No day of the week is now the same for us. Trail rides, freestyle, riding with 1 or 2 carrot sticks, finesse, on-line, liberty – we mix, mix, mix to keep this playful brain oh J's busy. I'm getting better and better at surprising him with new challenges so I've decided to make our warm up time at freestyle a bit more creative. My first thought: polo! So after few hours of looking for an on-line shop with decent and affordable mallets I bought one in Argentina. Couple of days later my “weapon of choice” arrived. I was both excited and puzzled, long, much heavier than carrot stick of course. How am I going to ride with this on J? How is he going to react? I had millions of similar questions in my head on my way to see him that day.
To my surprise, Juliano was very confident around the mallet, curious at first. He tried to bite it, maybe he thought is was a carrot? When he realised he can't eat it he started to act just as it was a carrot stick with an expression on his face “No biggie, just another stick, what are we going to do with it?”
Just to be on a safe side we played a little friendly game with it and it was time to get on. We went to warm up to the woods with Joanna and Wiselka. Juliano was fine with me swinging the mallet on both sides and in front of his face. Wisełka on the other hand was very surprised. She imidetly spoted the difference and got a bit tense when I gave the mallet to Joanna.
After our unusual warm up we came back to the arena, switched the mallet back to carrot stick and tried playing with a ball and stick. We approached the ball at walk and trot with me leaning a bit to touch the ball. J was fine with that, didn't change gait and direction. I think we are now ready to try hitting the ball with the mallet. So guess what are we going to do at our next freestyle session :)