Dan Stroud of the Mountain Man Back Country Horsemen of Montana writes about one of their winter horse activity’s.
Many of you in this Montana basin have horses that you spend a lot of time on in the summer, on trails, pack-trips, herding cattle and just riding. If you are like me, you sometimes can’t wait for it to get warmer so you can mount up and go. I’m starting to get that itch already and it’s only January….seems like patience is an attribute that you get with age, but it only applies to certain things. Anyway, our local Back Country Horsemens’ group has identified an activity, with the help of Dexter Smith, that we can do during the winter, and, at least crawl on our horses occasionally and give them a little exercise, and get us up and moving.
Whether it’s an actual established event, I can’t say. I’ve googled it and can’t seem to come up with much, so let me give you a little overview. We do this in an arena, out of the weather, but it could be done about anywhere you have an open area free of obstructions. The object of the event is similar to Lacrosse, only done on horseback, with a tape-wrapped tennis ball. The “sticks” appear similar to me, but then I’ve never played Lacrosse.
Two upright “nets” are placed at either end of the arena – these are the “target” and the object is to bounce the “ball” off of the square net, throwing it with the stick with it’s own net on it. We have only done it with two riders at a time – one on each side or team. Our events have been very laid back, and in most cases, little galloping occurs; and when it does, it’s usually only for 3-4 strides as the length between the two goals is limited.
The photos show it all – and we all have had a lot of fun with this. If nothing else, it’s just good to be on a horse and socializing with others who have similar interests. Our Mountain Man Back Country Horsemens’ group is always looking for others to come join us; either playing at this game, or during the warmer months when we both work at clearing trails, or other activities that keep us connected with others and with our horses.
For further information and to join our group, contact me at 537-5807; and I’ll direct you to our treasurer or president.
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