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DR650

Soccer

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I am always looking for thing to do. I asked the barn manager if we could get a half dozen calves so I could practice cutting or roping. LOL I was just joking but underneath it all I would love the opportunity to do both.

She said I could use the goats but they are too fast and |I would hate to chase them around with a horse.

So I settled for a soccer ball, those big horse balls, about 30 inches in diameter. I wanted to give my horse a purpose to his manuvers.

I started with just walking up to the ball and trying to ride right over it. He quickly got the idea to kick it with a front foot. We spent a few days just walking after it and before long he would speed up to catch it once he kicked it.

Then we started to half pass to kick the ball off center. A light touch of the right heel got him moving to the left of the ball and kicking on an angle. He quickly caught on to that game also and a slight touch left of right got him moving to the side.

Then we added a rein and the heel slightly further back. So we would approach the ball, half pass to the left say and then suddenly with the right rein, the right heel and he was pivoting on his front end and coming at the ball at right angles for a kick to the side or about 90 degrees to the line of the ball.

We then went further and would almost bypass the ball with a half pass and then behind the ball make a quick pivot on the front end so he was kicking the ball back in the original direction it came from.

The ball gave him a purpose to the commands, they made sense to him where just doing these things without the ball were senseless.

A number of other boarders started to play the same way and I kidingly suggested a league.

I like to rope also. I rope the poop bucket, the jump standards, the mounting block, anything I can get a rope on and drag it. Drag so the rope rides low on his hauches, under the tail, drag it backwards , forwards sideways. I drag a plastic sheet, anything at all. If only I could rope one of the goats, but did I mention those things are fast?

Play games, give your horse a purpose a chance to make sense of it all.

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Why not buy a mechanical cow? Works great and is used to train cutting horses.

Get a team together. I see there is a sport called horse soccer

https://www.google.ca/search?q=Horse+soccer&newwindow=1&client=firefox-a&hs=ONR&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=J5kbU7KqB4bvoATUnIHgAQ&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1647&bih=823

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Why not buy a mechanical cow? Works great and is used to train cutting horses.

Get a team together. I see there is a sport called horse soccer

My guy is never going to be a cutting horse. boredom makes me look for more and more things to do.

Also the cost and the setup in a barn dominated by dressage and hunters. couldn't leave anything attached to the walls.

I have to settle for a ball.

That looks interesting Smilie and if there was a league at our barn I would join

Edited by DR650

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you can teach him to dribble through cones which is great for changing the bend and flying changes. the distance will dictate the type of flying change (e.g. tempi) and will come naturally. you can also to teach him to kick penalty shots (rev him up and approach the ball at full speed for a flying shot through the cones.)

i know you're not a fan of ground work but i've taught my horse to do all of the above also at liberty. he's great on cows by the way. apparently he figured that if he could get a soccer ball to move the way he wants it to he can certainly maneuver a cow.

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I'd love to get a mechanical cow for our barn, but BO have mostly "dressage"/Engish riders and a little kid that would break it first chance she got. And it would probably terrify most of the horses there. I would only be able to use it when the covered arena was empty. :(

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I imagine they would not be cheap. You would need to string it across the arena from one wall to the other with pulleys rigidly attached at each end.

Then you need someone to run it. It is perminent, a danger to other riders who could get hung up on the cables plus spook the horses. You need your own dedicated space for something like that.

For someone just looking for something to do it is not practical.

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you can teach him to dribble through cones which is great for changing the bend and flying changes. the distance will dictate the type of flying change (e.g. tempi) and will come naturally. you can also to teach him to kick penalty shots (rev him up and approach the ball at full speed for a flying shot through the cones.)

i know you're not a fan of ground work but i've taught my horse to do all of the above also at liberty. he's great on cows by the way. apparently he figured that if he could get a soccer ball to move the way he wants it to he can certainly maneuver a cow.

As usual most of your stuff doesn't make sense. Dribble?? he plays soccer thus works cows???

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the basic skill of playing soccer is dribbling. ball handling. you know, being good with your feet??

if you teach your horse to know where to go with his nose, neck and feet, you can teach him everything.

Edited by nick

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the basic skill of playing soccer is dribbling. ball handling. you know, being good with your feet??

if you teach your horse to know where to go with his nose, neck and feet, you can teach him everything.

Didn't know that ball handling and dribbling are the same thing. I thought you dribbled in basketball? Thanks for setting me straight.

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We always called it dribbling when I played soccer as well - the basic movement of the ball around the field/court was referred to as dribbling...

Perhaps its an American/Canadian difference and nick has lived in the US as well as now Europe which is very heavy into soccer.

Anyway yes, ball handling, dribbling, would increased a horse's lightness and responsiveness and I can easily see how that would convert to working cattle.

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