Dear Parent(s);

My name is Beth Cain, and I am the sole owner of Equus Unlimited, or as we all call it, EU. What this website and forum consists of is a simulation, or sim, game. There are various types or categories of sim games available today, from the popular "The Sims" to video system games like Wii's Catz, Horsez, and Dogz. On the internet there are unicorn/pegasus sims, dog sims, dragon sims, sims for real life, and finally, horse sims. Equus Unlimited is a horse based sim game - we do not allow any other type of 'animal' than horses. 

Our members are allowed to create, buy, sell, breed, show, train, and promote makebelieve horses. There are some restrictions for the lower levels on how much of the game a new member can do, but as they progress and get better, more things to do open up to them.  There is no 'end' to EU, the game can take a player as far as they want to go with it.

We expect responsible and mature conduct throughout the entire experience including good sportsmanship, tolerance of other people, and good manners. We have a bank setting where each player is required to keep track of their own finances. If they don't have the money to do what they want to do, they have to either sell a horse, borrow from the 'bank' with interest, or simply wait till they get more from the monthly allowance. My goal is to have EU multi-leveled so that each age group that plays finds something for them. We also require things like typing in real sentences, correct spelling and correct english! I enforce consequences to breaking rules or misconduct, including a permanent ban if required.

I did not start EU, but rather had it kinda dropped in my lap so to speak. I joined EU back in October of 2004 when I had a young child at home, and was looking for something to do during the day to fill some 'me time', and also to help fill the hole in my heart that was created by the absence of horses in my life. I figured if I couldn't afford a real one, I'd have 'fake' ones. After a few weeks helping a few neglected areas, I was asked to be one of the 'admin' on the message board. The person running EU needed some extra help, and I was one of 3 people over 18 at the time, and the only one willing to do the job. After several years of running EU together with her, she left the game and I was handed the reins to operate the whole durn thing totally on my own. That was a little over 5 years ago now, and I haven't looked back (much) since. 

Now, some adults might think this a bit strange, playing pretend horsies on a web site. Sometimes I think its a bit strange myself! However, I am a firm believer that if we parents (and I have 2 kids myself) loose the ability to play, make 'sillies' up, or think that make believe isn't 'adult behavior' or 'appropriate', how can we teach our kids to do that very thing? I choose to keep EU running and available to those that want it, but also as a place where a horse crazy teenager can come in and learn and have fun and be safe in the process. 

Not only that, my staff members are both adults as well, and have been with the game for almost as long as I have been. Well, one of them HAS been a member longer than me, but by only a few months. The three of us are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for ALL members.

So, as a result, I encourage those that want to pretend they own 200 horses to go ahead and make up 200 horses! Nothing wrong with that, and besides, it costs a LOT LESS than just one horse in real life ;). 

I believe there needs to be more safe places for kids to go on the internet. While I do allow kids aged 14 and above to join, I also do allow adults to join too. Every interaction on the message boards is closely monitored, and 14  year olds have highly restricted access to the personal messaging system built into our forums. In the 5 years EU has existed, and in the literally hundreds of people that have played/applied, literally less than 10 have been male. Our member base is usually 100% female.

Nor do I make any money or profit from doing this. I do it because I want to, and I enjoy it.

However, just to make sure everything is kosher with the people that regulate these things, so I am requiring that if your child is 14 years old, or younger, and wants to play, that I get a quick note from a legal parent/guardian stating that the child has permission to play. The message board has this built in already, but I wanted to elaborate as to WHY I am requiring this extra step. (Applicants 16 and up don't need to worry about this part.)

If I get a 14 year old child or younger that registers on the board without me receiving a note from his/her parents, that child will be denied access to the game until I hear from the parent. Cause again, I'm a parent too, and quite frankly, things like homework and family time are 10 times more important than we are. So I want the parents involved a little bit, so our 14 year olds don't fall behind with grades or whatever else because of EU. (Which brings up the idea of requiring a 'C' average or better to play...)

So, essentially what I am asking for is a parents email address during registration, and I will send out a email to that address notifying the parent that the child has signed up, and asking for a reply back with an answer. The membership application gets put on hold until I hear back either way. I then file the reply in a marked folder in my gmail account, where it will sit and get musty and gross from old age, never to be seen or heard from again.  Cuz I hate spam too ;).

Thanks for taking the time to read this long spiel, and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me, at any time. I also invite any parent to check out our message board themselves - just contact me for a guest login / password.


Beth Cain

Owner of Equus Unlimited

Happy Gaming!

Beth Cain, Owner of Equus Unlimited

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