Posts Tagged 'horses'

You Can Go Home Again

Ahuva and Bamboo

Bamboo and me relaxing at home

I’ve been reading a LOT, although mostly books that do not challenge and are not edifying and ARE an attempt at escapism. I’ve watched more TV in the last 2 months than I have probably watched in the last 5 years combined – I’m NOT a big TV watcher. I haven’t been able to work in the garden and see the neighbors working in their gardens or folks taking walks. I confess – I was lonely. What do you do if you are lonely and want people and music and company but you are practicing separation and isolation? You go home to SecondLife.

I know that a lot of the folks who follow this blog started following long after my SL days. You seem to enjoy my musings on my cats, my garden, life in general, work, the weather and all those other aspects of what is also known as IRL – “in real life”. This blog started as a chronicle of my adventures in SL. It was a marvelous time. I was privileged to not only enjoy SL in my private life but could work and build and develop as part of my professional career as well. But time moves on, people take new jobs, people die, get new interests, have other obligations. *rueful smile* Gaming laptops age. All of those things happened and I stopped going into SL. It took me a few years to surrender my land. I was paying around $40 a month, I think, for something I never used. I was never able to convince myself to give up my premium status, however. I was paying $72 a year for that until this past payment when it rose to $100/yr. Even so, I could not make that break. I had a zillion rationalizations for why I should keep the account.

Mallory, Bill & Drake

Mallory, Bill and Drake (Bill is the white one)

I’d been chatting via social media with a friend from those good old SL days and we agreed to try to meet inworld. She had a new avatar, a new life, new friends, new everything there. Last night I went ‘home’. *laughing* Good grief, I’d forgotten SO MUCH. First, my pool with my ducks was making SO MUCH NOISE it was making me crazy. Why did I ever think pool sounds were a good idea? I knew I had to open the item, find the script that made the noise and stop it, but could not remember how to do it. I’ve also realized that at some point when we moved from our home on the water to our treetop home, Drake dyed his feathers yellow. He used to be white. I had 2 white ducks and one yellow and now I have 2 yellow ducks and one white one. I asked Drake why and he said he needed a new look for a new home. Bill, as usual, was totally oblivious to everything.

Sean and Ahuva

Ahuva and Sean, If I want to keep my avatar somewhat aligned with my body, I’m going to need to add a lot more width. 🙂

I did a little better at moving around and getting my panda, Bamboo, to come back and join me. Thank goodness my friend came inworld and helped me remember how to stop scripts, manage sound. Wow. Did she look different. I knew she had a new avatar, but avatar structure and movement have improved immensely since I was there last. Her fingers MOVED! My fingers are very blocky looking. We sat and talked and talked (yes, talked, we both went to voice, not just text chat). She promised to meet me again and take me shopping for a new body, new head, new hair and lots of new clothes!!!! I’m so excited! 🙂

Ahuva at Smokestack

Sitting at the bar at Smokestack, listening to Noma

While we were talking other friends logged in and saw that I was logged in. I got several IMs saying hello and *hug*. I accepted a TP from a friend to a performance going on by one of the musicians I always liked – Grace McDonnough. In this case TP means Teleport, NOT toilet paper. 🙂 I had a great time talking to my friend there, and hearing Grace’s singing. From there I headed over to Prim Economy to hear Komuso Tokugawa, who is one of my top 2 favorite performers in SL. I still listen to his music (which I had downloaded). I made a new friend there as we shared conversation about horses and shoes. The inworld versions of both have apparently improved as much as the avatars. She says that when you are riding a horse inworld you actually have the natural movement of a horse (you used to simply move forward with no rise and fall). I’m extremely excited to try riding in SL again. My good friend Calli was inworld. I managed to get over to Tribeca to catch the very last song of her set. Since it was Friday, and it was Tribeca, of course the closing song was “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. It’s ALWAYS Hallelujah. Last night’s rendition was by Jeff Buckley.

