The Sims 4: Horse Ranch expansion added plenty of new content to the game, the majority of it centered around caring for horses on a ranch of your very own. And while there’s a plethora of extra content in the pack as well, horses naturally take center stage.
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But caring for them is no easy task, and earning money with horses in The Sims 4 can be a little time-consuming. Whether you’re training your horses to compete, doing Community Jobs, or breeding prize horses to sell, there are plenty of ways you can make money on your Sims horse ranch!
Starting Costs And Time Investment
What Is The Time Investment For Running A Ranch?
With so much happening on the ranch each day, it’s pretty easy to make ranching your Sim’s full-time job.
There’s enough to do on a daily basis, especially as the ranch grows, to keep a Sim busy the entire day: you’ll need to tend to the horses, work to maintain the ranch with tasks like cleaning and repairs, and more.
If you can swing the cash for one, a Ranch Hand can help massively with all the work.
They’re a daily service that can care for your animals and the ranch overall, so check out our guide on Ranch Hands for more info.
Generally speaking, you’ll need to form a bond with your horse – ranching is a collaborative effort with them, after all!
That all covers the basics of operating a horse ranch, but you’ll also need to train your horses if you’re hoping to make any real money off them, which is done by competing.
This means you’ll need to invest time to train your horses, in addition to doing the work to maintain the ranch, which takes plenty of time to do.
There is training equipment available throughout Chestnut Ridge for free, though, so look around the neighborhood if you can’t quite afford your own training equipment for the ranch yet.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Ranch?
If you’re looking to build a ranch of your own, you’ll need to be sure you’ve bought the essentials for your horses early on. We cover this more in-depth in our guide to horse care.
The table below breaks down the essential items for each horse, as well as the optional training equipment you can purchase for at-home training. Overall, equipment for horses isn’t too expensive.
Horse Care Item Costs In The Sims 4: Horse Ranch
Horse Care Items
Hay Now! One Big Ball
Raises your horses’ fun need
Hay Now! Horse Water Trough
Quenches your horses’ thirst
Hay Now! Animal Feeder
Must be filled manually, but holds hay for your horses to eat
Hay Now! Horse Bed
Must be cleaned regularly, but provides a comfortable place for horses to sleep
Champ Certified Horse Barrels
Allows you and your horse to work on the Agility skill
Heritage Vintage Horse Barrels
Heritage Vintage Horse Jumps
Allows you and yoru horse to work on the Jumping skill
Champ Certified Horse Jump
You can cut costs and save space by visiting the Equestrian Center with your horses – there are training items, toys, and feeders available nearby.
Sell Manure For A Quick Few Simoleons
While it’s maybe less conventional than the other suggestions we’ve made in this guide, you can sell manure left around your ranch for varying amounts of cash.
If you’re not planning to use it for garden fertilizer, then each pile of manure, which is stored in baggies in your inventory, can be sold for a quick few bucks.
It’s not much per pile, but if you have horses on your lot, then you’ll never run out of manure, so sell those baggies for a quick and easy, albeit smelly, payout.
Enter Horse Competitions And Win Prize Money
Train Your Horses Before Competition
We’ve touched on it already with the equipment we listed above, but make the time to train your horse regularly to be sure your horse is raising its skills.
There are four skills for your horse to learn: Agility, Endurance, Jumping, and Temperament.
Temperament and Endurance can be worked on simply by riding your horse, but Agility and Jumping require equipment to train a horse in these skills.
It’s important to know beforehand that training a horse can be time-consuming, especially given that horses with different traits respond differently to training.
Traits like Aggressive or Defiant will make it more difficult to train a horse reliably.
We won’t call them lost causes, but beginner trainers should stay away from these resistant horse traits for an easier time learning how to train horses.
Your horses need to practice to raise their skills. Horse skills level like Sim skills, so train consistently to see progress.
You can also have horses train by themselves to free your Sim up for other activities around the ranch, beginning when your Sim has reached level three in the Horse Riding skill.
There Are Five Competitions
We detail each one much more extensively in our horse competition guide, but there are five competitions for your horse to compete in over at the Equestrian Center.
To enter a competition, all you need to do is click on the Equestrian Center and choose to enter from the menu here, which opens a larger window with competition information.
Each competition tests two skills – a primay one with a higher level requirement, as well as a secondary skill related to the competition in some way.
In addition, the competition checks your Sim’s Horse RIding skill as well, with suggested skill levels for your rider listed for the competition alongside your horse’s.
Competitions scale in difficulty, but you’ll need to win at lower levels to unlock harder competitions. Naturally, it’s the higher-level competitions that earn the most, so you’ll need to win your way up to the top-paying contests.
You Can Compete Multiple Times Per Day, But Your Horse Cannot
If you’ve only got one horse on your ranch and are dedicating all your time to training it, that horse will succeed sooner than the rest! However, be mindful that horses can only compete once each day. Additionally, foals and pregnant horses cannot compete at all.
Your Sim, though, does not have the same restrictions. The same Sim can compete with multiple horses on the same day, if you’re feeling ready.
If you have a few horses you’re working with that are ready to compete, you can just bring them all with you when you go to the Equestrian Center and compete with them one by one.
The Ultimate Competition Requires All Skills To Be Maxed
Sure, you’ve been in your share of competitions with your horse already, but the Ultimate Horse Championship is the final level of competition – and it’s the most difficult of them all.
Your Sim should have their Horse Riding skill maxed before entering, but your horse has even stricter guidelines: Agility, Endurance, Jumping, and Temperament should all be maxed as well.
