Learning to play polo

When I was at Polo for Heart, where people play like this:

The ones who know what they're doing

The ones who know what they’re doing

A friend spotted a brochure advertising polo lessons. Three weeks later we found ourselves at Chukker Hill Farm, learning how to play. At slightly less speed.

Polo is like hockey on horses – fast and physical. Well trained polo ponies know the game, they muscle each other off the line of the ball and get where they have to be. It’s both comforting and intimidating to know that your mount is far more competent than you are.

Learning the swing

Learning the swing

At Chukker Hill we started off at a walk, using kiddie beach balls that are about 10 times the size and bounce of a regulation ball, so you quickly get the illusion you aren’t as pathetic at the sport as you really are. It also helps that when we scrimmaged we were mostly at a walk. The school owners know it would be life-threatening for riders and ponies any faster than that, at our level.

Yours truly looking in control - at rest.

Yours truly looking in control – at rest.

There was one, wild moment when someone hit the ball way down the field and I galloped after it, forgetting that when I got there I’d need to be at a near stand-still to actually make contact with it.
Lots of useless flailing, one F-bomb (one is not supposed to do that), two very unpretty but still valid goals, zero injuries to man or beast, tons of big smiles. A darned good tally for one evening!

Totally hooked. More lessons to come.

The teams (mine is in green)

The teams (mine is in green)

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