But plans changed, lessons were cancelled, and suddenly I had a little more free time (and unspent cash). Meaning playing polo sounded more and more like the perfect idea.
|Bordick, Caballo and Guinness scrimmaging in group 1|
I got there in time to watch group 1 finish up learning the basics and move on to the scrimmage. OMG guys it looked like so much fun!
|it's been so dry out tho, the ring was dussssssty|
The swings we covered: half and full swing, back shots, and near side shots (tho I also inadvertently tried a couple neck shots). We also 'dribbled' a little bit, which is exactly what it sounds like.
|does she look like cute polo pony?|
Particularly, my wrist quickly became sore from trying to do too much with it, rather than letting the weight of the mallet and the arc of my swing dictate the impact with the ball. I also struggled with swinging straight forward, as opposed to diagonally under Izzy's face (and maybe once or twice INTO her face, sorry mare!) - which April attributed to me not reaching back far enough to begin the arc of my swing.
|maybe if the polos were brightly colored instead of black?|
Perhaps the biggest difficulty for me was getting my shoulders squared completely over the ball. If you can imagine that April was sitting on a horse in that demo gif above, it's clear that she'd be leaning all the way over to one side, balancing on her right foot and left knee. I kinda lacked the commitment necessary to take my shoulders so far away from 'center' - and it led to a lot of missed or weak swings.
|ahh yess, i see it now! she totally looks the part!|
But wow - it was super fun to try! We maybe spent the majority of the clinic off on our own trying out all the swings at various speeds (tho I never really connected at the canter bc I wouldn't lean far enough over the side of the horse...) while also trying not to run into each other (there were six riders in the clinic). Made for pretty excellent helmet camera footage lol.
|that tail wrap tho - too freakin adorable (even tho izzy hated it)|
Anyway, after everyone had more or less figured out how to hit the ball while remaining on the horse we moved on to the fun part: a scrimmage!!!! April went over some of the rules - like the 'line' of the ball - that I really only vaguely understand. Meaning I continuously fouled a couple riders, oops. And I'm still really unclear how defense works in this game.
BUT. Haha it was so much fun. Watching the video doesn't look like real polo at all bc most of the horses are wizened old lesson ponies with a distinct lack of 'zip.' That is, except for the two chestnut arabs haha (Isabel and my barn manager's dressage horse in the white bridle).
My team lost the scrimmage 2-1, sadly - but not for a lack of trying!! We'll get 'em next time. Presumably if April comes back again we'll be able to skip most of the 'learning the basics' bit and go right into more scrimmaging.
Have you ever played? Any desire to?