Virtual world residents often complain about the burn out factor. It’s something no one likes to talk about because it implies that perhaps there was an over consumption of time online that was unbalanced or unhealthy. The majority of individuals I know in Second Life have been residents of the grid for more than four years and find themselves at challenged at times to see the same wonderment and excitement within the virtual world. It becomes hard to escape that feeling of “been there… done that”. But sometimes the best way to fall in love with something again is to take a step back and adopt a new approach. Embrace a new community and engage socially in an entirely different circle.
A friend suggested I check out the equine community in Second Life. Offline I had owned horses and been an active event competitor for over ten years. A former farm girl, I had all but given up the hope of enjoying the ownership and pleasure of taking care of horses. It was not something that was going to fit in with my budget or my schedule but as an passionate horse enthusiast it was definitely something I felt a loss over. Being around horses and the people who love them as I do.
Enter the equine community of Second Life. Most individuals like myself are former (or present) horse owners with a passion for riding, breeding and competing. A community onto themselves I was surprised to learn about the social events, auctions, advice and lively channel conversations going on in the two horse communities I was interested in exploring. The Amaretto Breedable horses and the new Awesome Breed Creations (ABC) horses which were just launched in the fall of 2011.
Whether opting to invest in Amaretto or the ABC horses there is a rich community of interesting and helpful supportive members to enjoy meeting and working with to further breeding standards for each group. Choosing the right community will depend on the amount of time and investment you are willing to make, but horse ownership can be an exciting new hobby within Second Life for individuals interested in breeding or simply for riding and competitive eventing.
The Amaretto horses are ideal for individuals who would like to start with a less complicated breeding structure. Each horse is rezzed from a bundle and requires the purchase of Amaretto food and water (and salt lick) to remain healthy and happy. Proper care of your pet and coupled with a combination of male and female horses and you can delight yourself with the birth of “bundles” (foals) which take on the physical attributes in a random combination depending on the characteristics of the breeding parents. Combine coloration, mane and tail preferences, different types of coats and even rare hybrids such as ghost horses and Pegasus results. Amaretto horses and supplies are very affordable and an excellent place to begin for first time breeders.
"Catch Me Apache" and "Call Me Capone"
These horses are photo realistic and highly detailed replica’s of specific standard breeds. The investment to get started with ABC horses is approximately L$6000 which allows you to begin with two males and two female starter horses.
What makes the ABC horses particularly interesting is that the generation two offspring carry stats that are performance oriented for attributes such as stamina, pull, sprint and speed. Base statistics are inherent at random in foals which then require training to meet their maximum potential. In other words, you can breed a horse that will have attributes to win competitions in Second Life either in racing or sulky (cart races), jumping and more.
It will be exciting to see the ABC horse community grow and network through the creation of competitive racing, standings and more. And for an avatar who thought she had seen and done it all, a brand new hobby and diverse community to explore in the virtual world I love.
If you are looking for me I’ll be in the barn.