There are generally two different camps when it comes to the discussion on mallet length: use the same length for all of your horses, or adjust the length of your mallet, based on the size of your horse. We’ll go over the logic behind both, and leave the experimenting up to you.
- Same length of all of your horses
The theory behind doing this, is that you learn to adapt to each of your horses, and rely on your hand-eye coordination to be able to quickly adjust. If this is your strategy, be sure to change horses quickly between chukkers, and take a moment or two to carry the ball along to calibrate.
- Adjust length based on height of your horse
The idea behind doing this, is that you learn to swing the same each and every time. For example, at the bottom of my swing my hand passes right at the middle of my knee. Chances are you’re not riding all 15.2 hand horses. Modifying the length of your mallet based on the height of your horse, allows your swing to remain consistant.
Regardless of what your theory is, other things may come into account:
- If the grass is very long, you may want to shorten your mallet up an inch.
- If the arena footing is very deep, you may want to length your mallet an inch, to be able to get well underneath of the ball.
- Take into account the near-side fore. If you are not very flexible, you may want a longer mallet, to allow you to hit the near-side fore without topping the ball.