This will definitely take some time to do, especially since the competition levels before this have both lower requirements and fewer skills they’re checking. However, the Ultimate Horse Championship offers the most prize money.
The cost for entry is a bit higher, but you can win up to 6,000 simoleons in the competition. Even the bronze medal horse takes a cool 4,000 simoleons home, so fully train your horse and then pursue greatness together!
Winning the Ultimate Horse Championship, though, is part of one of the new aspirations with the pack, “Championship Rider.”
Breed And Sell Horses
Competing isn’t the only way to earn money on your horses, though – far from it. Sims can also breed horses at home, and sell them to earn a profit.
Generally, the value of a horse is determined by a few things:
- Their skill levels across all four horse skills, with more skilled horses selling for much more.
- The competitions they’ve won, with champion horses highly sought-after and fetching a better price.
- The level of care they’ve received, which requires either you or your Ranch Hand to be diligent with the horse’s needs.
- The horse’s age, since foals can’t compete and elders grow weary, trained adult horses tend to earn the most.
Any horses with Champion Genes also fetch a higher price when sold, and they also learn skills faster. You can breed this into them after completing the Championship Rider aspiration to boost their value.
The value of a horse is displayed alongside the option to sell it, but it raises horses worth a pretty penny and sell them off for a huge payday when you’re ready.
Breeding and selling horses is time-consuming, and there are much quicker ways to earn money with horses, but the lump-sum payouts are usually worth the time, with prize horses able to bring in tens of thousands each.
Do Community Jobs With Your Horse
Available by checking the Community Boards dotted around the worlds in The Sims 4, your Sim and their animals can accept Community Jobs for a quick payout.
You earn the money as soon as the job is completed, with jobs ranging from a few hours to day-long activities and pay that scales proportionately to the time investment.
Community Jobs can be centered on a few things:
- Your Sim’s level in the Horse Riding skill, between individual jobs and jobs that involve your own horse, with a higher skill fetching a higher rate.
- Your horse’s skill levels, with some jobs requiring a horse to complete in general and paying out more for higher levels of set skills.
- Mini Goats and Sheep, who can do lawn care tasks for neighbors and bring in more cash per animal you send over to help.
The payout on each task is shown right in the menu where you select the job, meaning there are no surprises – you don’t have to accept jobs you don’t think are worth your time.
However, if you’re training your animals anyway, it pays – quite literally – to take on Community Jobs for a few hours per task when you have the time.
Raise Goats And Sheep For Their Milk And Wool
Although the pack is specifically centered on horses and their care, they’re not the only animals introduced in the Horse Ranch expansion: you can buy mini goats and mini sheep for the ranch as well. When you buy them, they’ll appear in your inventory, so you’ll need to place them on your ranch-like items.
Caring for sheep and goats is much more manual than horses, requiring you to consistently feed, bathe, and socialize with them in addition to your hoses.
Ranch Hands will also care for sheep and goats during their day, if hired.
Healthy, happy goats produce Goat Milk, while your various colors of sheep can be sheared for their Wool.
Both resources can be sold for simoleons, or, depending on the other expansion packs you’ve got, potentially crafted into other, higher-value items.
Host Ranch Gatherings Or Animal Days
Though there are plenty of ways to make money on your animals themselves, Sims around town would love to come check out your ranch – and Ranch Gatherings and Ranch Animal Days are their chance to do just that!
Both goal-based, scored events see you invite any Sims to your ranch (you don’t even need to know them yet, making this a great way to meet townies) for a day of farm-filled fun.
And if the day goes well, you can make a few hundred simoleons for the effort when invited Sims donate to your ranch.
Ranch Gatherings are more of a social event than anything, allowing neighbors to come to your house for a party.
You and your pals will head to the ranch for a few hours of food, music, nectar, and dancing, with the goaled event based on how much fun your guests are having.
On the other hand, Ranch Animal Days involve your Sim showing townie Sims how to care for animals. It’s something you do each day, but non-ranchers are curious, and willing to pay to check out life on the ranch.
For these, you’ll need to socialize with guests, as well as let them watch you socialize with and care for your animals.
This is easy enough to do on an average day at the ranch, as you’ll make progress toward better event rewards just for caring for animals, because you’ve invited others to watch.
Other Sims may even take care of your animals for you, socializing with them and feeding them as a hands-on part of the event.
Nectar-Making Is A Great Money-Maker
But horse riding and care aren’t the only new features in The Sims 4: Horse Ranch – you can also make “nectar” at home using fruits and vegetables to sell for quite a pretty penny.
We’ve got a full guide to making nectar and how best to earn cash from it, but in short, nectar is an easy way to earn simoleons in the expansion.
For a lower startup cost than ranching, Sims can get a nectar-making tub for 350 simoleons and begin using produce items to make nectar at home in their free time.
Aging racks are an optional 300 simoleon purchase to increase the selling price per bottle – it delays the payout, but increases it to reward you for the time you’ve waited!
Bottles can be sold from your inventory, or you can head to the Equestrian Center to sell them – you may bump into folks willing to buy nectar for more than the base selling price, which you’ll see in a push notification when you arrive.
Nectar itself already has a high base selling price, but nectar can also be aged to significantly increase the sale price. Overall, nectar takes less time than ranching, and makes for a great side hustle on the ranch.
It’s easy enough for a single Sim to do on the side, but it can also become a dedicated job for a different Sim in the family as well to add to how much money you’re earning on the ranch.
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