This is a photograph showing Chex learning to play soccer at the trail challenge held by the Horsemen of Arkansas. He had a ball (pun intended). Actually the first time he approached the ball, he didn’t like it. Having never been to a trail challenge, he really didn’t think the soccer ball was interesting enough to want to touch it.
This particular obstacle required the rider to approach the ball and push it with the horse in a circle around some of the other obstacles on the ground. The wind was blowing and gusting quite a bit so the ball didn’t always roll straight. Depending on the direction, it would blow back against the horse.
We really like this little AQHA gelding because he learns really fast. By the time he had been over the course twice, he was willing to push the soccer ball. He just needed once or twice to understand what was expected. The rules don’t allow any horse on the obstacle course before the competition begins so the objects are new to the horse. The riders on the other hand are allowed to walk the course prior to the start and look over the course.