Noma

Noma Falta

I went back in on Saturday, too. This time I remembered how to adjust my draw rate (how far away you can see items) and quality of detail. Slowly but surely some of the tricks are coming back. I caught up with another dear friend from the “old days”. I also got to hear Noma Falta live. I swear she gets better all the time. She was rocking it out at Smokestack. That venue was new for me. I like it. Had good seating, good dancing scripts, lots of people there. I did see one or two familiar names in the audience. It was another lovely evening. I sat there sipping my wine, listening to great music, chatting with my friend, catching up on all that has been happening. I was home. 🙂

Noma rocking the crowd at Smokestack

The crowd at Smokestack, dancing to Noma

A Horse of My Own

Shenlei has been a good friend of mine since I was only 6 weeks old. She took me under her metaphorical wing and helped me navigate fashion, fun and friends in SL. She still spoils me outrageously, giving me wonderful gifts. Shen and I share a love of horses and things associated with horses. I love to hang out at Carriage Trade with her and the horses (and the barn cats) and the other folk. But I can’t always get over there and Shenlei gave me a way to assuage my horse-deficiency all on my own.

I am now the proud possessor of the @CT@ Riding Horse (wear me). I confess that it’s not quite as much fun as riding out with one of the CT horses, but for a quiet outing by myself, it’s lovely. I introduced my horse, who I am naming Shamrock, by the way, to the ducks. As usual, they were pleased to see me enjoying myself, but didn’t really understand the need for 4 legs. 🙂 Bamboo liked Shamrock and had a good time riding about the property with me.

Shamrock and I have headed out a few times now, to check out the neighborhood. I do see a good bit more astride Shamrock than I do in one of AnnMarie’s crazy vehicles or on my Snowmobile Reindeer. I had no idea there was an amusement park so close to home – a simple ride away. 🙂 There is more coming on THAT topic!

Riding for the Roses


I love horses. I love riding. I love water. I love roses. I love red. Mix that all together and you have another perfect evening spent in SL. Oftentimes the only thing that soothes my soul is the sound of hooves beating on the ground. Wind through my hair. Water splashing underfoot.

When Moonsorrow invited me to come for a ride I jumped into the saddle. *grin* Moon always claims that the rider needs to beware: that Moon will roll them, toss them, bounce them. It’s all a myth. Moonsorrow has an extremely smooth gait and is ALWAYS considerate of riders. Moon, Shenlei, Tyr and I went for a run through Carriage Trade. Stolas joined us for a bit as well as we toured. CT has begun a role-playing area and we took a look there. There’s been a lot of redevelopment and renovation since my last visit (which was WAY too long ago). It was fun to see the new shops, including the travel agency. *grin* Be sure to book a trip to visit CT.

I love the shadows in SL. I have a graphics card that can render them without crashing (that is, not TOO much – unless I try to take lots of pictures, in which case I do ultimately confuse the heck out of the graphics card and the screen goes black. I gather this is an SL bug.). So as we raced across hill and stream, our shadows flowed with us. Notice the shadow on the water! I was having a wonderful time trying to capture the shadows and the details, all of which add to the sense of really being there. I love how my brain can fool my body into believing we are somewhere we are not.

The cross-country course has been redesigned as well. I’d spent some time here when it first opened. Fidget was kind enough to take me through. The course is now longer and more complicated and includes ten more jumps for a total of thirty hurdles. Moon did beautifully, only nicking a few of the larger jumps. I did my best to keep a light hand on the reins and let her take the lead. I know which of us knows how to do this best. *grin* I’ve included a photo from the time Fidget and I did the course. Not really the best angle perhaps for either of us, but I wanted to show the comparison of shadows on and shadows off.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears. ~Arabian Proverb
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill

There is something about time spent with horses that is good for the soul of Ahuva.

A Night At the SL Races

I was sitting at home last night, feeling a bit sorry for myself. I’d suspected that a dear friend was lying to me. The proof that this was so was now staring me in the face. I don’t like to believe this kind of thing. I felt disheartened and sad. I tp’d to a few music events but my heart wasn’t in it. I was hanging out, listening to the blues, wondering if I should take action or just fade away quietly.

Shenlei IM’d while I pondered. There was a race starting at Carriage Trade in a few minutes, and while they had plenty of horses they were lacking in riders. Would I please come and be a rider? I replied that I wasn’t feeling very sociable. Shen assured me that all I had to do was sit and smile. I wasn’t certain I could manage the smile but I could sit. So I took off my stilettos and put on boots and took the taxi to Carriage Trade.

