Sunday, December 20, 2009
Having a Ball!
Dylan and I played with the 30 inch ball that we are thinking about offering as part of our fun kit. We try each item before we add it to our kits and I thought it would be fun to take Dylan in the arena and play ball Thursday. He took to the ball pretty much like everything else - great boy that he is. I started with just a halter and introduced the ball to him. He sniffed at it and gave it the "eye" but pretty soon decided that it wasn't anything to worry about. So I spent a few minutes getting him used to it bouncing off his shoulders and his back and rolling up against his legs. Nothing seemed to bother him so I next took my four foot training stick and waved it around him, getting him used to the idea that I wasn't going to ask him to lunge just because I was holding it and waving it around.
Time to hop on and try playing "polo." I used the stick to hit the ball and soon we were chasing the ball around the arena, herding it by hitting it with the stick - which wasn't very effective. I am going to try a broom next time so I can swat the ball better. But we had a great time and Dylan showed off his ability to understand the task at hand and ride herd on the ball. It was a great time of focus for both of us - we became a real team as we concentrated on moving the ball across the arena. I plan on recruiting some other folks so that we can play horse polo in the future - I think that would be a lot of fun.
The only problem I have now is deciding whether or not to include it in our fun kit. The whole idea of our kits is portability - grabbing your tote bag and heading to the barn. The ball is portable when it comes packaged - but once you blow it up I don't think you would want to deflate it. That would take a long time and I also don't know if you would want a ball that is dusty with arena dirt in your car - so the best place to store it would be a tack room. Does that take away from the portability idea of the kit - or is the 30" ball still a good idea to include in it? What do you think?