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Striders are one of The Land's many naturally occurring animals, created by God when He first created the planet. However, they also happen to be one of several animals which He created to resemble a cross between other animals (without using interbreeding or genetic engineering, as farmers or Sorreters might). There are many animals native to the Land which exist in a form identical to such creatures on other worlds, such as Earth. There are also animals of the Land which are quite similar to creatures of other worlds, with minor differences, which are merely slight tweaks of God's original design when He created such animals on other worlds. Then there are animals which are not merely tweaked, but which actually include features from different specific animals (which may be from one alien world from two or more worlds, which may not even have ever had contact with one another). But the most curious of this latter group include a subgroup of animals which are based in part on animals from other worlds, and in part on fictitious animals made up by the sentient inhabitants of other worlds. (It is thought that this is in part responsible for inspiring the Sorreter Mor to create mythical creatures; certainly the existence of uniquely Landian creatures was an invaluable asset in the engineering of such creatures.) Striders are one species of this subgroup, which God based upon Terran horses and a fictional creature called "landstriders," which had been made up on Earth for a movie, in that world's 20th century. A strider's legs are longer than that of a horse, but shorter than that of a landstrider (and they are jointed like a horse's legs). Its head is much closer to that of a horse than a landstrider, though it does have whiskers and longer ears than a horse (but shorter than those of a landstrider). It's body's length is comparable to that of a horse, and its tail is more similar to that of a horse than a landstrider. A strider is somewhat faster than a horse, on average: at a trot its speed is from 10 to 15 miles per hour; at a gallop it is from 30 to 40 miles per hour (the fastest ever recorded speed for a strider was 50 miles per hour, slightly slower than the fastest ever recorded Terran horse). It has greater stamina than a horse, able to maintain a standard gallop for up to a half hour before needing to rest, and can usually resume a gallop after only a few centhours. Most striders are brown in coloration, but can range from white to black.

In the year LY 140, construction began on a bridge across First River, just east of First Village. It was completed in 149, and the land beyond the river was explored over the next several years. This land was given the name River Valley, when it was discovered in 151 to be bordered not only by First River on the west, but also an offshoot of that river, which was named New River, on the northeast, and an offshoot of that river, called Shoot River, on the east. To the south, River Valley is bordered by Valley Forest. However, it was in 150 that striders were first discovered living on the then-unnamed land, and, inspired by a book called "Arabian Nights" (which itself was based on stories from Earth, written by a spirit-talker named Alexander in 127), striders were soon domesticated for riding. Within a few years, they were also being used to pull plows, which greatly increased the productivity of farms, both in First Village and River Valley. (It was in 152 that harnesses were developed to hitch striders to plows, mill wheels, and later wagons.) In 160, wagons were designed which could be drawn by striders, to help transport crops from River Valley to First Village. These wagons were essentially larger versions of carts which had been used for many years by this point. In 222, a new design of wagon was created which was again larger and sturdier, and potentially faster, and also allowed for a team of more striders than the earlier wagons, which were drawn by only one or two striders. These new wagons were the precurser of later developments, including Conestoga wagons, carriages, and stage coaches. They were designed by one of a group of people who set out in 223 to settle a new village, which was completed in 225, and named Tonad. Along the route they took, once they got to the end of First River and First River Forest, the settlers discovered other herds of wild striders. Since then, striders have been found to exist throughout all the explored areas of the Land, and have been an invaluable resource to mankind for both farming and transportation. Also, beginning within the first few years of their discovery, hair from strider tails has been used as bristles in various types of brush, such as those used for painting (whether on canvas or architecture), brushing hair, cleaning, etc.

As is the case with Terran horses, adult male striders are called stallions, adult females are called mares, young males are called colts, young females are called fillies, and babies are called foals.

See alsoEdit

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