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Archive for October, 2009

Postscript to Furloughed Horse Story

by Art on October 28th, 2009

Here’s what happened after my Arabian’s 30-day furlough ended back in June, 2009.

Someone asked if Zarahas “got with the program” after his furlough. My answer?  Sort of.   He didn’t altogether duck out of ride-offs or riding into a crowd, but would only ride-off when he found himself already close to an opponent’s horse or asked to lean hard against someone trying to ride us off. But he still refused to close in for a ride-off after we caught another horse from behind.

Actually, the very first game I played him after his 30-day furlough he ran me full-speed into a goal post and knocked me off his back!  That gave me another chance to lie on the ground, stunned, but thinking “Well, I guess this is narrowing my chances of dying from Alzheimer’s or cancer!”

Actually, it’s the 2nd time he’s created a goal-post collision (a.k.a. an “unauthorized dismount”) in the eight years we’ve been playing polo.  But I’m convinced he’s “not malevolent, just an Arabian.”  That’s the reason Arab horses are rarely used for  polo: They think too independently.

So, instead of passing the pole on the right or left side depending on which way I’m leaning out to make a goal shot (a good polo horse will alter his direction according to which way you’re leaning), he apparently decides as we’re approaching the pole which way HE will pass by it, regardless of me.

After he’s knocked me off he comes back, stands over me, and asks, “Hey, Boss, I thought horsemanship was the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground. Why did you let THAT happen?”

Sometimes, as he’s waiting for me to get up, he performs one of his tricks, like “bowing” or “counting.”  See?  I’ve just got to love that horse.