Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Return of Shadowfax

In case anyone was wondering, that club contest we were in with Kudos ended this past Monday, the 28th. He ended up with 4,101 experience points by then (I took the screenshot below on the 29th, after he'd gotten 20 more points from our ranch). 4,101 exp points, 372 trainings, and 17 wins for a horse that started with all 0's three weeks before... wow! Yay, Kudos! The results of the contest still haven't been posted, so we're patiently waiting to see if he placed. Whether he does or doesn't, he's a winner to us. I think it's safe to say that he and his companion entourage aren't going anywhere. <3

And now to get to the piece of news the post title refers to...

Back in June, Bethany posted about finding this pale Andalusian stallion in the desert:
Even though he had good stats (5/6 and +74) and even though he reminded us of Shadowfax, Gandalf's mount in The Lord of the Rings, we didn't keep him - mostly because of his dictator personality and that one negative stat.

The dramatic change in the weather here, with temps falling from highs in the 80's to highs only in the upper 50's, inspired us to visit HI2's desert isles this week. The horse I fluted early Friday morning was - you guessed it - another light gray Andalusian stallion. 
I think the beautiful Hazel had something to do with luring him in too. ;^)
This one is 6/6 and... yeah, +74. No kidding. And if you look at his personality, it's pretty much the reverse of the first Andalusian's. I think this is HI2's not-so-subtle way of telling us we really ought to have a white gray Andalusian stallion in the herd. =)

The previous four 6/6 wild horses we've captured have also had stat totals in the +70's. (Murphy with +71, the POA with +79, Brushfire with +72, and Galena with +72.) This Andalusian brings the streak of +70's 6/6ers to 5!

We're not sure which of us will get to keep him yet, but somebody definitely will! The name "Shadowfax" isn't a great fit for him though, since he's so small (the minimum height and weight for his breed, in fact) and so lazy. We'll keep brainstorming for something else Middle Earth inspired.

Before I go, I will leave you with screenshots of a beautiful wild Mustang that Lily and Icing found this morning:
<3 Wow, if I didn't have my wonderful black Mustang, Nightshade, I'd be begging Lily to keep her. Whoever takes her home from the livery is really going to luck out!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Happy Autumn!

The calendar may say it's autumn, but it still feels like summer around here. I'm soaking up the sunshine and warmth while I can. With night coming sooner and sooner and the weather gradually turning colder and wetter, I imagine we'll be spending more time on HI2 in the months to come! This week, we didn't do much besides occasionally compete and/or flute a wild horse.

First, I'll give you an update on Kudos, the livery horse we have been competing on a bunch for a club contest. He hit 3,000 experience points this morning in Cutting Group II, and then he kept going! For once, we rarely came in last place! (The one time we did, it was because I got distracted and messed up big time.) Much of our success was probably due to the fact that several of the other horses competing had less fancy tack, but some of it may be Kudos's improving stats. We've all noticed that he can sprint after that cow longer than he used to! Good job, buddy!

He's up to 17 wins now! =D

We also got our first win ever in Group I on any horse, which was pretty sweet.

I doubt 3,000+ points will be enough for us to win anything in the contest, since we know of several club members whose horses are already far beyond Kudos. It's been fun to challenge ourselves anyway, and while we're still far from being pros in any of HI2's arenas, we've all gotten better with practice.

For our second bit of HI2 news, check out this wild Jutland! We fluted him on Grass Isle one night this week. 
I'm pretty sure we've never captured a horse with a personality so close to 10 in every category! 
My sisters were thinking about retiring him in our ranch's Millennium Fields, but I didn't get the memo and auctioned him. Whoops. Sorry, guys...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

From Gold to Bronze

Well, we've finally decided on names for the two 6/6 horses we caught in August. Let me introduce you to my new Nokota stallion, Brushfire:
Ha ha, he looks like he could use a good brushing!
And to Julie's new Irish Draught mare, Galena:
Hmm, will she call her Gal or Lena for short?

In addition to choosing names at long last, we also competed a ton this afternoon in barrel racing with Mr. Contest Horse, Kudos. Most of the time we placed near the bottom, as usual, but there was a short stretch of time when we did quite well in Group III. He's up to 8 wins now, the lucky boy! More importantly, his experience broke 2,000 points! Yay, Kudos! Here he is modelling the new falcon tack:

Sorry, I know his accessories clash!

Last thing to mention: Flora and I went wild hunting with a buddy this morning. We weren't all that successful - we only found three horses between the two of us after searching two island complexes. The only horse I found was this one from Islands Lake Isle, the first isle we searched:

Not a very impressive avatar, is it? She's a lot more interesting up close, I promise!

