The harsh climate of the Heaths of Wilderon, through natural selection and adaption, has given us the pony we know today with its special protective winter coat and flowing thick mane and tail. The accompanying scarcity of good grazing has given the pony an efficient conversion rate for food and ample milk yield. These adaptions to the environment have ensured its survival.
The Landesh is probably the strongest horse relative to
its size. The females are good-natured but the stallions may be quite vicious
and untrusting. The body of the Landesh is full with short, muscular legs. It
has a substantial mane, forelock, and tail as well as a long and ragged coat
that it sheds in the summer. Colouring may vary by the season. Many colours are
seen in this breed, the most common being black or dark brown. The pony stands
on an average of 1 ped and 4 palmspans, and does not exceed 1 ped and 7
The Landesh pony can be seen in all colors - black, chestnut, grey, bay, dun, blue roan, piebald or skewbald.
Hardy and resilient, the Landesh is very strong for its size. It has a medium-sized head, a rather dished face with a well-shaped muzzle and a jaw capable of grazing poor growth over an extensive area. The ears are medium sized and the eyes large and kindly. The coat is thick with a heavy mane and tail offering good protection against the local winter weather conditions. The action of the legs must be active and long striding to deal with local ground conditions.
Despite its small size the Landesh Pony is invaluable when it comes to working
as a draught animal in mines and as riding animal for smaller races like
dwarves. Contrary to what many people believe a fully grown Landesh is
perfectly capable to transport a well grown human
male a distance up to several leagues without showing any signs of fatigue.
As all equines the Landesh has its eyes on the side of his head, allowing it to see almost all-round itself, although it has a blind zone behind it and a little way in front of his head. The blind zone means that if you walk straight towards a Landesh you disappear when you are right in-front of it, to keep you in its vision it will either turn its head away or walk backwards, both actions are likely to be interpreted as 'not wanting to be caught, hence the old adage, 'approach a Landesh towards its shoulder'.
The Landesh’s ears are far more sensitive than ours, and far more selective, suggesting that their range of both high and low notes is greater than our own. For instance, a Landesh will hear the noise of another horse approaching long before its rider or driver does. Landesh ears are funnel shaped and very mobile, with 16 different muscles to move them, enabling the pony to catch sounds from any direction.
Territory. Wild Landesh Ponies are found all over the heaths of Wilderon in the northeastern region of Northern Sarvonia.
Habitat/Behaviour. The open heaths are an ideal place for these small and sturdy ponies to live, the succulent grass is more than enough to feed the pony both in summer and winter. During the summer they stay mostly on the open plains, in winter they move to the more protected valleys between the mountains and hills.
The Landesh ponies are herd animals and used to live as part of a group, feeling secure in the company of other ponies and familiar surroundings. They are timid by nature and their natural reaction to danger is to flee. The Landesh's sense of hearing is very acute and its sense of smell is also good enabling it to sense danger some distance away.
As most equines the Landesh pony is a very sensitive animal and able to sense the feelings of those nearby, particularly hesitation, fear, confidence and anger. The Landesh can also indicate its own feelings in a number of ways and the ears are a good indication of what is going through a horse's mind. Ears laid flat back against the neck show the pony is unhappy or annoyed, whilst ears pricked alert and facing forward indicate the pony is happy and interested. Ears lowered slightly to the sides show the pony is relaxed, bored or could indicate that it feels unwell, whilst flickering ears indicate the pony is listening and attentive.
These small ponies can survive on the bare plains because they have high crowned teeth, resisting the harder wear imposed by grazing rather then browsing as many rumiants do.
The Landes Pony’s natural nervousness makes it very wary. It knows it has no real form of defence except flight. A cornered Landesh will lash out with its hind feet, forefeet or teeth under extreme provocation but it would prefer to flee. Instinct tells it to run away from whatever it considers a threat. Because of this instinct to flee, it is very important to the Landesh to keep its feet free. If one of its feet is trapped or held, it cannot run away. Reluctance to step into mud or water, where the depth cannot be judged, therefore the safety of the feet, is usually down to this instinct, especially in a young foal or an older pony with a handler it does not trust. It is perfectly natural for a pony to pull its foot away if you try and pick it up, it must be taught to overcome its instinctive fear and handling of a foal's feet at an early age saves much hassle later on.
Landesh Ponies that have been well handled from an early age do not seem to fear a person on their backs and accept it immediately with little or no resistance. Ponies that have not been handled very much have an in-built fear of man, as a predator, and are more likely to resist, i.e. by jumping away when someone first attempts to mount them or by bucking when the weight of a person is felt on their backs. Except in a very few cases this fear is overcome with patience and reassurance, but one needs to move quietly and tactfully with this type of pony or they become easily upset. In the case of breaking a pony to harness, much more ground work is done than before backing, in most cases, but even so a pony that has not been handled is much more likely to take fright at long reins unless very carefully introduced.
Diet. The Landesh is a herbivore by excellence and feeds on the long alth'ho grass growing on the heaths it inhabits. One of the main plants the pony feasts upon it the lythien, but it also browses leaves from the mutliweed bush.
Tame Landesh ponies have the same diet as any other domesticated herbivore.
Mating. The Landesh, as most equines, is a social equines, thus they are usually seen in herds consisting of one or two stallions and several mares.
The heat period lasts between 15 and 22 days and the stallion will mate with as many mares as he can during this period. If there are more than one stallion in a herd this may lead to confrontations where the males will fight for the right to mate. It's not rare that the mating doesn’t give any results, and the mares are not getting impregnated by the stallion until next season.
Its gestation period is from eleven to twelve months, and it gives birth to one foal during Méh'avashín or Alé'veván. An hour after birth, the foal is able to stand and walk. It begins to graze within a few weeks, but is not weaned for eight to thirteen months. Mating and birth occurs in the same season, since females come into heat seven to eight days after giving birth.
Usages. Once tamed the Landesh can be used both as a riding and a draught animal. They are especially appreciated by miners for their ability to fit easily in small tunnels and their great strength despite their small size.
The meat of the Landesh is quite stringy but still edible, it tastes great when salted and dried. The Rhom-Oc orcs usually hunt and eat the Landesh since they can't use it as a riding animal.
The Landesh can also be used as a milking animal, the milk being rich in flavor and suitable for cheese making as well.
Information provided by Lucirina Telor Vevan