We got super organized on soccer. Sue Parker suggested: person on wall holding horse who is off the wall. The on-the-wall person helps the horse stay along the wall. Other person (that’s the tricky part…getting two competent people) further from the wall. Other person kicks ball in front of horse. Ball stops at the wall. (This is also tricky. A big kick sends the ball ricocheting. A soft kick doesn’t get it to the wall.) Horse hears, “Along the wall. Whoa. Push the ball to Winnie. GOOD!” Horse gets treat.

Other tricky part…Zelador was left standing on his pedestal, watching. (He’d prefer to be the centre of attention, but managed to watch…) We modified Sue’s suggestion and decided to have Bill ride the horse just in case the horse got excited and got too close to the wall, squishing the “at the wall” person. I would be “the other person” because, most likely, as time marches on I’ll be the one playing the game with the horse.

Zeloso was first. He prefers to push the ball to the right. Bill rode Zeloso along the wall. I was about ten feet to the right. Zeloso had his turn. He was very good. Once or twice he gave a very soft push. I said, “Push it again.” He did and it rolled to me.

Zelador had his turn. Zelador preferred to push the ball forward so I adjusted my position.

For the second attempt Bill assumed the “at the wall” position, holding the horse. Zeloso was led to the wall. Zelador left his pedestal and came to help. I placed him back on the pedestal. No treat. I walked to Zeloso and Zelador left the pedestal…this happened three times. We decided to carry on with the program and hope Zelador allowed us to try this new formation with Zeloso. We kept the Zeloso session short for several reasons: 1. I only had three treats left, 2. Zeloso is renowned for a short attention span (although lately he’s getting much better at focusing), 3. Zelador was very close, observing…

Zeloso did just great and ate two of the remaining treats.

Zeloso went to his pedestal and stayed there (with Bill holding onto him!)

So, with only two people (obviously we needed THREE) I decided to wing it and see if Zelador would stay along the wall without someone there to step up and catch him if he dreamed up a new way to play soccer. I had half a mind to NOT try because if he did create an innovation he just might forget the way I want him to stay along the wall. If that happened, we’d be back to square one. Sniff. It was a tough call: stop while he did things perfectly or hope and pray Zelador didn’t get too creative. Gulp!

Much to my surprise Zelador was GREAT at pushing the ball to me and maintaining his position along the wall. Whew! He received the last treat. Session over.