We all have days where the cup of bad luck seems to run over, and we feel an urgent need to let it all out. For many, the perfect place to do this is the Vent forum.
      The Vent forum is a popular device on both VirtualHorseRanch and VirtualPups. My question to players on Orbis Games was: “Are players who use the Vent board just seeking attention?”
      At first the consensus seemed to be “no.” But the reasons behind each person’s response were very different.
      “I do not think that they are seeking attention,” said ilyanthony1995 of VP. “Some of them might, but not all… sometimes when you have to get out your inner feelings, and you can’t tell them to people who don’t understand, then you can just explain them in Vent.”
      Young Native, of the same game, agreed. “Most of my friends that I have aren’t good venting buddies. I believe [people] use the board to keep their valuable vents a secret and not harm their social [structure].” Also, “attention could be an intention too.”
      Other players like Sikara of VP expressed great agony over the recent closing of the Vent board on VP, something which definitely peaked my curiosity. “That board is important to us,” she said. “I hate how it is gone. It’s what we needed.”
      Why is it so important? Why do people use it unless for attention?
      SeventhSanctum of VHR seemed to have the answer. “Sometimes people get so wrapped up in the real world… [they] need someplace where they can get it all out. And the Vent board is designed to do just that. To give players a section where they can get issues off their chests before it escalates into something else.”
      In short, the Vent forum seems to give players a place to let off steam, and most agree that it is beneficial to the community. For those of us who use it on a daily basis, this is relieving news. Still, not everyone using is one-hundred percent honest, according to Firemedic of VHR.
      “There are some legitimate vents, but there are a lot of pleas for attention and people looking for a little empathy as well as some that are there just for entertainment… people do empathize with their fellow VHRians and this gives them an emotional investment in the issue.”
      “However,” they added, “When this emotional investment is violated by someone just looking for a laugh, people get hurt. A lie is a lie, and lies do hurt people.”
      When writing Open Forum, I ask players on the VHR, VP, and SBF to share their opinions on important topics that arise within the Orbis Games community.
      Responses are on a monthly topic posted in the "Orbis Worlds Newsletter" category of the VHR and VP forums as well as the "Chicken Chatter" category of the SBF forum. Responses are received via forum private messaging.

