By Mary Bodel
Silver's Stable, owned and managed by 15-year-old Andrea Bodel, is an
up and coming on-line simulated horse game. The game was started as a
homeschool project and named for a beloved pet hamster five years ago.
Silver's Stable is designed to teach proper horse care and maintenance.
Currently, besides virtual competitions, it is possible to groom, feed
and play with the horses in the virtual stable.
"Most people's experiences are limited to pony rides (at parties),"
Bodel states. She goes on to explain that there is more to horse ownership
than just riding.
"Grooming a horse helps to make a social bond," she goes on
to state. "So is feeding, but in a different way. Most people don't
realize there is a science to feeding a horse. Horse's don't go if they
aren't fed, and too much feed can result in colic."
"When we first started, we were much closer to a "My Little
Pony" sort of thing. Now it's designed to be more real."
When asked how she got the many pictures used throughout the site, Bodel
explains that the pictures are used with permission, usually including
a link to the original site.
Bodel explains how she finds the time to work on the site, and keep it
up to date. "Part of it is my schoolwork, as I'm homeschooled."
The rest, she admits, is a lot of work, but worth it.
The stable has various competitions for the members to test their virtual
mounts. "The winning horses tend to be those that have practiced
the most over those that have practiced the least. Horses and riders who
are perfect (members write out what happens during a horse show and only
races aren't controlled by the members.) are deleted.
"We want to see (life like) struggle, horse and rider correcting
faults, etc. Even if it's a clear round, it's not easy." Keeping
it true to life and realistic is the key.
Andrea's sister, 16-year-old Jessica Bodel also assists with the game.
She is responsible for editing pictures and creating some of the web pages.
"Currently I'm working on the Legend's Page, as well as making a
site for the farrier, vet and a horse store."
Also assisting on the site are Holly Foisy, who is the picture personalizer
and Richard Mallaby, who helps create and improve various pages. When
asked about the "behind the scenes" work at the virtual stable,
Mallaby said, "Everyone works really hard on their bit to improve
the site and pages. A lot of time and effort is spent on finding out things,
getting pictures and making the pages themselves."
Mallaby also has equines at the stable, a horse named Savannah and a pony
named Sim. Describing the activities he has participated in, he states,
"I have participated in a race on one of my virtual horses and in
which I came a very poor last. I've also been on a few trail rides on
my other virtual horse, and those are quite fun."
Visitors to the site can expect to see quite a few breeds of horses, both
common and rare. When touring the site, these pictures stand out. After
entering the stable, the first page shows several Kigers, a rare breed
Visitors don't have to sign in to tour the site, and can feel free to
click on the "members" link to check it out before joining.
After clicking the link, several options are visible. The weather at Silver's
Stable is available, as well as a page to check the health of individual
horses. Also available are links to the stable, town and bank, where members
can check their virtual accounts.
For any questions or comments, please contact either Mary Bodel at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Andrea at email@example.com