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|Intro to Maturity|
|Maturity is a trait directly impacted by a horse's Development gene. In a nutshell, it is a measure of how physically mature a horse is - or how prepared their body is to handle the stress of training and racing. Unlike Peak, which is a measure of a horse's mental development that impacts Performance Ratings but not injury chances, low Maturity can be a leading cause of injury risk, so it should be managed carefully.|
|Impacts on Training|
Training a horse with low Maturity will raise their Risk. If a horse has less than 25% Maturity, you should avoid doing anything other than Groundwork.* If a horse has more than 25% but less than 40% Maturity, you should stick to training such as Track and Trail Ride and Long Gallops.
*Note: It's commonly recommended to push a horse into training regardless of their Maturity. While it can raise their Risk, causing injuries down the road, if you wait until a slow-developing horse is mature you may be losing out on valuable years of training and/or racing. This is especially important to consider if your horse peaks young and does not have a lot of Prime. Whether or not you are comfortable with this risk is up to you, and may be something you'll want to hold off on until you understand the game better.
|Impacts on Racing|
|As with training, racing a horse with low Maturity will increase their Risk and also makes them more likely to suffer injuries. As a general guideline, you should avoid racing a horse until it is at least 60% mature. At that point, their Performance Rating may still suffer (minimally) but their injury risk will be greatly reduced. It should be noted that racing a little below 60% is not the end of the world-horses are not at considerable risk unless their Maturity is significantly lower.||Improving Maturity|
|While how fast a horse matures is based on the development gene, there are certain ways to improve a horse’s maturity faster than would be expected given the horse’s development gene. One is yearling buddies, which improve a yearling’s maturity when assigned to them (with greater effect if the buddy has the Body Builder trait). Another is if a horse is placed in pasture which improves maturity for yearlings and for horses in training. There are also feeds, supplements, and items to improve a horse’s maturity which are explained further below.|
|Special Feeds & Items|
|None of the feeds or items listed below are necessary for caring for and managing horses under normal circumstances. However, sometimes you may find that you encounter a situation where a horse needs help with Maturity. There are a couple options you can use to give your horse a little boost!|
|Bloom||Bloom is a type of standard feed you can purchase from the Feed Mill. Feeding Bloom to a horse will raise their Maturity by a few percent, at the expense of raising their Risk. This is typically used on yearlings or 2 year olds who have Fair or Poor Development - meaning they otherwise won't physically mature in time to begin training as soon as you'd like.|
|Alfalfa Cubes||Alfalfa Cubes are a supplement you can receive from Rumpled Packages, which are randomly given out by the Rusty Recycler. Alfalfa Cubes will increase Maturity by 10-20%. They will also improve Condition and Energy. Alfalfa Cubes can only be fed to horses 4 years old or older, so it will prove most useful for older horses that are slow to mature. It has the added benefit of also allowing you to do one or two more trainings with a horse while improving its maturity.|
|Blossom Tea||Blossom Tea is an item you can craft in the Workshop. It can be given to a horse to instantly raise their Maturity up to an acceptable level for training and racing (minimum of 60%). Blossom Tea can only be used on horses aged 3 or older.|