A +5/6, +79 bronze-toned Quarter Horse with markings galore and bright blue eyes! Ooh!

Those eyes are already getting me thinking about names, and you know what that probably means... 
I looked up blue paint sample colors for inspiration (those often have such creative names!), and here are my favorites:


It's going to be a tough decision!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Gold in the Mountains

I know we're supposed to be competing our hearts out with our club contest horse, but we took a break on Labor Day to do some mining in the eastern mountain isles. In addition to mining gems in the twisting tunnels, we always take the time to check ledges for golden eggs, lost Dutchman mines, and wild horses. We found a few of all three this time around. When it was my turn to play, Ophelia and I found this pretty golden mare:

It turned out that she was a Grade Draft Horse. While purebreed HI2 horses vary from +25 to -25 in each stat category for their breed, HI2's grade horses vary from +100 to -100. You'd think this would result in some awesome, super high skilled 6/6 grade horses, but there's a catch: grade horses' base stats start out far below purebreeds' stats. This means that even 6/6 grade horses tend to be sub par stat-wise. (I'm sure there are some 6/6ers out there that are near +100 in all 6 stat categories, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim. We've never found one and never expect to, that's for sure!) It's a shame that high stat grade ponies, saddle horses, and draft horses are so rare, because they come in a wide range of colors and have nice artwork.   

Hence, I was a bit disappointed when I discovered the pretty gold horse was a grade draft mare, but obviously we lassoed her anyway. As it turned out, she is by far the highest-stat grade horse we've ever caught. Her stats far surpass the stats of the 6/6 brown blanket appaloosa Grade Draft stallion that Felicity caught back in September 2013. She's +296 for a grade draft, which sounds ridiculously high... until you realize grade drafts can theoretically approach +600. When you add her gene stats together, you only get about 1800, while the horses in our herd tend to have gene stat totals between 2000 and 2400. So... yeah, unfortunately, her stats are nothing to get very excited about.

Still, she is, like I said, the highest stat Grade Draft we've ever encountered. Her avatar is lovely, she's amusingly huge, and she has a nice mid-range personality. It's really tempting to keep her!

Back to our contest horse, Kudos the Holsteiner, we aren't exactly putting experience on him in leaps and bounds, but we made a good effort today. At least we aren't always coming in last place anymore... today in the cutting arena, anyway. He even got his first 3 wins in cutting group III wearing our new falcon tack! No wins in group II, but here's proof he isn't always last!

Here's a look at Kudos with his new companions, which we decided to treat him with on Thursday night: Star the hedgehog, Lady the Falabella, and Charcoal the Daschund. (We just left them with the names they came with for now due to lack of inspiration.)

1,399 experience points in 13 days? Well done, sisters! Well done, Kudos! It may not come close to what the experienced competitors in our club are doing, but we should be proud of ourselves!

Saturday, September 5, 2015


First, the sad news.

We said goodbye to that adorable but rather small 6/6 Pony of the Americas today. We didn't really intend to sell her just yet - it was all an unfortunate mistake. I had just taken over playing after Julie had caught several wild horses on Amber Sands Isle. I was auctioning the wild horses off, and I accidentally clicked on the POA because we had left her tagged for sale. (We wanted anybody who happened to see her to know she was for sale, and we figured we'd never be careless enough to auction her by mistake. Ha! If there's a way to screw up, I generally will find it! Lesson learned!) Since I thought I was selling a random low-stat wild, I didn't have any minimum bid on her. I was pretty bummed, let me tell you!

I guess it worked out okay, because it was a fairly active time of day for auctions, and people did at least bid. If that foreign bidder had gotten her, I'd have felt absolutely horrible. She had just made it to 500 experience points, which was a nice number for somebody else to start with. She went for $35k to a player who bid multiple times for her - I'm hoping that means she really wanted her. I congratulated her on the win afterwards and casually rode up to her on that stretch of grass where people like to gather on Plains Isle. She was riding the pony - a good sign, I think. 

Here's one last look at her:

Goodbye and good luck, little POA! <3
On to something more happy!

The club we're in is having a contest to see who can put the most experience on a horse adopted from the livery by the end of September. (To make it fair, the horse must have 0 experience points when adopted, and a player must agree to put all the experience on it herself/himself.) We figured hey, why not? Even though we think our odds of winning anything are pretty slim, it sounded like a fun challenge anyway. And it was an excuse to treat some lucky livery horse to lots of attention!

