This info is by no means The Law of the Land (TM), but it may help you when encountering bugs or just running things smoothly. I’ve spent… a lot of time with these horsies trying to get their achievements.
🌿 Manage Stalls After Horses Leave: Horses are incredibly wily little critters. If you open that stall, they may start to just leave. With their own agenda. Provided you’re adopting out horses decently quickly after you bring them in, you shouldn’t need to manage stalls while horses are actually in them. Fill waters, muck, and leave a hay bale before entry and you should be good to go until your next pony
🌿 Use Hay Bales: If you’re like me, you might have seen that the stalls came with hay bales and thought that was silly. There’s a food trough right there, after all! Aside from being free food, the bales are actually quite useful. The food trough itself often suffers from a bug where horses simply won’t be able to eat from it. The bales, however, seem to be pretty much free game. They can feed at least three/four horses, shrinking with each bite until you can’t see them anymore. At this time, replace the bale
🌿 Move the Hay Bales: Horses will often glitch in their stalls, hovering over a trough of their choice and then just… never moving. For whatever reason, picking up the hay bale from its default position and moving it to another corner seems to reduce this activity
🌿 Style Stuck Horses: If a horse is stuck in its stall and simply not taking care of its own needs, try tapping the red styling bag that hangs in the upper right corner of the stall. This centers the horse in its stall and can be done without actually having to open that dang gate. You don’t have to “hold” the styling screen until the horse is fully centered. A single in-and-out should do
🌿 If All Else Fails… If a horse just will not take care of its own needs, you can try opening its stall and letting it chose another stall for itself (provided you’ve left all the gates open when vacant as I like to do). Sometimes, a horse will strut over to a different stall just to pee in it so…. you know, whatever works
🌿 Straw AOE: Do not replace the straw on the floor after just one mucking!! Straw fills the floor with an area effect, filling in holes in a fairly large radius (though not the radius of the entire stall). Wait until you’ve got 3 or 4 holes then try to center your placement of the straw between them for the best chance of hitting them all. This shouldn’t bother the horse – I believe they need at least 5 holes in the straw to be uncomfortable
🌿 There are Not Dun Horses: I thought a ton of my horses coming in were dun/roan (darker feet, neck, and head than the rest of the body) and that this was weird! Why so few solid coats…? The thing is… they all were solid. Dirt has a physical appearance on horses that you can see pop out of existence when you clean them. This isn’t… exactly a tip, but don’t be like me and be tricked by dirt orz
🌿 Multi-Step Cleaning: I think there’s a bug where you cannot 100% clean horses. Regardless, here’s how you can get as close as I figured out. You’ll need a horse cleaning station, found in the horse DLC section of the building menu. You’ll also need shampoo, a sponge, a hairdryer, a horse brush, and a horse comb. Take your horse to the cleaning station and click on the paddling pool, then detach their halter. Soap ’em, scrub ’em, douse ’em, and dry ’em like you would for a dog
Then, take the horse brush and start to use it on them. This part you’ll need to pay attention for. You can’t just wiggle the brush in tiny areas like you can on cats. Instead, you’ll have to go over the majority of the horse’s body for dirt, watching for the grit to actually go away. Make sure you get the hooves! You can crouch down with ctrl to make it a little easier. Once your brushing is done, grab the comb and jiggle it around in both the horse’s mane and tail. They should visibly lighten and change color if they were dirty. Do this until the color change stops. And… you’re done? Or 90% done, anyway. The other 10%’s a mystery
🌿 Walk Backwards Out of the Stables: When moving horses around, they may spook and refuse to move in the stables. Okay, I think they’re getting stuck, but let’s call it “spooking” for fun. It’s possible this only occurs if you have items or decorations in the building, but I don’t wicked know. In order to catch this behavior before you’re 50 miles away, walk backwards out of the barn. That way, you can see if your horse has stopped right away. Move closer to them and they should start walking with you again
🌿 Have an Intake Station: This won’t matter to everyone, but it’s nice for taking care of sick horses quickly. How I personally did this was making a pile of blood-collecting needles on the ground near where the trailer parks (hygienic, I know). Once your horse gets off the trailer, detach the lead and stick ’em. Then, you can chuck the sample directly in the bin to the right of the gate. If you like taking pictures of every horse you get, you can do that here too whilst waiting for the vet results to come in! There’s plenty of room to carry all the medications in your inventory or you can just plop them on the ground nearby for easy collecting. Or the box they came in, that works too
🌿 Pet the Horses Outside: Somewhat attached to the idea above is to pet your horses before putting them away in stalls. A lot of them will have to pee already and petting them gives them time to think about it. If they pee on the grass, it will fade away and that saves you some straw! Yes, sometimes they will poop on the ground instead, but I think this saves you a lot more time and money despite the Risks (TM). Also note that you can pet a horse while it’s relieving itself (if it’s already started) without interrupting them. Weird, but… whatever they like, right?
🌿 Wait to Click the Trailer: When delivering a horse for adoption, you may notice that they “”gallop”” after you if they get too far away. This isn’t very fast, but it is faster than them simply walking. If you click the trailer while the horse is way behind you, it’ll stop galloping and instead walk slowly to get inside. Just wait a second or two for the horse to catch up to you and then click the trailer for a faster turnaround
🌸 Dismounting: Buy a saddle and a bridle to ride a horse. Remove their halter, replace it with the bridle, and then add the saddle. But… once you’re on top of the horse, you may notice there’s no tooltip to tell you how to get down! Press ‘E’. It’s ‘E’
🌸 Four Speeds: Horses have four speeds when being ridden: walking, trotting, cantering, and galloping. Press shift to scale up through these speeds or hold ‘s’/backwards to slow them down. The indicator above their stamina bar in the top center of the screen will show you what speed the horse is currently at (it even changes when they’re jumping! : ) )
🌸 No Reverse: Horses cannot put it in reverse. Hitting the back up button will only slow them down, even if they’ve come to a complete stop. You’ll have to fully wheel them around if you’ve gotten yourself jammed in a corner
🌸 Limited Jumping: Horses can only jump if there are actual jumping obstacles in front of them. You can place these in the horse paddock through the horse DLC furniture in the build menu
🌸 No Auto-Jump: Since you can’t jump anywhere else in the game, you might think a horse will auto-jump when it approaches a jumpable object. False. Crash, bang. You died. Press spacebar when close to a jumping object to go over it. Note that horses must be at least trotting to jump
🌸 Opening Doors: You can open the door to the paddock without having to dismount your horse. I don’t know if this applies to stable doors, I kept forgetting to check…
🌸 Horse Yard: When riding a horsie, approach the glowing pillar of light by the front gate to enter the “horse yard”. This will take you to a park with three riding trails where you can prance around! : ) Your horse’s needs will be paused here, so it’s ideal for grinding out those hour-long riding achievements. Also, entering the yard for the first time may give you the Bankrupt achievement, as you don’t have a money counter there.