|Official Name||Chestnut Dredger|
|Common Nicknames||Brown Mud-churner, Anglian Steed|
|Habitat||Various, near Anglian populations|
The Chestnut Dredger is a powerful, stout horse breed known for their stoic, workaholic nature. Their bodies are perfect for the draft work many put them to, and they are used in various water-logged soil regions of the Regalian Empire in addition to living in all Anglian populations across Aloria. They are also known for their aggressive mating practices. The animal is likely to remain well and alive in Aloria unless something disastrous strikes the strong and silent breed.
The Chestnut Dredger is a fairly recent horse in the grand scheme of the history of Aloria with few remarkable events in its path in life. Information is unclear as to when it was incorporated into the wider world, but by the time of the Cataclysm the Chestnut Dredger was part of many Anglian farming communities. Some believe it is a breed formed by the native Anglians combining stray Spotted Ceardians and Casecabillas Stallions from Daen. Others believe the animal was native to some previously unexplored part of Anglia and the horse was spread outward from that location once that region was settled. The simplest explanation is that the breed was omitted from records until the point closer to the Cataclysm and the majority of people believe this final possibility. The horse breed saw limited use outside of Anglia due to the lack of climates similar to theirs until the 200s AC, when areas of Daendroc and Ithania transferred the animal to be used in farming near their various rivers. The animal has also followed Anglians in their migrations to areas outside of their native territory to regions such as the New Ceardian Colonies in Essalonia or Norrlän in the Regalian Archipelago. The animal is now a common draft horse used in these population areas, as well as in the wider Regalian Archipelago but also has used in farming in some scattered locations aside from Anglia.
The Chestnut Dredger is a powerful workhorse, cutting a prominent figure in any stable despite their short size. They stand at five to six feet tall and weigh a heavy 1800 to 2000 pounds. They have large heads, with short horse snouts, huge eyes, large mouths and small ears, colored black. Their head is connected to the body by a thick neck, and the body itself is similarly formed, thick and muscled for the hard work the animal often performs. Its leg are short and strong, with massive hooves and heavy feathering along the lower leg while its mane and tail are relatively short. The animal is best known for the coat color of chestnut brown but supposedly “once in a generation” black Chestnut Dredgers appear. While not quite mystical, they are indeed rare and often exist in the position of nobles or people of affluence as symbols of power. The animal is also marked with lighter colorations, first around the face and snout and then down on the leg feathering, though the hoof itself remains a deep brown. The tail and mane of the Chestnut Dredger are a hue of beige or off-white.
Chestnut Dregers have a predisposition toward males over females, with many believing it was created due to centuries of breeding by the Anglians to help them produce strong male workhorses. The ratio is currently three males for every one female, but this situation is carefully monitored by the Anglians to ensure it does not get out of control. Additionally, males are often on the higher and heavier side of the body scale compared to females. Aside from that, Chestnut Dredgers have a fairly uniform physical appearance and coloration in their coats though the rare color of black is known to show up occasionally in domesticated herds. What causes it is completely unknown, even to the Anglians.
Life Span and Development
Chestnut Dredgers are born alone to their mothers with the help of farmers, who immediately help the young foal shudder and eventually run around before reuniting them with their mother for care. For their entire early lives, Anglian children and farmers often help in their care and development, thus making the horse very used to Ailor and Humans as a whole. During the first three years of its life, it simply grows physically and mentally. In its adolescent years, marked by years four and five, it slows or stops growing physically while mentally it continues to expand. By the age of six, the Chestnut Dredger is matured in both of these areas and is formally allowed to mate by Anglian breeders. Males are introduced to work when they are adolescents, and while females do work as well, it is often later in life once they have had at least one child of their own. Chestnut Dredgers can live for up to thirty years but are sterile by their late twenties.
The Chestnut Dredger is a very calm, though not especially social horse. Often characterized as stoic, the Dredger is immovable and is not susceptible to play or relaxation with other horses, though this does occur when the animal is very young and running around for the first few months. Instead, it constantly serves its masters, usually Anglians and does little else. Their strength is legendary as is their slow speed and only children would consider using the horse for a “battle mount” because of this. However, the Chestnut Dreger does show signs of speed, playfulness and wider emotions at one time: mating season. Males practically jostle with each other, sometimes breaking out into fights as this time due to the high testosterone levels it creates in the males. While farmers are often able to calm these situations down, some males purposely try to hurt each other to put them out of the running.
Territory and Groupings
Chestnut Dredgers exist entirely within domesticated environments, often in groups of anywhere between ten to thirty members. Many also live alone, existing in a stable with other breeds of horse.
- Chest Dredgers got their name from both their color and from their ability to deeply churn the often water-logged or frost-bitten earth of Anglia to help the locals farm. Their skills are in high demand given the recent Dragon Crisis that was preempted by weeks of rain in eastern Anglia, turning the earth almost swamp-like.
- Some Velheim in Norrlän believe that the Chestnut Dredger will be the first to churn the earth of the new worlds birthed on Forseth Daggrondr due to their raw majestic power.