During the Spring Festival, the best free mount in the game (imho) is available: The Steed of the Jester. There may be other reasons to get this mount, but for me, it's that it has 68% speed (versus 62% for standard mounts) and 250 morale (versus 100 for standard mounts or 200 for other bonus mounts). More mount morale means fewer dismounts when you're riding through mobs. More speed means about 4% faster (1.68/1.62).
It is not hard to get one. There is a short quest line that starts with Avery Crabapple, just west of the Boar fountain in Bree. You pick a flower in three areas (for this quest, you click on the individual Marigold, Violet, or Primrose; you'll use the Patch of Flowers for the later quest).
After some delivery quests in Bree, you bring some sweets to Avery Crabapple, and he will offer you the quest A Fistful of Flowers. Don't accept it until you are ready to go pick flowers for an hour. Once you accept it, you will see the timer count down in real time. You will be able to click on a Patch of Flowers only until the timer runs out. (You do not need to return to Avery before then.)
The three areas are: the Southern Bree-Fields west of Bree, where the flowers are mostly Violets; the Shire, between Michel Delving and Hobbiton, mostly Marigolds; and Ered Luin, north of Celondim and into Nen Hilith, mostly Primroses. The areas will show on your map when you have the quest. If you're low level, the worst mobs are level 15 west of Bree. Celondim and Michel Delving are level 7. The mobs are mostly wildlife, so if you keep moving, you should be able to avoid most of them.
You will need to get 100 of each flower for the Steed of the Jester. Note that you are limited to doing the quest once a day, but you keep the flowers you pick. If you don't get enough flowers in the hour, you can spend another hour picking them on another day to add to your total. Once you have enough flowers, you barter for the Steed of the Jester or other things with Gredlan Mugwort, next to Avery Crabapple.
While picking flowers, another player may beat you to one. The patches respawn pretty quickly, so just head off in a different direction so you aren't always arriving just after someone has picked them. Although each area has a predominant flower, you will find a few of the others. I usually leave the first area when I have 90 of the first flower, leave the second when I have 95 of the second, and end up with 100 of the first two by the time I get 100 of the third. If you have the Premium Wallet Upgrade, the flowers will be put in your wallet with other festival tokens. Otherwise, you will see them in your bag. They are bound to the character that picked them.
You may or may not like the look and sound of the Steed of the Jester, but when you're riding away from some mobs and notice that your mount's morale is down to 135, and realize that with a standard mount you'd already be on foot, you'll be glad you got it!
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