When I arrived at the paddock I saw PatriciaAnne just rezzing as well! I haven’t seen Patricia in ages! I was introduced to Aariyah, a beautiful mare. Aariyah and I would be paired for the race. I think that Patricia was riding Starbuck. We were still shy one rider so I checked my friends list. Bailey was on, so IM’d her, asking if she wanted to ride and had a moment. What great good luck! Bailey would come and race! I haven’t seen Bails in ages and ages – I think since December when we had a Crown and Pearl reunion. Bailey rezzed in and we had a complete field! I think Bailey was on Ghost. All the riders and horses were lined up in the paddock.

The moment had come to enter the starting gates. We all filed in, with very little fuss. These horse do NOT refuse to load into the gate – they can’t WAIT to race! Soon everyone was loaded into the proper position.

Ghost (ghostly.teardrop): wooot
Whimsy whinnies with excitement!
Race Starter: Prepare to race.
Race Starter: On your mark…
Race Starter: Get set…
Race Starter: GO!!!
Shenlei Flasheart: shouts: run run run
Bailey: come on ghost!!
Racing Timer Scoreboard: shouts: Post Position One’s racetime: 63.596680

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And Rosemount was the winner!!! *smile* Congratulations Rosemount!!!! We actually ran a second race, but Bailey and I were laughing so hard by that point that I don’t know who won.
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It was getting late and several horses and riders had to leave. But there were still enough left to switch to the foal carts. I sat in a cart pulled by Umaki-Chan, a filly with spirit and a lot of pride – justifiable pride. She certainly is not only KYOOOOT, as she points out, but she is FAST!!! We turbo-charged around the course.

By the end of the evening I was feeling much happier. I’d spent the evening with friends – laughing, playing, relaxing. It was a great time. And a needed reminder that while some people are not very good at the friendship/honesty gig, most of the people for whom I care are among my most valued ‘possessions’. It was wonderful fun to spend an evening with friends. Thank you all!

Horseshoe Hunt

I have been trying to avoid hunts in SL. From my very first days I was lackadaisical about keeping my inventory neat and orderly. I had it somewhat organized. Then I took part in a hunt one Easter and blew the whole system right out of control. I STILL have boxes from that hunt that I’ve never opened. Every now and then I start off on a hunt and then realize I don’t have the patience, time or inventory skills to follow through collecting all the wonderful prizes. But I may have to bend a bit.

Carriage Trade is running a hunt from January 29th to February 28th. That’s a short time period. Even better (from my pov), there are only 24 prizes. Hunters are seeking 24 commemorative bronze horse shoes, each containing something special for horses or humans. There are 12 horse items and 12 human items. *grin* That works for me.

I wandered over there this evening to check it out, see if I could get any “insider” information for you all. You know you can rely on me. 🙂 I learned that there is a notecard of Hidden Hints. How do YOU get the Hidden Hints? Ask the horses. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say. All of the CT horses (residents of CT) have the notecard. The horses are friendly, good-natured and love to help.

So head on over sometime this month, and wander about, meet the horses, and find some horseshoes for good luck and good fun and good prizes!

Dusting Off the Scripting Skills

Hanging about at Carriage Trade has made something abundantly clear: I have LOTS of chocolate and wine in my inventory, but not too many horse treats. I headed over there the other day to take some photos of the shops and stable. I was hoping In The Habit was open (it wasn’t then but is now) so I could perhaps add a bit to my clothing inventory. Because you know I NEEEEEEEED more boots. 🙂 After taking some pics around the shops, I went to the stable.

Chancy, a beautiful buckskin, was there when I arrived. We started chatting. She asked me about the group rules and about the sim. I really didn’t know much more than what it said on the sign and said so. Moonsorrow, a lovely Arabian, showed up while we talked, asking the same questions. When Mute, a handsome palomino, came seeking the same information, I IM’d to Georgianna. Help! We all have questions. It was truly fascinating. The horses can join the group, rent stalls and some other benefits. People can come to the livery to ride or take out a carriage. There will be a cost for that. The horses and the sim will share in that. *grin* I think that’s great! It’s a wonderful way for people who would like to ride to find a mount willing to take them. The horses make money and have fun and don’t have to support the overhead.

It apparently sounded fine to Mute also, who rented a stall. I looked for a suitable stall-warming gift. I was SURE I had an apple somewhere. I found it finally – rezzed one on the ground and passed one to Mute. But that wasn’t satisfying. It seemed to me that a stall-warming gift or a treatsie should be more interesting than that. I resolved to do better.

