Last month I introduced Maia to her first experience as a polo pony. To be fair, I am not training her to be one, nor will she ever see match play, but, because I like to stick and ball, I think it's something fun to add to our repertoire.
She had seen me hit a few times off of her herdmates Patxi and Txoko, and the ball had flown around her before, so I didn't expect fireworks, and my expectations were more than fulfilled!
As soon as we start she checks out the mallet and sniffs it, and I rub it on her. I swing it around as much as possible as we walk around languidly. I love her focus and engagement.
At the end, I pretend to line up for a shot, then reward her fantastic composure (and good sportsmanship) by stopping and dismounting.
I see some fun stick and balling in our future, Maia! Game on!