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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Letter from The Publisher

Jan 23, 2018 08:45PM

As I was reading the article in this issue on exercise balls, I was reminded of some fun experiences I’ve had with these large “beachy” balls. I used to ride horses, dressage specifically. Years ago, I took a workshop intended to help with balance and core strengthening for dressage riding. The workshop didn’t actually involve horses, it involved large balls! We had numerous exercises using the balls in all kinds of ways. It was harder than it looked when the instructor demonstrated the exercises, but it was a lot of fun and surprisingly useful in our never-ending quest to become better, and more sensitive, dressage riders.

But it seems we weren’t the only ones that had a use for these balls—the horses loved them too! Our stallion at the time needed to keep himself occupied, so one day I threw a large ball in with him and watched the antics begin. He tried to pick it up with his teeth, which didn’t work well and made him annoyed with this big round object. His next move was to rear and try to get it to move, which didn’t work either. Finally, all fours in the air and a twist and a kick, and that ball was moving! And he was chasing it and bunting it with his nose when it slowed down. It was a whole new slant on the term “exercise ball.”

There’s more to the story though, as this ball wasn’t just of interest to our stallion. We had a family of foxes living under one of our buildings on the ranch, and the horse paddocks were an endless source of entertainment for the fox pups. Naturally, a large red ball appearing in their playground grabbed their attention. First, they stalked the ball, the bravest pup sneaking in for a closer look. Then he touched the ball, and it moved! Straight up in the air he went, scattering the other pups in every direction. Soon they were back and braver, playing and bumping the ball, leaping in the air, chasing each other—it was eye-watering, belly-laugh material!

Amazingly, the ball stood up through all of this, and I ended up having to buy myself another one, as it was clear that my big red ball wasn’t leaving the paddock.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings. As always, please feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or questions. This is your magazine—enjoy!



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