I returned home and built a basket. Yes, you read that correctly. I dug out my building skills and made a basket. (I confess – first I IM’d Honour and whined that I needed her to build me something. And then realized – hey – *I* know how to do THAT.) My friend had already passed me carrots and sugar cubes and a better apple. I put the foodstuff in the basket. I’d forgotten how to wear the basket properly. I IM’d to Shenlei for help on that one. Oh, right – poses and script. Done. My wonderful script teacher HellspawneD had taught me how to make a script that offered a choice, so I modified that for carrots, apples and sugar cubes and headed back to the barn.

I tested the basket on Belvidere and Apollo. They seemed to like it. I noticed a problem, however. Given the choice between nutritious carrots and sweet sugar cubes, the horses chose sugar. Repeatedly. THAT is NOT healthy. *grin* So I resolved to brush off my scripting skills and modify the script again. This time I’m going to LIMIT how many sugar cubes a given horse may have in a given SL day. That’s right, Mom is watching. 4 carrots, 2 apples, 2 sugar cubes in an SL day. I’ve already put Dale and Hell on notice.

I also met another of the barn cats – Midnight. I LOVE SL animations. If you touch Midnight, there are options for petting, following, meowing. 🙂 We all went out for a ride, and Midnight followed right along. I can see that I will have to add cat treats to my basket.

Riding Lessons

I have found something for the “easier in RL than in SL” list. Taking the jumps. I’m talking riding of course. I mentioned in an earlier post that the horse does all the work in SL. Not necessarily. Those clever HUD designers. EITHER the horse or rider can control the action. I was invited to take part in another Carriage Trade photo shoot to advertise the riding lessons. As always, I jumped at the chance (yes, pun intended *grin* ). I was riding Belvidere Fotherington and Georgianna Blackburn was recording the effort. There were a few other horses around as well. We started off just fine: trotting, galloping. Belvidere is an expert there. Then it came time to take the pictures of the jumps. Bel missed a jump and friends being what friends are, we all teased. Belvidere got back at me, offered ME the chance to control the action. It sounded simple enough – use the arrow keys to move, the page up key to jump. Uh huh. Let me tell you – I am NOT showing you the pictures from when *I* was in charge. We crashed through the jumps repeatedly. The few times I actually jumped, we flew, because I over-paged up. 🙂 Not to mention that I was so busy paging up that I forgot to arrow forward so we landed on the jump. *grin* Good thing Bel is very forgiving.

I spent quite a bit of time at Carriage Trade today. I was wandering around, taking pictures of the stores and the stables. I made some new friends, GORGEOUS horses, and learned how the livery rentals work. As I’m too tired tonight to write it all up, I’ll leave you with the promise of more horse pictures. *grin* I think there may be a lot of those in the future. Pictures of the barn cats, too.

In the meantime, I’m going to be there for riding and jump lessons. And I’m hoping that the HORSE will be in charge. *grin* Or that I have a very forgiving, durable, patient mount.

Carriage Trade


I have always loved horses. I took riding lessons as a young girl. I recorded the name of every horse I rode. I went to riding camp. I still have my yellow ribbon from the show from camp. It was a small camp in Massachusetts, maybe 50 girls. Many of the girls brought their own horses to camp with them. If only. We were all assigned a horse of our own for purposes of stable cleaning and stall mucking. I loved that I had the only “Jewish” horse in the camp: Shalom. I don’t think I ever got to ride Shalom for lessons but every morning I was there, cleaning the stall, feeding him a treatsie.

When I was just a new lass to SL, I met Shenlei Flasheart of Shengri La. She had horses that I could ride about the sim. I was thrilled and many of my ealier posts to this blog cover the joy I had in riding there. Times change, Shengri La is no longer here, I hadn’t ridden in ages. Then I met B and again fell in with the horse set. Except THIS time, the horses are avatars. *huge smile* They are gorgeous. As lovely as the rezzable horses were back in Shengri La, avatar horses are stupendous, MUCH better. So when I got an invitation to participate in a machinima to advertise a horse-oriented sim, Carriage Trade, I was thrilled. I went shopping, of course, to get some much needed boots and riding gloves. My friend directed me to E. Watkins Premier Equestrian Supplies, owned by Emilie Watkins. I had a WONDERFUL time wandering about the store (all 3 floors), gazing at both equestrian and aviation apparel. Despite wanting EVERYTHING horse-related, I restrained myself. I treated myself to a pair of dressage riding boots and some gloves. Ah, I LOVED my rl tan leather riding gloves. Such soft, supple leather, with the loveliest pattern of pindot ventilation holes. I skipped both the breeches and the hunt cap although I was sorely tempted. Another time.