      At first glance, Virtual Horse Ranch and Virtual Pups may seem rather similar. I mean there’s the obvious difference in that one features horses and the other dogs. And there’s the question as to why VHR isn’t simply called Virtual Horses, or VP isn’t called Virtual Dog Kennel. The difference in names may become clearer as you take a deeper look into both games and come to realize that Virtual Pups is not just a newer version of VHR featuring smaller, fluffier and slightly more carniverous animals.
      One of the biggest differences lies in the sponsor versions of the games. In VHR, you can do almost everything with one sponsor and nice build-up of offline points. In VP, you have to choose a kennel specialty, which leaves you buying multiple sponsors if you want to try every aspect of the game once you use your three specialty changes. So, for someone who is unsure of how they want to proceed in the game, VHR is a little more flexible when it comes to changing skills. However, in VP not all sponsors can excel at the same skills, which promotes community in that you have to look for a sponsor breeder, trainer or rescuer to do something for you if you don’t specialize in that type of kennel.
distinction between the games, the care of the animals. VHR has diseases such as West Nile Virus that require vaccinations, your horses diet must be altered as needed for optimum performance. Shoes, tack, riders and diet can all greatly affect how well a horse does in competitions. VP has plans for required vaccinations and diseases but they have not been implemented yet. You have to pay for food for your dog, but you don’t have to choose the amount or what type to feed. This leaves the care of your animal a lot less stressful in VP than it is in VHR. Of course in VHR, if you don’t want to age your horse you can just pop it in the pasture, and in VP you have to pay to board your dog at a sponsor boarding kennel.
      Not only are the sizes of the animals different, but so are their life-spans, fertility and ability to breed. In VHR, all horses have a 33.1 year lifespan, while dogs on VP can live anywhere from 8-25 years. Horses become infertile at the age of 23, while dogs become infertile at 12 years 6 months, assuming they live that long of course. One option VHR has that VP does not is the semen straws that are able to be used even after a 
      Another difference between the two games is training. Obviously in both games it requires a sponsor trainer to get the most out of your dog/horse, but a skilled VP novice is capable of training a dog to perform adequately in shows while a VHR novice would be lucky to max a horse before breeding time is over and the horse would be beyond optimum showing age. Even though the training pages look similar, the methods of training in both games vastly differ. An excellent trainer in VP could be a flop in VHR and vice-versa. VP concentrates on “stars” to show the level of your dogs’ stats, while VHRs’ horses are rated by words that describe their potential. These stars change only in the offspring of a well trained dog, while in horses, the words can change while training and in the horse’s offspring. In both games, the key to producing the best offspring possible is training to raise stats. In addition, in VHR it’s recommended that you “roll” the stats as much as possible, making that training system much more involved than VPs. There is another main difference, in that a dog trained for breeding can still excel in events if their skills are raised as well. However, an event horse does not usually make the best breeder compared to a horse trained for breeding, and one trained to focus on breeding will not have the stats needed for showing.
      Again, looking at both games there is another
stallion has become infertile. In VHR crosses of certain breeds can create other breeds, while in VP, with the exception of crosses to arctic wolves, all crosses create neutered mutts.
      Competition differs in both games in that novices in VP can gain handling skills, which aids their dogs in some events, while in VHR novices have to purchase a rider from a sponsor in order to do well. In both games, only sponsors can host events, but anyone can enter them. The club system also differs between games. In VP your dog is limited to being the member of only one club at any given time, while in VHR horses may belong to multiple clubs. An entire ranch may join a club in VHR, an option which is not available in VP.
      So, in conclusion, while they are different in some aspects, both games offer a large selection of breeds to work on, disciplines to compete in, and many jobs to specialize in. Plus the two very different communities of players have also developed various options within both chat and the forums, such as games, art, contests, and places to just talk and meet people. Both games offer endless hours of fun, as there is no true ‘end’ to the game. I suggest trying both games to see which fits you best, and I promise, whether you end up sticking with VHR, VP, or both, you won’t ever regret it.

      I received the privilege of having a one on one chat with one of our esteemed ops. The famed Dragon Wings of Dragon Wings Stables. DWS is a well know brand in our community and beyond.

      The original Dragon Wings Stables started 12 years ago and has stuck fast to our beloved Draggy. The real Dragon Wings Stables houses Draggy’s steed Bear and five other horses. Bear’s parents were a Belgian and a Quarter Horse technically making him an American Warmblood and Draggy can be found riding him and performing mounted archery demonstrations at Society for Creative Anachronism events in the spring. Draggy is also a jouster at these events on a friend’s horse.
      Not a stranger to animals and hard work, Draggy grew up raising cattle and growing cotton with her father. “My dad is amazing with horses, Bear loves him.” She has also acquired this skill and trains her own horses and even manufactures her own training materials. “I refuse to pay 30 bucks for a piece of wood spray painted orange. I shall make my own carrot stick!”
      An avid collector of Breyers since age 4, she has over 2200 in her collection currently. “I’ve done some custom work, but I mainly collect.” Dragon rotates 200 of them at a time to take to the shows that she loves to attend. Her favorite mold is the Cedarfarm Wixom and her favorite model a portrait of The Gypsy King.
      Draggy came to our community about five years ago and has been very active for the last four years. DWS has become a brand that is often sought after to strengthen player’s lines in Lipizzaners, Irish Thoroughbreds, Fresians, Boulonnais, Dread Horses, Appaloosa and most especially Gypsy Drums. DWS is also home to the infamous Spotted Drafters and Dragons. “I think my lines are pretty good, I’ve worked hard on them”, she stated humbly, “The only thing I’ll be conceited about is my Drums.” DWS Drums are famous and Draggy has even sponsored The Gypsy Drum Horse Registry while working hard to better the breed.
      “There’s loads of great players out there that blow

Players Insight ... PAGE 1
Steamed Up, or Blowing Smoke?
The Battle of the Century
Can I Plead the Fifth?

