Herd-Based Learning with Monster Ball

My herd of wild and semi-feral horses have never seen a giant horse-sized ball before. What do they think of it and how will they react? I don’t want to ‘train’ them to play with the ball – I simply want to see what they feel about it. Then I want to join them in playing and co-learning…

One of our horse listeners, Sheila, generously gave me this ball before she moved out of town – but it either has a leak, or the air just slowly leaks out of the valve, so I wasn’t able to give them another session with it. Maybe in the summer, when it’s easier to carry the ball back and forth from the gas station, we’ll give it another go. I’ve never had a ball like this before, but you have to use a motorized pump to inflate it.

So much learning takes place over multiple exposures/exploration, so I’m curious to see how each horse reacts the second time I bring this ball out. It’s also interesting to see how each horse’s personality comes out with a challenge like this – it’s a chance to observe how their brain works, their default reactions, and temperament. The learning never stops.

p.s. That’s my cousin Katrina Patel in the video. She’s in the process of moving to Vancouver from Edmonton AB and quickly figured out that the horses love fresh blackberries!

Herd-Based Learning with Monster Ball

6 thoughts on “Herd-Based Learning with Monster Ball

  • November 1, 2020 at 8:01 am
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    I love how Posa used her hoof right after you used your foot! Also love that her youth and curiosity is inspired by this ball!
    I bought one of these balls a few years back & Have the same problem with it not holding air😕
    I did buy a cover for it and that’s how Dreamer plays with it! When it’s not fully deflated it leaves a bit of extra fabric and he picks it up by the fabric and tosses it from side to side! Although The cover does attract stickers! Also the land we reside on has quite a slope so the ball will always roll down to the gully! I haven’t brought the ball out in a long time because when Dream and I came together his previous human said he use to play with a big large Orange traffic cone and she worried it was building his neck muscles in an unbalanced way? So I worried about that as he does hold and toss it a lot!
    He does seem to enjoy the ball but Banner was not a fan at first! Like you say horse time is so much different then human time! I use to leave it in the horse trailer…door open ..
    so they all got use to it! Not sure if Buck a Roo was around when we use to play with it…so it might be something they find interesting if I bring it out again? I have not partaken in my one on one sessions the last year or so? Not sure if I have gravitated away from it or am less concerned because of Gun Sun? But either way it’s ok! I still love our walks together and connecting and conversing while we browse the neighborhood!
    The boys are very bored now though as I have had to take them off the neighbors 5-6 acres because they were gorging on acorns! Dream was experiencing LGL again so now I know the future track area will need to be Oak tree free☹️…such a shame as they love the oak trees and they are the only trees we have abundance of! It’s always something 😑
    ✌🏼💚🐴

    Reply
    • November 1, 2020 at 11:18 pm
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      I know! I loved that part too – like she got it right away.

      The acorns are very interesting… So normally you’d have squirrels etc that would take care of those excess acorns. But didn’t you install owl housing to help keep rodents down? And now your horses lives are negatively impacted. OR has this been a prolific year for Oaks? Out here, blackberry and stinging nettle went beserk this year – and wasps. So we know that nature rises and falls in cycles. And us humans are always trying to control things so they’re the same way all the time. Just throwing it all out there since I know you’ve been delving into the whole re-wilding and regenerative ag areas…

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      • November 2, 2020 at 6:19 am
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        The squirrels are still out of control! The owls boxes house the smaller owls that are to small to catch adult squirrels! But yes it’s out of balance as the coyotes and bobcats and foxes are few and the coyotes that are around are not welcomed by most the neighbors as they killed a small pet dog a few years back! I still have not put energy towards getting a new dog! Even with all the squirrels the acorns are plentiful every year…because we have huge old growth oaks…& I do see more on some years …..I agree and completely understand there is a ebb and flow to nature!
        But as Dream ages his IR will be more and more sensitive so I need to implement changes so I am ready to provide as much space as possible without compromising his health!
        Balance -Horses -Life-Gratitude
        I tried to post a 3 minute video of Dream and his ball but wasn’t able to? Can I send it to you to post ? It’s fun to watch!
        ✌🏼💚🐴

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        • November 2, 2020 at 2:44 pm
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          That’s the challenge isn’t it? HOW to help facilitate nature’s balance when humans are everywhere and we like to control everything around us.

          Well, Dreamer is a real teacher for you, so just keep feeling your way along. As Montaro said to me: Don’t seek to remove all the constraints; the constraints are integral to the beauty of what you’re creating.

          Unfortunately, you can’t upload video here – the files are too large. But you can upload to YouTube and then post a link here 🙂

          Reply
  • November 2, 2020 at 4:12 am
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    Just loved the vid! It’s great to watch their reactions and who supports who when investigating the scary ball! Absolutely fascinating, will certainly watch again.
    Thanks all.
    Much love
    Erin 💚🐎🌳😚

    Reply
    • November 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm
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      Thanks Erin! And how are things with Holly? Did you get my email? If not, check your Junk folder. Everything seems to get put into junk/spam folders these days!

      Reply

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