The game: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The rider: Some human adventurer
In April, 2006, Bethesda released downloadable content for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which allowed players to dress their mount in shiny sets of new armor. Everyone laughed at the Horse Armor Pack. Everyone, except for us horses.
Above: This Legion Horse already looked gorgeous with her well-toned shoulders and proud gait
Before the Horse Armor Pack, Oblivion’s idyllic countryside was already littered with honey eyed easy keepers who were just begging for someone to grab them by the mane and take charge. After the update, the droves of mountable madams roaming the hills became even easier on the eyes. It seemed like we couldn’t round a bend or cross a brook without being tempted to put off our current quest for a quick trip to Snak gra-Bura’s Chestnut Handy stables to browse the delicious sets of armor for sale. Oblivion looked good before, but now the groundbreaking RPG is a cornucopia of equine erotica.
Above: Notice how the golden armor accentuates her firm haunches, highlights her fine forelock, and draws attention to her deep brown eyes
Know your horse: When it comes to a horse’s health, it’s all about the hoof. Most of the equids seen in Oblivion have been outfitted with horseshoes to protect their hooves from wear and tear. However, a recent movement amongst some horse enthusiasts has led to an increase in barefoot horses. They argue that careful and consistent trimming can lead to hardier hooves and happier horses. Unfortunately, these bra-burning hippies have never had to bear the burden of a fully armored adventurer who needs to fast travel at full gallop for hours (or even days) at a time.
The game: Darksiders: Wrath of War
The rider: Some guy named War
Darksiders: Wrath of War is a third-person action game set just after the apocalypse (as seen in the Book of Revelation). You’ll be playing as Wrath, one of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. But what we’re really excited about is Wrath’s hot ride, Ruin. She’s shaping up to be one of the hottest upcoming horses in gaming. Literally. Just look at her powerful hooves. They’re on fire! Besides, how often do you get to wrap your legs around the legendary mount of a famous Biblical figure?
Above: Ruin looks danger in the face, and neighs
Know your horse: Ruin may be a black beauty in Darksiders, but she was originally described as red in the Book of Revelation.
"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." - Revelation 6:4
Above: War is usually depicted with a sword to represent battle. But in Darksiders, Ruin’s horseman can also wield a minigun
The game: Assassin’s Creed
The rider: Some human assassin named Altaïr
Assassin’s Creed followed the adventures of some bartender who had flashbacks about an ancient assassin named Altaïr. It was a completely unrealistic - even for an action game. Every historian worth half a salt lick knows that The Order of the Hashshashin’s deadliest assassins were Persian horses in disguise - not a bunch of hooded mad men who stuck out in crowds like a sore hoof. But again, I digress.
Just trust me. Wading through the repetitive assassination quests tied to the game’s main plot is worth it for the brief moments when you get to spend some quality time riding Altaïr’s fine mount. This is definitely the best part of the game. There’s a ton of enjoyment to be had beholding the beauty of his lovely Anglo-Arabian thoroughbred as you race from Jerusalem to Damascus.
Above: Uncanny Valley my ass. Just looking at that deliciously round rump makes me want to take a bite out of it
Above: This cutie is just begging for a donkey punch
Know your horse: It’s no surprise that the human assassin in Assassin’s Creed chose to travel with an Anglo-Arabian. With positive traits from both Arabian and Thoroughbred breeds, they’re excellent saddle horses with a slightly dished profile - and are known for their solid frames, strong bodies, and excellent jumping abilities.
Above: We haven’t seen such a lovely example of a gray horse’s silvering coat since the 2007 production of Equus