November 25, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
The goats in Reiassan come in at least as many types as goats do in ours, with a wider range of sizes and a higher top end in height and girth. A riding goat can be any of several different breeds, selected for strength or dexterity, coloration or horn shape or disposition. They’re still goats, still stubborn and strong-minded, but many riding goats in Reiassan have been bred for more obedient and calm temperaments.
The placid, slow-moving Tetkartet goats are often a child’s first ride or an elderly person’s smooth, steady transportation, but those are not the goats preferred by Edally Academy’s stables. Neither are the Zhibieber goats: high-strung creatures that only an experienced rider can handle.
The goats that Edally has in greatest number are Kaprierock riding goats. They also have a variety of fur goats – mostly Kazhmier – and milk goats – primarily tiny Liegars who are barely six hands tall.
The Kaprierok goats are an old breed – older, some say, than human habitation on Reiassan. They are long-legged even for riding goats – which is to say, around 14 hands tall, or nearly the height of a horse. Their patterning tends towards sorrel and white in splotches, although cross-breeds are more likely to look like the other parent than they are the Kaprierok. In disposition, they are friendly and relatively easy-going, as long as they get their way. Their horns curve backwards and sit low to the head and their chest is broad. while not the strongest goats by far, they are tough and can handle an impressive load. They are often chosen as the mounts for Bitrani riders because of both their height and their strength.
Kaprierok goats do not make good show goats. They are, it has been said, too similar to the Calenyena who bred them: they don’t really listen to orders, they do what they want, and they will go from mild-mannered to butting heads in a matter of seconds. But unlike several other very good breeds of goat, they do not create a strong one-person bond and thus are ideal for communal stables such as those in a school. It’s a lovely coincidence – or not one at all – that the Kaprierok look the most like the goats on the royal crest as well. Put a Calenyena on a Kaprierok and you could be looking at one of the ancient emperors.