For those of you just joining us, The Lord of the Rings Online™ is the game of unnecessarily long travel times. Epic quests frequently involve spending an hour riding horses. As I type this, I am in windowed mode, riding from Rivendell to Echad Dúnann to complete Volume Two, Book One, which you may remember this from Tweety’s write-up. For those of you who did not click the link, you open the gate to Moria (yay!), get attacked by The Watcher (ooh!), open a trove of legendary items that you will use to fight him back (yay!), and then are sent a zone away and told to level up your weapon ten times before coming back (wut?). Each one-way ride adds 12 minutes onto the quest, which I am spending not looking at the game.
Having horse access is a valuable thing. Later, after I complete 40-ish quests in Eregion, I can take the instant travel horse there, but poor zone ordering means that comes after I really need it.
You can also get your own mount. I hit 35 on a third character today, so I sent him to do the mount quests. You must complete quests to unlock the ability to ride a horse, despite having ridden stable horses for thirty levels. First, walk to the horse farm to start the quest chain. There are no horse routes to the horse farm, because … they don’t have stables there? They give you a horse; take it to the nearest city and run back. They give you a horse; take it to a city at the far end of the next zone and run back. They give you a horse; take it to an outpost across another zone and run back. They give you a horse; ride an obstacle course within the allotted time. You are then allowed to buy a horse.
Because putting the carrot on a string is fun, but the real fun comes from repeatedly tugging it away just as he is about to reach it.