Polo Players Edition

NOV 2011

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.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/44977

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Page 12 of 67

satisfaction and sense of mystery comes from playing horses that you own. One of the most compelling aspects of this game comes from teaming up into a mind-body partnership with your horses. Just playing any old horse can be fun and exciting, but like old friends and good spouses, the relationships built on trust and mutual respect can last a lifetime and provide some of the best experiences imaginable. Buying horses means a commitment to an equine lifestyle, and those who have committed to this lifestyle know what it means in terms of time spent with the horses, not because you have to, but because you want to. It is a horse-crazy mindset that will not allow you to get too far from your horse partner. I am fortunate to have a spouse who is as committed to the horsey way of life as I am. We both ride and play polo on horses that we have owned for years. Playing polo on the horses you know and love enriches the whole polo experience at whatever level you play this sport. Talk to the 10-goal players, and all they talk about, in intimate detail, is their horses. In most cases they will talk about the bloodlines of those extraordinary animals, as well as how each was raised and trained. Owning a horse means a total commitment to that horse, and sometimes, all the way though its life and until its death. Losing a horse that has been with you for years is so bittersweet in that you remember the good times and are sad to see them go. It is up to you to see them through both life and death. Getting to know and understand your horses is essential to becoming a better polo player. If you know what your horses can do, you then will know what you can do on the polo field. If you do not know and trust your horses, this game, and even the simple experience of riding, will become not only unsafe, but also not fun to play. Before you purchase a horse, take the time to get to know it. Ride it, play it and visit it where it lives before you make a commitment to purchase it. If the horse is a good fit for you, then enjoy getting to know the horse as it gets to know you. Take —continued on page 45 POLO PLAYERS EDITION 11

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