Listings for a "Sims 4 Horse Ranch" expansion appeared on key reseller sites earlier this month, but it was hard to take the supposed leaks very seriously, especially since they borrowed an image of a guy riding a horse from The Sims 3 Pets. Today, however, a much more convincing leak started circulating, and EA finally confirmed that horses are coming to The Sims, albeit without saying so directly.
The official Sims account said on Twitter that we'll "take the reins" during the next Sims 4 season, which will include a "rootin' tootin' expansion." The teaser's imagery doesn't contain any horses, but does appear to confirm a rumor that the next expansion takes place in a desert-themed world. EA also knows that Sims fans/horse people would riot if it teased "reins" and then didn't put out a horse expansion, so I think we can call this one before we see the full trailer later this week: Horses incoming.
Also, well, there's the big leak that included the image above, which as you can see, contains a horse. Sims Community says today's big leak came from the Sims 4's Steam page, though it must've been taken down since I can't locate it. According to that site, the page listed the following Horse Ranch features:
- Make a Life — Get up early in the morning, look out at the big open countryside, and know that all your work is worth it. Spend your days keeping your animals happy and clean, harvesting Prairie Grass to feed them, collecting Horse Manure to fertilize your plants, and making your own Nectar to sell. Do it all on a ranch you design, whether that means a traditional cabin or a big red barn.
- Bond with Animals — Fill your ranch with animal friends and carve out a life together. Your horses—including adorable foals—are part of your household and have lots of special interactions with both Sims and other horses. You can also care for mini goats and mini sheep, and invite neighbors to come see how cute they are.
- Join a Thriving Community — Living on a ranch has its moments of peace and solitude, but there's also a lively social scene. Your Sims can go into town to meet friends at the bar, blow off steam at the dance hall, or train at the equestrian park. They can also host events like cookouts and dances on their own property, and hire a ranch hand to help when the work builds up.
- Raise Horses — Horses are part of the family. Customize hoofed friends in Create a Sim, or get new horses by rescuing or purchasing them. Foals can also be born on your ranch. Sims can learn the Riding skill, and horses can train in the Agility and Jumping skills. Skilled horses and riders can even win awards at the equestrian center.
Horses last appeared in the series all the way back in The Sims 3's 2011 Pets expansion. Instead of a general pets expansion, The Sims 4 got 2017's Cats & Dogs, which featured no horses except perhaps for a few cats or dogs named "horse" by dejected players. (Also, raccoons for some reason.) There were no horses in the 12 other Sims 4 expansions, either, despite pleas from fans.
In explaining why 2021's Cottage Living expansion was horseless, Sims 4 producer Antonio Romeo said on Twitter that "making horses with the quality and depth of gameplay they deserve is a substantial undertaking." It was hard not to take that as soft confirmation that a horse-focused expansion was at least being kicked around, and players have been hunting for horse clues ever since. Sims Community pointed out, for instance, that the most recent expansion, Growing Together, features more horse imagery than you might expect from chance art decisions.
Take the reins this season with The Sims! pic.twitter.com/gQrVzfhiFOJune 20, 2023
We'll have the official details this Thursday at 10 am Pacific when an overview of the next season debuts on YouTube. "Giddy up for good news," reads the video's description, if there were still any doubt about the expansion's subject.
The season will run through September, so the horse expansion can be expected sometime this summer.