Today Spring Song did something that was amazing. I first got interested in teaching horses things before the boys were born in 2004. My blacksmith told me about a man who was in his 70s and competing in Quarterama (a BIG event in Toronto for Quarter Horses). The event went on for decades. I think my blacksmith saw the man in the 1980s or earlier.
The competition was to perform a specific pattern then do what you wanted with your horse for a specified amount of time. The cheering/applauding of the audience made up for a huge part of the scoring on the second part of the competition. This 70-plus year-old man did the pattern, then took off his horse’s tack. I think my blacksmith said the man had the horse lie down while he got a soccer ball. With soccer ball in hand he sent his horse to the other side of the arena and he was opposite the horse along the other wall. They proceeded to pass the ball back and forth as they travelled to the far end of the arena. My blacksmith said the horse was incredibly accurate with his tosses!
Well, back to Spring Song…I’ve introduced soccer to each of our horses, probably once or twice every two or three years. (Obviously we’re not drilling and drilling!) This evening Bill took Spring Song on a walk around the outside of the arena to introduce her in-hand to some piles of dirt. She was unflappable. I waited in the arena. They joined me and Spring played with the toys. She was relaxed, yet attentive.
At one point I was at the wall, Spring was about six feet to my left and Bill was another six feet to her left. The three of us walked parallel to the wall. Bill rolled the big ball (which is over three feet in diameter) towards and in front of Spring, she rolled it back to him (towards and in front of him). They continued passing the ball. She used her nose. This is my one BIG rule about balls. I don’t need a horse kicking at one and accidentally hitting a human. One time she let the ball pass by her and come in front of me. I passed it to her, she passed it back. I passed it to Bill, etc. Great fun!!! She played the game the entire length of the arena.
My blacksmith probably told me about the 70-year-old in 2002 and FINALLY it looks like I just might have a horse that plays soccer.
That 70-year-old WON the event year after year. The crowd LOVED him and his soccer playing horse.