Polo Players Edition

SEP 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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Seamus on Feb. 23, in Lebanon, Tennessee, where all the horses for the Kentucky Makeover were shipped. I kept him at a barn in Georgetown, Kentucky, where he lived in a round pen inside of an indoor [arena] for more than a month. Initially, Rebel was extremely afraid of people and for the first 30 days of training I focused purely on groundwork and developing a bond with him. The first couple of times I sat on him, I would just hop on and off bareback to get him comfortable with the pressure of having someone on him, which also gave me the easy option of hopping right off. Rebel never bucked or fought, and once he was comfortable around me, which took several weeks with time spent everyday, he would follow me around the round pen and knicker to me when I got to the arena. When I first began to really send him forward, I spent a lot of time getting on and off of him and leaving the round pen after he had worked for a couple of minutes to make sure that I never pushed him past what he could handle. Once I really broke him, he took to work, quickly progressing on the basics of flatwork and is a very natural jumper. When I was comfortable riding him out and about, I took him to a couple different events to get him used to new environments and atmospheres. At the makeover event, there are handling, flatwork and trail work classes and the top 10 trainers after the preliminary classes move on to compete in the freestyle final. Rebel was wonderful all weekend. We were highly placed in the preliminary classes and so we got to preform in the final Saturday night. I was super nervous about being in front of that many people, but I was also really excited to get to show off what Rebel can do. My teammates from UK Polo set the fences for my freestyle, and it was incredible to be able to have fun with my mustang in front of my friends and family. All of the mustangs that competed in Kentucky were available for public auction after the makeover. I was fortunate enough to be able to use my prize money from the competition to buy Rebel back. There really isn't much that Rebel wouldn't do if I asked him and I'm so blessed to have him in my life. As a trainer, I'm excited to be participating in an invitational training event called Mustang Magic that starts this September, with the final in Fort Worth, Texas, in January. If anyone has any interest in competing in mustang training events, the Mustang Heritage Foundation offers information and contacts on its website. If anyone is interested in purchasing a started or already trained horse, there are TIP certified trainers throughout the country specializing in training BLM mustangs. Ultimately, these events are about helping find horses like Rebel homes and jobs in today's world. POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 25 Crossman picked up Rebel, right, in Tennessee last February. Crossman used her prize money to buy Rebel. Crossman's UK Polo teammates set the fences for her freestyle performance. Rebel proved to be a natural jumper.

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