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Western Animation / Horseland

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Let’s go to Horseland!note 
An animated series based on a virtual pet game by DiC Entertainment.

It stars a bunch of teenage kids, primarily focusing on four of them — Sarah, Alma, Molly and Bailey — at a horse ranch called, you guessed it, Horseland. In Horseland, the horses and animals living there are capable of human speech whenever the humans are not around. It features your typical teen problems and various situations involving horses. Each episode is narrated by Shep, a wise border collie, as he provides the morals and how to understand them. Basically, it's an animated version of The Saddle Club.

The series returned to CBS as part of Cookie Jar TV on February 5, 2011.


Horseland includes examples of:

  • Amplified Animal Aptitude - The horses understand a lot of human speech, and act more like intelligent dogs than horses. They do bolt and spook, but not at times you'd really expect them to.
    • All the animals, really.
  • An Aesop: Every episode.
  • Animal Talk: The animals of Horseland can talk, but the humans can't understand them. Lampshaded by Shep in the first episode.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of the virtual pet online game of the same name.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When the kids, Shep, and the horses show up to rescue Cubby from a mountain lion.
  • Big Eater: Teeny, being a pig.
  • Book Ends: Used with most episodes.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Shep sometimes addresses the audience to introduce the episode and to talk about its lesson.
  • Camping Episode: "Fire, Fire Burning Bright" has the cast go camping in the woods, which gets jeopardized by a forest fire thanks to the Stiltons' laziness.
  • Cats Are Mean: Angora, though she isn't mean all the time.
  • Advertisement:
  • Color-Coded Characters: Red for Sarah and Scarlet, pink for Molly and Calypso, green for Alma and Button, navy for Bailey and Aztec, cyan for Zoey and Pepper, lilac for Chloe and Chili, black for Will and Jimber, and yellow for Nani and Sunburst.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Quite a few characters; Shep, Angora, Chili, Molly, Zoey and Chloe.
  • Dislikes the New Guy:
    • In the first episode, everyone was initially unwelcoming of Sarah because they worried she'd be like Chloe and Zoey.
    • In "The Newbies", at first Zoey was the only one who wasn't that much into welcoming the new girl Nani.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In "The Big Parade", the annoying crow that bothered everyone at the ranch turns out to be the one behind all the shiny objects gone missing, as proven when Scarlet witnesses the crow stealing a coin that fell on the ground.
  • Double Entendre: In “Mosey” when Sarah can’t find the fatally injured Mosey in the snowstorm, she says he’s “gone for good” — not only has he disappeared for good, he passed away.
  • Dull Surprise - A lot of the voice acting is ... not top notch. Best example is in "The Whispering Galley" when Zoey apologizes while trying not to cry, and really delivers an incredibly sarcastic line.
  • Empathy Pet: The horses' personalities sometimes reflect those of their riders.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In "Riding in Style", the rather uncomfortable and dangerous wardrobe for the kids to model is so horrible that even Chloe and Zoey can't stand them.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: The first episode shows how Sarah first came to Horseland, met the main cast, and got along with them.
  • Evil Laugh: Done very badly by Zoey and Chloe in “Bailey’s New Friend”.
  • Feud Episode: "The Competition."
  • Five-Token Band: Sarah and Will are blonde, Molly is Black, Alma is Hispanic, Zoey is redhead, Chloe is ginger, and Bailey is brunette. They are later joined by Nani, who is Native American.
  • Frame-Up: In “The Big Parade”, Sarah is accused of stealing shiny objects over the ranch and has to clear her name. The thief turns out to be an annoying crow coming out of nowhere.
  • Framing Device: Most of the episodes are told in flashback by Shep in a bookended sequence where he relates the episode's moral to Teeny and Angora.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: Pepper is on the receiving end of this in "Added Weight" when the horses tease her about her weight gain.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Not for the humans but for the horses. Scarlet, Calypso, Button and Pepper are female, while Chili, Aztec, Jimber and Sunburst are male.
  • Heroic Dog: Shep has his moments.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Chili and Pepper.
  • In Medias Res/Framing Device/Flashback: Most of the episodes don't start at the beginning leading Shep to recount the episode as a flashback. The first episode took it a further step by having human characters remembering Sarah's first day at Horseland.
  • Invisible Parents: Despite being the owners of the titular Horseland ranch that the series takes place at and nigh revolves around, Bailey's parents/Will's aunt and uncle are never seen. Sometimes to an egregious extent when something serious is threatening Horseland. They are mentioned, but usually through their mouthpieces Will and Bailey.
