Polo is a team sport. We’re all in it together. But things aren’t quite that simple. Truth is there are two types of teams operating at any given time: the human team and the equine-human team.
What does that mean? Well, one team comprises you and everyone else. The other comprises an intensely personal relationship between you and a thousand-pound animal … plus everyone else and their horses, too, when you’re playing!
Aw geez. No wonder this sport is so exhilarating. There’s a TON going on out there.
When it comes to the horse-human connection, letting other people ride your horse can be a dicey proposition. After all, you probably forked over $10K or more for that professionally trained, finely-tuned athlete who will own the field. You don’t want to mess with that!
When it comes to the question, “Should you let other people ride your polo ponies?” we would argue that in most cases, the real question is not whether anyone, but rather who other than you should be riding your ponies.
Let’s be honest: If you have one horse, it’s a reasonable proposition for you to groom, condition and practice the horse yourself. Having one horse is awesome in some ways because the two of you really get to know each other well and teamwork becomes a given over time.
But once you step up to two, or (lucky duck) FOUR horses or more, riding them all yourself is a giant task — especially that tough period of time when you’re bringing them back into training after a whole winter off and they’re fat and spoiled rotten.
Yeah, fun times. It’s like a full time job, people.
That’s why we have grooms. They’re awesome help for exercising horses on off days and conditioning them in the springtime. They save our butts all the time, and they’re super competent with the horses as well as the tack. Fantastic riders, they’re typically quite affordable here at DPC, and you can rest assured your ponies are in good hands.
Then there are our pros. These are ultimately the best people to ride your horses because they’ll make them better. So if you have a behavioral problem or just a few kinks to work out, consider hiring a pro for a few rides. You won’t regret it.
Typically, these two categories of people are definite “yesses” in terms of whether it’s OK for them to ride for you.
There are other categories that are not so clear-cut. We’ll discuss them, and some factors to consider, in our next blog.