The Sims 4 recently made space for its fourteenth expansion, Horse Ranch—a full-blown add-on that not only introduces a new countryside biome to explore, but several Western-inspired activities, Traits, and hobbies to partake in, also. And while its primary focus is more or less set on the ranching culture, the DLC does also provide a number of extracurricular ventures for budding Sims to enroll in, too. So, quite the all-inclusive package, all things considered.
Needless to say that, as with any DLC that comes to The Sims 4, aiming to learn the ins and outs of each new component can be a daunting task in itself. However, if you’re after a few quick tips to scoot you along your way, then be sure to read on for all the latest words of advice we currently have to offer. Here’s how to get your foot on the ladder in The Sims 4: Horse Ranch.
5. The Bulletin Board Is Your Best Friend
Chestnut Ridge is a Western-inspired county that provides numerous activities and ranch-related services for you and your neighbors to indulge in. It’s also home to countless competitions, seasonal events, and social gatherings, too. And while any newcomer is likely to get lost in all their is to do around the community, it is relatively easy to locate the local bulletin board for all the upcoming events. What’s more, activating said board can also provide you with valuable services, such as helpers for your ranch, as well as horse riding lessons. But more on that shortly.
Once you’ve successfully managed to claim your new home in Chestnut Ridge, aim to brush up on all the latest updates and social happenings via your ranch bulletin board as often as possible. In addition to the general notices and what have you, you can also find useful tips on raising horses, hot leads on new breeds, and even forms that’ll allow you to plan your very own ranch event. So, always keep an eye out for the latest posts whenever you get a spare minute.
4. Learn the Ropes
It goes without saying that, as a DLC that’s based entirely around raising horses, the main thing you’re going to be doing during your time in Chestnut Ridge—shock horror—is tending to horses. Before you start, however, you’ll need to brush up on all introductory spiel; the various Traits and Skills, for example. The main thing you’ll need to know, of course, is that Horse Ranch prioritizes two new areas: Horse Riding, which is human skill that allows you to master the art of riding and, in turn, enter local competitions and other ranch-related activities; and Horse Skills, which are broken down into Agility, Jumping, Temperament, and Endurance. Both of these new areas feature a total of 10 levels for you to ascend; the higher the level, the tighter the bond will be between you and your newfound companion.
This brings us back to the bulletin board. Again, as you’ll need to learn how to ride and preferably not fall from the saddle every other minute, you’ll need to put in as much time into riding as possible. And while you can practice this on your own, you can also call in for help via the bulletin board to boost your confidence and overall skill level. Your goal, much like every other career path and skill in The Sims 4, is to reach the Championship Rider level, which we’ll get to momentarily.
3. Master the Reins
If you’re looking to climb the ranks and dominate all of Chestnut Ridge as early on in the game as possible, then you’ll need to arm your chosen Sim with a few core Traits and Aspirations. To get you on your way and minimize the downsides of learning how to ride, you’ll want to select the Horse Lover Trait, as this will make the bonding experience with your chosen mount a whole lot smoother. It’s also worth adding on the Confident and Self-Assured Traits, too, as these will prevent your Sim from feeling overwhelmed when ascending the initial levels in the Horse Riding Skill. And while falling from the saddle is pretty much unavoidable during the first several levels, having a Sim that’s confident will reduce the amount of stress they’re often forced to endure.
In addition to the core riding Traits, you’ll also want to consider the Rancher node, as this will allow you to tend to your horses and other animals with a little more confidence than most. Anything else, such as the Outdoors Trait, will also aid your progression and whittle down any unnecessary learning curves that you may or may not stumble across along your journey. Bottom line is, if your Sim simply hates the countryside and anything with four legs, then you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
2. Pick the Right Horse
When it comes to picking up the reins, you’ll want to make sure that the horse’s Traits are well-balanced, and not disadvantageously unbalanced. As you’ll be spending a great deal of time working towards that all-important Championship Rider milestone, you’ll want to partner up with a horse that wields quality Traits, such as the Brave, Energetic, Friendly, or Intelligent nodes. If you come across a horse that’s more Defiant or Aggressive, then you’ll come to find that, no matter how much work you put in, their moods will ultimately impede your progress.
Of course, it all boils down to player preference, as not every Sim and their neighbor has it in their mind to become the next Championship Rider of Chestnut Ridge. If you’d much rather have a quiet life with less hustle and bustle, then you can always opt for a horse that’s either Mellow or a Free Spirit. Either way, just keep in mind that, depending on what your ultimate goal is, the Traits will play a key role in your overall growth in Horse Ranch.
1. Don’t Limit Yourself to One Goal
When all’s said and done, Horse Ranch isn’t just about raising horses and competing in competitions; there’s also Nectar Making, yet another skill that lets you earn a side income to help fund your future ventures around Chestnut Ridge. And not only that, but also the business of breeding and selling horses, too, which is another journey all in itself — and a fairly profitable one, at that.
The good news is, Horse Ranch provides plenty of routes for you to explore, so you needn’t worry about sticking to the one and seeing it through to the bitter end. If time is on your side, however, then have a couple of your Sims experiment with different Traits, Hobbies, and Careers. Fact is, Chestnut Ridge certainly isn’t short on things to do, so play around with the new world and let the things that feel the most comfortable find their way to you — if not for your active generation, then for the one who will eventually take over the reins. Literally.
So, what’s your take? Do you have any tips for newcomers to The Sims 4: Horse Ranch? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.