Sometimes you come into SL and think, what else is there to do for fun? Go dancing? Nah. Shop? Nah. Hanging out at Ahern? Nah. So once you have fed the breedable pets and chatted a bit in Hey Girlfriends and rezzed 21 cubes and deleted them in frustration, you now have something else to do.
You can go horseback riding in SL in a way you have never experienced. Finally in SL, you can meet horse avatars who would love to take you out for a spin around a beautiful snow-covered sim. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Horse avatars? Is this some weird Zindra thing? Not at all. It’s simply people who enjoy being in the place an equestrian community would offer. They like dressing up their horse avatars, adorning them, and interacting with people as them. If you take a ride with a horse avatar, both avatars are engaged in something pastorally enjoyable. If you would like to participate in that kind of role play, even for an evening, you are welcome to join them at Carriage Trade.
I went to Carriage Trade on the invitation of one of its owners, Shenlei Flasheart, and there I got the opportunity to meet Moon (moonsorrow.magic) and Rum Royale, who both allowed me to take a ride and learn more about the Carriage Trade sim.
First things first, however. When you rez in, first make sure you hit the store, “In the Habit,” because they really want folks to dress in style for being on an equestrian sim (and as you know, I am not averse to engaging fashionably). I was able to outfit myself for riding in this beautiful jacket by Shenlei Flasheart over a lovely blouse (that can be worn alone and includes cap sleeves). The breeches give a perfect touch to the ensemble and the boots are de rigueur. These clothes would be perfect for horse breeders as well or just mixing and matching with other fashions. (Chances are you will see the jacket or breeches on me again.) Shenlei has been in SL for a long time, doing many fabulous things, and you will see her experience show in these pieces–well textured, well built and stylish.
I swapped out several hats and helmets during my time with Moon (who is featured in these photos). I think my hats were my favorite thing because they were the most “decorative.” I could see wearing the riding hats with dresses. Shenlei also made a great helmet with hair so it seemed my long red hair from Truth Hawks was now bundled for riding. I popped in some lucky horseshoe earrings and wore a scarf from the store. The scarves are textured with prints from actual fabric you can purchase online for your own designing and sewing. (Shenlei is a RL fashion designer and instructor, so she has a corner on what’s going on in the RL fashion industry.)
Groom the horses, feed them treats, pet them—they are very accommodating and sweet. (Remember, however, they have human drivers. They are not toys nor are they servants. Anything they do with or for others is by mutual agreement and in the spirit of fun.)
A ride around the sim is a relaxing and beautiful experience. Georgianna Blackburn and Shenlei Flasheart have both built the sim with snow-covered hills and Victorian houses, cobblestone paths and grazing cows–it’s a pastoral fantasy.
Romantic carriage rides are also available if you can hook up with the horses or Shenlei. Plan ahead for a magical date with your special someone by making arrangements with some of the horses at the sim. I also met a woman who is planning her wedding with a beautiful carriage drawn by several of the horses, all adorned to the nines for the ceremony.
I find it nearly impossible to sum up this experience. From meeting the sweet horses (who can be so accommodating and gentle and who really enjoy the whole experience of being groomed and enjoyed) to the beautiful surroundings to the absolutely amazing fashions (because you know, I really can’t enjoy doing something unless I have to dress up to do it), this is another new experience in SL you shouldn’t miss.
A lovely horse is always an experience….. It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~ Beryl Markham
Hair: >TRUTH< Abbey – cherry by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *
Skin: *League* Amber Br Sunkiss -CafeAuLait- by Nena Janus for *League* *
Jacket: Oxblood Jacket by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Blouse: Stock Cream Thorobred by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Hats: @CT@ Michele Riding Hat Maroon and @CT@ Michele Riding Hat Black and @CT@ Riding Helmet With Cherry Hair Black by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Helmet: @CT@ Riding Helmet With Cherry Hair Black by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Earrings: Horse Shoe Earrigns Gold/Ruby by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Scarf: @CT@ Fashion Scarf Dressage/Natural White by Shenlei Flesheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Gloves: Bow Tie Oxblood and Bow Tie Black by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Boots: Riding Boot Oxblood by Shenlei Flasheart for In the Habit at Carriage Trade Livery *
Take a ride at Carriage Trade Livery
Check out horse avatars at The Texture Barn & Tack Shed
Thank you to Moon, the beautiful and gentle horse in these photos.