I dressed in my riding finery and decided that I needed to do SOMETHING with my hair. I never went riding with my hair loose. I had long hair back in the day when I rode regularly. I almost always pulled it back, out of my way. I couldn’t wear it up, because that interfered with the jump cap. I rummaged through my hair styles and found one that I thought would suffice.

I tp’d to the meeting point at Carriage Trade. I was going to be one of two mounted riders. There were also 3 carriages. The cool thing about riding in SL is that the horse does all the work. I mean ALL the work. *grin* The horse is the one who has to wear fingers to the bone running through the sim. All I had to do was get up on the horse and enjoy the ride. I had the lovely fortune to be riding Andersine. I never even heard most of the directions and instructions as they were all IM’d directly to the horses. I simply sat there and took pictures. And more pictures. And even more pictures. I took 130 pictures in the hour that we were making the machinima. 130. I couldn’t stop. I had a smile on my face and I kept clicking saving clicking saving clicking saving.

Georgianna Blackburn and Belvidere Fotherington have started a blog chronicling Carriage Trade. Carriage Trade is a mixed-use equestrian sim, with facilities for both horses and riders: residential properties, common areas, retail shops, all in Victorian style. Last week Carriage Trade threw a party to celebrate Georgianna’s rez day and the grand opening. I *only* took 78 pictures at THAT event. *grin* They plan to hold riding get-togethers every other week on Wednesdays, beginning on December 29th, at 6 pm SLT. They will offer riding lessons and jumping practice in preparation for the first Carriage Trade Fox Hunt! /me laughs and orders an larger hard drive for photos.

Making the machinima was a wonderful time, the rezday/opening celebration was a great deal of fun and I can’t wait for the riding get-togethers and hunts! Come join me there!
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Dashing Through the Snow


It seems to be winter. The last few days have been in the 30s F around my house. Windy. I’ve been weatherproofing and bringing out the humidifiers. The cats and dog seem to be napping closer to the radiators and fireplace. I love the change of seasons. I love the change. *grin* Often by the end of a particular season I’m MORE than ready for it to change. Certainly winter tends to stick around a bit too long for my taste. If it’s going to be winter, I want WINTER. Snow. Cold. Snuggle. Fire in the fireplace. Comfort food. Good friends, good drink, good times. Spare me the gray, dismal, cold rain, and the 40s and the dreariness. Winter or go away.

In SL, I get winter the way it SHOULD be. Snow. Sledding. Horses’ steamy breath. I met up with my friend B the other night at Shiro Castle. We both needed to run and run and run the week’s stresses away. Well, my knees aren’t what they were, so I let B do the running. I dressed up in winter fantasy clothing. Bamboo and I hopped into the sleigh and cheered B on as we raced about.

There were other horses about and B stopped to exchange greetings. We saw a foal. *smile* Lots of snorting and stomping and neighs and tail swishing. It was a wonderfully relaxing ride.
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Kingdom of Sand

A few weeks ago I was catching up with a friend in SL. We’d not talked in awhile, had a lot of talking to do. While that occurred, I made the acquaintance of someone who is now on my friends list as well. This friend is rather shy, so I’ll go back to my early habit of identifying people with an initial. “B” in this case. /me laughs. For those of you who remember X, Y and Z, this is different. *grin*

B offered to take me for a ride. We found a grassy area that was not too laggy. We took a few spins about the place, then B suggested we go to Kingdom of Sand. This is a role-playing sim, so I needed to get a guest pass and be coached a bit. At some point along the way I decided that my current outfit needed to be updated to something more appropriate. 🙂

B and I didn’t do much talking. We simply ran up and down the sand dunes, past the oases, around the tents and the city walls. It was wonderful. I adjusted my camera, sat back and enjoyed the ride.

There is no story here, nothing except a recommendation to go to Kingdom of Sand and see the beauty of it. I’d had a lesson from Honour in how to use Windlight (that is another blog post that is half-written). I experimented with Windlight as we drank in the desert air. Sunrise, midday, sunset. Shadows. I really should get out more often and experience more of this.

I hope you enjoy the photos! I have even MORE that I did not post, if you can imagine. They are all up on my Flickr account, *grin*, should you wish to see more.









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