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Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual world hosted by Linden Labs. It is truly amazing in scope, with a population of millions, and one of its biggest strengths is that almost everything in it was created by its residents. As a citizen of SL, you may create objects, combine them, colour them with uploaded textures, animate them with the Linden Scripting Language (LSL). SL is free, with a downloadable client program from You create and control an avatar, which can then be modified in-world to pretty much anything you can imagine, with both in-world and online stores selling hundreds of thousands of alternative avatars, clothing, buildings, vehicles… the list is almost literally endless. Second Life even has a healthy and completely genuine economy: Linden dollars are directly exchangeable with US dollars, and there are people who earn serious money from their virtual earnings.

From our point of view, you can purchase an equine avatar from several vendors. Hoof It ( !HI! ) make a good one, with a heads-up control panel that makes certain actions much easier. You can augment the basic model with tack, different coat-colours, or custom mane and tail styles. You can be a zebra, a donkey, unicorn, centaur, or pegasus, or a humanoid equine that walks on two legs. You can be a mare, stallion, or gelding (Second Life does not limit you to playing your own gender and a surprising amount of people have opposite-sex avatars). You can let people ride you. You can rear, buck, snort, neigh, angle your ears. If the notion really takes you, you can even lift your tail and fertilise the roses (roses are available, but extra).

Click on the images above for examples of Second Life equines.
If you 'd like to give being a horse on Second Life a try, then first you'll need to visit and follow instructions. This will involve creating a free online account, choosing an online name (this is a unique and unalterable identity so choose with care! You'll choose your own first name, and then one of twenty-or-so surnames that SL offers you) and your avatar's starting appearance, which initially will be human.
Fire up the client program and enter the world. Take the time to learn at least the basics as a human before you go further. Use the facilities at Orientation Island. Learn how to move; learn how to use your inventory; and learn the very basics of building if you can - some mods install themselves, but some don't. Don't be afraid to ask for help, but always respect what other avatars are doing and don't interrupt if they are building or otherwise busy. There are rules of ettiquette to ensure we respect each other. Violate them and you may find your access restricted or suspended! Don't worry though: in three years of use, I haven't even come close to violating them, or wanting to. There are books about SL which can ease the learning curve: try Amazon.
If you want to purchase other people's creations, you'll need to purchase some Linden dollars (Lindens or L$) with a credit card. A one off purchase of just over US$20 (that's L$5000!) should cover you for all the avatar gear you'll need: body, custom mane and tail, colour, and optional extras. Hoof It's basic equine avatar is L$1500 at the tie of writing.
Visit Xstreet, the online shopping experience for Second Life. If you want the Hoof It model I mentioned, search for !HI!, otherwise just browse until you find something to your fancy. Read the purchase instructions: you may have to transfer a reserve of L$ in XStreet before purchase - this is done in-world, from an XStreet vending machine.
READ THE BOX. Follow the provided instructions carefully. You'll be guided through a process where you open your package; move the contents into your SL inventory; wear your new avatar! Add modifications (some of these may require some tinkering but the results are worth it).

SL-URL Teleporters
If you are already on Second Life, clicking these buttons will send you immediately to the correct spot within the world.
Hoof It! Bringing Horses To Life!
If you'd like to purchase your equine avatar in-world, look no further. Here on the pleasant island of Nectaris, you'll find everything you need from anthropomorphic horse-people, to centaurs. If only there was a shop like this in the real world!
Unicorn Meadow Stables
Findhorn McLaglen's pleasant wooded realm, where all of an equine persuasion (or anyone who just likes horses) are welcome. There are stables, exercise rings and even a jumping course. Uh, ignore any strange pyrotechnics in the area: my step-son has a large Gundam fighter-carrier moored a few hundred feet above and occassionally carries out live weapon tests.

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