Of course, when the contest started and we were looking for our livery horse, we couldn't find a single one, mare or stallion, with very impressive stats. So, we ended up agreeing on a big lug of a Holsteiner. Our reasoning: he was a he, he had only one negative stat, and his one white foot was pretty cute. XD

Here he is a week later, all decked out in our fancy competition tack with the companions we happened to have on hand to give him, a platypus and some fireflies:

As you can see, in the week or so we've had him, we've managed to put some experience on him beyond the few points he gets automatically every day at our ranch. When we are online and see people are competing in the bonus arena of the day, which isn't as often as we thought, we head over for a few rounds. Those points are coming mostly in sad little trickles of 6's, though. Getting last place after last place in Group II is pretty dull, but we're hoping that as he gets more training it won't always be the case! Maybe we should invest in some premium companions for him? I don't know how much of a difference this actually makes, but most other competitors have them...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August Trifecta

Wow, we are making up for lost time in capturing +6/6 wild horses on HI2! Ever since Murphy was kind enough to grace us with his presence back on 7/11, the tides seem to have turned. We have now found 3 +6/6 wild horses in August!

First Felicity and Gromit found the POA mare on the 12th, 
We still have her. I sure hope we can find her a good home!

then Bethany and Jenga found the Nokota stallion on the 16th,
He's not going anywhere!

and last night Fanta and I found this beauty, an Irish Draught mare!
I fluted her near those two kittens on Windy Pines isle, but naturally she moved so that the kittens weren't in her screenshot. ;^) I admired her avatar for a little bit, but not for that long because that red dot to the north made me nervous! Oh, how lucky Pal would be if it is a +6/6 mare, I thought. Turns out it was not only his lucky day but mine as well! I have wanted a horse with the Best Friend persona ever since I found out it existed!

Here's a closer look:

I think she and Pal, my Irish Draught stallion, will get along great! What a great pair they make!

She and Pepsi look quite lovely together as well.

Earlier in the week, Bethany found an adoptable stallion that could have made it 4 new +6/6 horses in our possession this month. It took major self-control for us to leave him in the H.S. for someone else, let me tell you! It seemed so sad that his owner, who had captured him in the wild and kept him for 498 days, decided not to keep him after all that time! If we didn't already have a Spanish Barb in the herd, my wonderful Fortunado, I don't think we'd have been able to resist him!

He was gone when we checked back later. I wonder who his lucky new owner is?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our New Nokota

We recently found two overo Nokota stallions on HI2! Better still, one of the two is +6/6! We couldn't believe our good fortune! Truly the +6/6 wild stallion drought is over. Thanks, Murphy!

Can you guess which one of these handsome fellows is the +6/6?

Is it this red roan overo?

or is it this dun overo?



red roan overo! 

Bethany and Jenga lured him with the magic flute on Bend Isle last Sunday, the 16th.

He is a keeper for sure! As much as we love our other two Nokotas, Ravine and Zesty, it will be really fun to have a Nokota in a color other than primitive dun! And with spots besides! Since Bethany and I were the ones who needed our 20th horses to be stallions, and since she has claimed Murphy as hers, this Nokota gets to be mine!

He is our first horse to have this type of pinto avatar, with the white patches from underneath rather than the top. More HI2 pinto avatars seem to be the reverse, with the white on top. Here is Halley to serve as an example:
Unrelated side note: this non-fluted wild (an American White) appeared out of thin air seconds before the screenshot!
I love it when you actually see it happen. =^)
If you're wondering about the other Nokota, the dun overo, he is +4/6 and +39. He was also coincidentally the only blue-eyed horse we found during the entire length of this who-can-find-the-most-blue-eyed-wilds contest in the new club we're in. Obviously, we didn't win, but I'm glad we at least had a horse to enter! I'm thinking we will put him in the humane society rather than auctioning him. As good-looking as he is, I think his odds of being adopted are pretty high.
Thanks, buddy!

In other news, this weekend we went kind of crazy with rump art. It all started with Bethany complimenting one of our club mates on her cool starburst-esque profile art, which she also had on all of her horses' rumps. Then she offered to make rump art similar to hers for us! We were all on board with that and asked for her to create it in rainbow shades. Who doesn't like rainbows, right? I assumed, "oh, cool, we'll put it on a few of our mares that it looks especially nice on." Well, instead, the clubbie ended up convincing us not only to put it on all of the mares (except for Flora, who already had lovely rump art from her previous owner), but all of the stallions as well! (It may not be especially manly, but when the stallions are all owned by girls, why not, right?) Here's what it looks like:
Aw, it suits you really well, Quasar!
Pretty spiffy, huh?