Your Community ... PAGE 2
Flocking to Tibet
The Stars of Virtual Pups
Healers of Nations to Symbols of the Past
Hakuna Matata, are You Kidding?
Missing? No, Just Riding a Palouse Horse
Living Antiquities

Creative Forum ... PAGE 3
Black doesn't always mean Black
How To Have A Winning Trainoff
Playing With Chocolate
Wraping Up With A Dragon Vent
me out of the water.” Draggy is quick to admit. However we all know of the infamous “Dark Annie”. When asked how such a horse came into existence she admits it took “months and months of confy breeding.” Dark Annie is now over 400 million in winnings. This does not include the untold sums of money made by players betting on Dark Annie. Draggy readily shares when Dark Annie is eventing so that others can benefit from this sure thing bet. “I always tell the novies when she’s running, it’s so hard for them to make money sometimes.”
      Draggy stated that she thought Dark Annie was a fluke. Thought it was a fluke? Thought? Dark Annie is surely the biggest winner on VHR and guaranteed a place in VHR history. Can it be there is another Dark Annie in the DWS stables? Draggy answered, “Can I plead the 5th?” 

      Even after five years of playing, she still enjoys the game “as there is always something new to start on. When I get bored I get new foundies. That usually keeps Barqs from getting bored too.”
      We are lucky to have Dragon with us today. Ten years ago she was shot while working as a bouncer. Now she enjoys a slightly safer job teaching arts to junior high kids. Draggy is the choir director and drama teacher trying to expose the kids to the arts despite much of today’s modern music in a school system that wants to cut the arts out to make room for the sciences.
      She also cares for her “Hobbits”, four little kittens that she had saved and a Great Dane. The hobbits named for the LOTR Hobbits, as Draggy is a big fan of the series. The kitten’s antics could make up an article in itself and Draggy shares

them with us in her rants in the vent section.
      When asked what her favorite part of VHR is she quickly replied, “I think the VHR community as a whole is a wonderful, productive place. I’ve met some amazing people, and learned quite a bit. There’s always going to be a few bad apples in a barrel, but why focus on them when you have so many other apples around. ”
      “I love being an Op. It’s not a piece of cake by any means…”. Many do not realize that ops are more then the “police of VHR” guarding our community. The ops monitor the forums, game itself, chat, support tickets, and the whole shebang. The ops answer the game play issues that go through Orbis Worlds support and are often the ones that fix the problem so that all can enjoy the fun that is VHR.
      “Lately a lot of my free time has gone towards answering player questions and watching chat.” Despite this Draggy has found some time to work on her lines and give back to the community. She often puts up quality tack for low prices and holds train offs. “One of my favorite things to do on VHR is hold train off’s.” In fact every cent Dark Annie has won will be given out as part of the “DWS End Of The Year Train Off of DOOM”!
      Animal lover, teacher, accomplished horsewoman, VHRian, and Op. Draggy has taken on an amazing number of responsibilities and yet has kept her sense of humor, as anyone who has read her rants in the forum can attest to. When asked for words of wisdom to offer new players, Draggy says this, “It’s okay to march to the beat of your own drum. Everyday I see so many people who are hurt because they’re not part of the ‘in’ crowd, or they don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. It’s OKAY to be yourself. Who wants to be a sheep, when you can be a shepherd. THEN you have one of those cool shepherd canes that you can smack the sheep around with! VHR is an amazing place. You can work on whatever breed you want, any discipline you want. You can do whatever your heart desires. ☺”

Alabama - Editor in Chief
Alias  - Editor/Writer
Bara - Jack of all trades

Broodmare paint

The 2nd Cavalry
The Stablehand