing the Northern wilds. The Everlundian breed is very fickle and temprmental, which makes it uniquely suitable for the ever roaming rangers and wilderness scouts who keep track of the ever increasing goblinkin. The ranger horse has a high arched neck which ripples with hard muscle. Its body is also well muscled and thick around the midsection, enabling it to carry a fair size load of equipment. It is extremely hardy and its powerful legs enable it to reach speeds of almost 35 mph. The colors of the coat do not follow any breeding pattern, which lends more credence to the horse's fickle nature.
The Fordskin can be found throughout the Heartlands and North or Faerun. This is another horse that sees widespread use in daily life. The color of the Fordskin is varied and the more beautiful or rare the color the more superior the genetic heritage they possess. Fordskins have been long noted for their superior qualities and strength. They have more stamina, more determination, harder feet, better bone and are generally hardier than other horses. A Fordskin with weak or spavined legs is a rarity. "Tough as wet leather" is a good description of a Fordskin.
This breed sees heavy use as the mount of choice for Cormyr's mountain patrols, as well as a patrol horse into areas like the Stonelands and Goblin Marches. Its docile temperament makes it popular with riding and trekking stables, and is also a credible jumper and has the ability to trot for long distances at a steady speed. The fell pony requires less keep than most horses and ponies that are used by the Purple Dragons. Horse breeders near Tyrluk and Arabel turn out several hundred every year for the express use of the army. The Fell pony stands up to 14 hands in height and has a fairly long neck, which together with well laid back shoulders gives the rider a good length of rein. The quarters are muscular and powerful and good legs are one of the qualities of the breed. The hooves are hard and open with the characteristic blue horn, and the mane and tail are long and thick.
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