Horse Handling I (sage ability)
Allows the character to handle the mount in order to perform the simplest of moves or tasks, those that do not require an intricate knowledge of the horse's movements or that needed for competitive or aesthetic performance. The character is able to employ the animal in an everyday working capacity and control the horse while riding and fighting from horseback. In combat, there is a time penalty when operating the mount.
With this level of knowledge, the character is able to use the horse as a draught animal, having knowledge of how to properly fix or shift a load onto the animal or harness it with a bit, bridle, saddle or yoke. The horse may be harnessed to vehicles and used to pull logs or other burdens, often for use in construction purposes. Such employment can be done without any meaningful chance of injuring an animal in the short or long term.
Horses so used will be able to perform as heavy a workload as they are able; however, with this level of handling the amateur will not be able to prevent irreparable damage that could be done to a horse not bred for work, if employing a riding or war horse for heavy working purposes. It is therefore recommended that characters use only animals bred for the purpose for labour.
The character is able to master the horse at the four ordinary gaits for which a horse is able: walk, trot, canter and gallop. The point costs for these gaits is described under the link. To start a horse moving, or to move from one gait to another, the character will need to expend 2 action points (AP), needing more time than a more experienced rider in order to manage the animal. Note that for an amateur, it will require 8 AP (2 rounds) to take a horse from a standing position to a gallop.
Trotting is limited to two hours for characters of this ability, after which the horse must be walked for an hour, else the horse will stiffen up and be subject to potential trauma, becoming ineffective for a period of 24 hours.
A horse can change direction easily and in any direction, even back and forth from the left to the right and back again, when handled by a superior rider. However, an amateur will often have trouble turning a horse at higher speeds, as much conscious thought is necessary to properly manage and command the horse. Thus, even though a horse may have the potential to dance around, an amateur rider is limited by the cost in action points necessary to make a change in the horse's facing.
These are the extra penalty action point costs for changing the direction of a horse, over and above the cost for moving the horse into the next hex (which always has a cost):
- From a standing position: The rider can move the horse in any direction, directly forward, 60º or 120º to the left or right, without an AP cost. However, turning a horse upon its hindquarters, 180º, will cost 2 AP.
- From a walking gait: The rider can move directly forward or 60º to the left or right without an AP cost. A 120º turn will cost 2 AP. The rider cannot turn the horse upon its hindquarters without stopping.
- From a trotting gait: The rider can move directly forward without an AP cost. A 60º turn will cost 1 AP. The rider cannot turn the horse 120º or upon its hindquarters without slowing or stopping.
- From a cantering or galloping gait: Like moving at a trotting gait, except that a 60º turn will cost 2 AP.