The horses of the Elves were directly descended from Nahar, the steed of Oromë, Huntsman of the Valar. Nahar and his fellow Arrochath were, of course, immortal; however, their descendants the 'Nimrochath were not, but elvish horses nevertheless lived to great age (100 years was not unnusual). These horses differed in many subtle but important ways from their lesser kindred.
First, they rarely had white markings, except for an occasional white "star" on the forehead. Large white patches (of the kind that lead horses to be called "painted", "piebald", or "skewbald") were never seen. However, all other colors that could be found in lesser horses were also found in Elven horses, except that white and silvery dappled gray were more common among this breed. Second, these horses prefered to live in wooded areas, as the Elves did themselves, rather than the plains that were home to most horses. Third, Elven horses were more intelligent than most horses. There was no need to rise them with a bit or bridle, for they were empathetic and perceptive enough to receive directions from their riders without these crude devices. Although an Elven horse might consent to wear a saddle to aid an ailing or disabled rider, most Elves did without. Finally, Elven horses stood staunchly in the face of dangers that would have terrified most horses. They were brave even in the face of supernatural terrors such as Trolls and the Undead.
Three kinds of animals made up the Herd of Gaerweth : The nimrochath (sgl. "nimroch" ) were an Elvish-bred variety of the Arnorian mid-horse , related to the lesser mearas of the upper Anduin vales . These were stronger , sturdier , and more intelligent than any others of their breed , appearing in a variety of browns , blacks , golds , and whites . Most were less shaggy then an Arthadan mid-horse but more hirsute than anything from Gondor or Harad .The arrochath (sgl. arroch) were true Elvish horses, kin to Shadowfax and Hasufel , the steeds who gained fame at the time of the War of the Ring . Stronger and faster then any other living horses , they also possessed good night vision , a near mannish intelligence , and the ability to comprehend complex instructions in Sindarin or Westron. Shadowfax , who once stood his ground before the Witch-king himself , also carried Gandalf and Pippin 140 miles in a seven-hour gallop. The arrochath of the Fox Downs herd used their abilities to avoid mortal horse-hunters and to keep their companions from wandering off cliffs or into ravines . The true guardian s of the Rochath Gaerweth were the dozen or so faerych (S ."Spirit-horn horses " or Rochath-i-Faerais ) who traveled with them. When an Elf (or Elf-friend ) desired a steed from this herd , permission had to be gained from an Elvish lord or mystic . The supplicant had then to approach the herd at nightfall , make obeisance to its guardian faeroch , and perform some athletic or mystical feat to gain its favor . For the powerful and proud , the requirement might be summoning a vision of Orome , Huntsman of the Valar , or stalking and killing a warg haunting the downs . Most feats , for the worthy and humble , involved something as simple as the supplicant stripping himself of all gear and clothing and running with the herd for a day or night , giving an animal time to accustom itself to his presence and to choose him as a companion .
- Arrochath - Elf-Horses of Valinorean descend,distantly akin to the Mearas.
- Avari-Horses - savage Horses who populated the wide plains of northern Palisor.
- Faerych -Unicorns of Faerie Origin, the Guardians of the Immortal Horses.
- Malledhrim-Horses - Elven-Horses raised in the plains northeast of the forest of Lothlórien
- Esteldins - Horses raised by the Rangers of the north at Esteldin, a cross-breed of the Númenórean and the Rivendell-Breed.
- Nimrochath -Elven-horses akin to the Arnorian Mid-Horse.
- Rivendells - A Breed raised in the foothills east to Rivendell.
- Silvan-Horses - A Race bred in the north-east bight of Mirkwood.
Elven Horses of Renown
- Retrieved from [Realms of Arda]; original reference: [ICE MERP 2012]