  • It's All My Fault: Used in a few episodes. Will has this reaction when a forest fire breaks out during a camping trip. Sarah also does this when she realizes that Molly wasn't gossiping behind her back, and was talking about a different Sarah.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zoey and Chloe Stilton. Even though they consistently act like bitches to almost everyone, they do have soft sides that they will show on occasion. Of note, by nature of the show's premise, most of the human characters, major and one-shot, would more than likely have to come from some form of well-off background, to varying extents (Jesse being the son of another ranch-owning familynote , for example), yet despite this, no one else plays this Trope straight like Zoey and Chloe do. Special mention goes to Sarah, as implied wealthy as the Stilton twins, who was assumed to be just as stuck-up as them by the other girls on her first day, thus setting up a "Don't judge a book by its cover." Aesop.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The one-off character Talia Bentley from "Changing Spots"; she's an even worse Alpha Bitch example than the Stiltons are, only caring about winning on the spot. She's basically what the Stiltons would've been if they weren't loveable.
  • Karma Houdini: In "Bailey's New Friend", Chloe and Zoey tricked Bailey and his new friend Jesse to pick-up chicken feed and take the long way, for no reason other to make Sarah, Molly and Alma even more left out and see them lonely. And they didn't get called out for lying. However, Bailey realizes he forgot them not long after.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: In “Fire, Fire, Burning Bright”, Chloe and Zoey unknowingly cause a forest fire due to being too lazy to bring the proper essentials and watch for anything suspicious. Though they didn’t explain at first, the kids eventually found out and they are punished to planting trees in the burnt forest.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mosey.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Most episodes usually start with Shep recalling a past event to Teeny and Angora before proceeding to tell the story.
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": We learn that Sarah's cousin, Chase, has difficulty reading because of dyslexia. Sarah tries to show him that he needn't be embarrassed, because she has a good friend who is also dyslexic who still manages to get by quite well. At the end of the episode, Will reveals that he is the friend she was speaking of.
  • Limited Social Circle/Minimalist Cast: Sarah, Molly, Alma, Bailey, Zoey, Chloe, Will, and Nani later on, their horses, Shep, Angora, and Teeny are the only characters featured. Though, other kids make occasional appearances in most episodes.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Sarah in the first episode mentions she wants friends over anything; the others didn't like her at first because they thought she'd be like Rich Bitches Zoey and Chloe.
    Sarah: I may be rich, but money can’t buy friendship. And friendship's all I ever wanted.
  • Lots of Luggage: An episode had Chloe and Zoe attempt to bring a lot of useless gadgets with them on a camping trip. MP3 player, curling iron, hair dryer, smart phones etc.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Zoey and Chloe Stilton. Sure they do have their moments, but they're not technically against Sarah and the others and are on good terms with them. Averted with Talia Bentley, who cares of nothing but winning.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The human-centric episodes are usually alternated with episodes from the animals' point of view
  • Manly Tears: Shep sheds a few of these as he watches Mosey leave the barn to die.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Scarlet has a black coat, but her mane and tail is veined with bright red.
    • Chili and Pepper are named after types of spices.
  • Missed Meal Aesop: In one episode, Pepper gained weight to the point where the saddle doesn't fit her anymore. As a result, she becomes determined to lose weight by stopping to eat and constantly practicing, but overtime she really starts to feel weaker, which affects her performance during a competition. After this experience, she stops neglecting her need of eating.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Bailey and, to a lesser extent, Will.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bailey in "Bailey's New Friend" when he realizes he spent so much time with Jesse that he completely forgot about Sarah, Molly and Alma, and vows to make things right with them.
  • Narrator: Shep the border collie is the narrator of the series.
  • Never My Fault: In "Win Some, Lose Some", Alma blames the course-changing rather than herself for not practicing.
  • Never Say "Die": In "Mosey", the entire story all but states that Mosey has passed away.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: “Fire, Fire, Burning Bright” has the kids go on a camping trip and Chloe and Zoey neglect putting out the fire resulting in a huge forest fire moments later.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Sarah and Molly (nice), Zoey and Chloe (mean), and Alma and Bailey (in-between). Also the animals, Teeny (nice), Angora (mean), and Shep (in-between). The horses can qualify too, Scarlet and Calipso (nice), Chilli and Pepper (mean) and Button and Aztec (in-between).
