not my photo.
via mikebaird on Flickr through Creative Commons.
His mane was like a crest, mounting, then falling low. His neck was long and slender, and arched to the small, savagely beautiful head. The head was that of the wildest of all wild creatures- a stallion born wild- and it was beautiful, savage, splendid. A stallion with a wonderful physical perfection that matched his savage, ruthless spirit.
― Walter Farley
When I was younger, I was a Black Stallion addict. I read other horse stories as well, but I think I must have read the stories in that series a dozen times each (my favorite? The Black Stallion and the Girl).
A friend of mine owned horses, and to this day on Facebook I live vicariously through her updates about jumping and dressage and grooming. (Side note: I have a particular love affair with the word ‘tack’ as it applies to horses.)
Last year, all I wanted for my birthday was to see Secretariat on opening day. GREAT MOVIE BY THE WAY.
I’ve tried to instill that love of a good horse tale in Cass, but so far she hasn’t been very receptive. I’d venture to say this has been the extent of her horse experience, and she seemed fine with that.
A few weeks ago a package arrived in the mail, and this was inside.
It killed her to wait until the weekend to be able to play her brand! new! video! game! And it wasn’t even her birthday or Christmas! Well, that’s what you get when you open Mommy’s packages, darlin’. Patience is a virtue.
Horses 3D for the Nintendo 3DS puts the player in the role of horse stable manager and rider. They care for their horses (15 realistic horses are available, housed in lovely tranquil textured 3D landscapes), ride them, train them, groom them, essentially build relationships with them. Cass apparently spends most of her time teaching them tricks, but you can also race them in competitions or with friends.
Now, this is the element that I find amazing about these video games nowadays (lawsamercies! Yeah, I’m showing my age): you can link up and share with friends via the wireless StreetPass feature: race against their horses, go on fun rides, swap collectible cards to get to new competitions or unlock a new horse.
Here’s what 7yo Cass had to say (unedited):
Horses is about when you do activities and take care of your horse. You get to do all the tricks. When you give it a treat and feed it, the horse gets in a better mood and it can run faster. I am learning all about how to take care of a horse. This game is not too hard and pretty fun. 10 stars out of 10!
From as deep into the game Cass has been able to get so far, I can’t really tell how true-to-life the horse care and training is, but I know that’s not really the point of these things. The point is to have fun, and certainly Cass is engrossed with her horse and its progress. If she spends as much time with each of the 15 horses as she has with her first, this game will keep her busy for a good long while. And I really prefer an RPG that requires her to think and plan and “interact” over the mindless button hitting of many action games (although I do enjoy a little mindless button hitting every now and then).
Did I bribe my daughter with a video game to pique her interest in horses?
You bet your sweet filly I did. I can’t wait to take her for a riding lesson.
And then I’ll start strategically leaving Black Stallion books around the house…
Hey, we live in farm country. You’re never too old to want a pony.
And somehow I think Cass will be more convincing to her father 🙂
Horses 3D is available on Amazon for right around the $29.99 mark, a great deal for the number of hours a kid will get out of it.
Did you have an unnatural love of horses as a kid?
Have you ever used electronic means to turn your kid on to something in the real-life world?
Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #UbiChamps