  • New Kid as the Plot Demands: The general purpose of the various characters of the day. They're around to spice up the episode plots and better give the illusion that the Limited Social Circle of horseback riding isn't as limited as it is in-show. As per the name, most of these characters of the day never show up more than once, so Nani Cloud and her horse Sunburst sticking around and joining the cast in season 3 becomes a notable exception.
  • No Antagonist: The series has no major villain whatsoever. Although Chloe and Zoey are stuck-up, they're not technically against Sarah and the others.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Zoey and Chloe, again, look and act an awful lot like Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan.
    • Also their last name is "Stilton".
  • Norse by Norsewest: Princess Alexia of Svalberg.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the episode "Pepper's Pain", Pepper botches a jump and hurts her leg, much to Zoey's shock. The next day, Zoey comes in late, acting just the same as usual...except that she completely ignores Pepper and acts as if she's dead.
    Sarah: She might be mean to everyone else, but she loves Horseland, and she loves her horse.
  • The One Guy: Bailey, among the usual circle of Sarah, Alma and Molly. Chili was also the only male horse owned by a female rider until Sunburst's introduction.
  • Parental Abandonment: Will lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. It's never revealed what happened to his parents. May also cross over with Conveniently an Orphan.
  • Posthumous Character: Mosey.
  • Pre Cap: Every episode begins with a 15-second trailer showing what will happen in the episode, with one of the characters narrating.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Sarah is teased about this.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns:
    • Some episodes have Shep, Teeny and Angora disappear or stop talking before the more serious moments, particularly in "Mosey" when Sarah wakes up and sees Mosey has disappeared and takes off into the storm to find him before coming to the conclusion he's gone and will never come back, and they don't even reappear until near the end of the episode save for Shep's narration.
    • Zoey and Chloe were absent from "Mosey" as well, given Sarah's grief for her cat and to make said experience more foreboding.
  • Sick Episode:
    • “Pepper’s Pain” deals with Pepper getting injured and Zoey fearing she can’t ride her again.
    • In "Molly and Chili", Calypso has a hot spot and Molly can't ride her, so Chloe, who can't come on the trek because she has a cold, kindly offers Molly to ride Chili in her place.
  • Sixth Ranger: Nani Cloud and her horse Sunburst both subvert the one-off character trend of previous episodes by sticking around after their season 3 debut.
  • Status Quo Is God: Zoey and Chloe will always, for example, have Aesop Amnesia.
  • Strictly Formula:
    • Opening Sequence: Shep, Teeny and Angora are shown doing something that relates to the episode's plot. Shep explains a moral of what they're doing, then recalls a past event relating to such.
    • Main Plot: This is where the main story takes place, usually in a flashback told by Shep. Someone has a problem and the kids work together to solve it, all while learning the moral the episode centers around.
    • Closing Sequence: The episode ends back in the present, with Shep reminding the viewers about the lesson once more and Teeny and Angora having learned.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Scarlet's symbol is a crown, Calypso's is a heart, Button's is a four-leaf clover, Aztec's is a lightning bolt, Chili's is a diamond, Pepper's is a crescent moon, Jimber's is a star, and Sunburst's is a sun.
  • Talking Animal: At least when humans aren't around.
  • Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity:
    • Sarah is rich, but dresses more tomboyish and prefers friends over wealth. Chloe and Zoey, on the other hand, dress feminine and are frequently obnoxious and self-centered.
    • In "Changing Spots", Alma is the tender tomboy to the extremely foul girly girl Talia Bentley.
  • Token Minority: Molly (Black) and Alma (Hispanic).
    • Nani (Native American) in Season 3.
  • Town Girls: Zoey and Chloe are Femme, Molly and Alma are Butch, and Sarah is Neither.
  • Tsundere: A non-romantic example: Pepper and Chilli are cold and arrogant to the other horses, but act as each other's best friends.
  • True Companions:
    • Out of the human characters, Molly, Bailey and Alma (and later Nani in Season 3) are more loyal to Sarah than Zoey and Chloe are.
    • The horses are, as a whole, far less prone to fighting and doubt than their riders. One of their POV episodes is actually devoted to explaining the herd instinct and how it bonds them.
  • Wham Line: From "Mosey":
  • Weight Woe: Pepper has an episode where she ends up trying to lose weight with heavy bouts of exercise and no eating despite Sun Burst and Scarlet’s insistence that she eat and rest. She ends up passing out on her owner as they train for cross country.
  • Welcome Episode: The first episode has the kids recall Sarah’s arrival at Horseland and their worries if she’s another mean snob like the Stiltons, but it turns out they’re wrong.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Almost every episode is this.
  • You Know What You Did: The Gossip episode.