I was driving near the polo fields today when I noticed a couple riders in one of the practice fields. I really was hoping that if I waited long enough they would make their way a little bit, or actually a lot closer. That didn’t happen, but I was still happy to take a few minutes and just watch them. The photo really doesn’t do justice to the skills of the riders or how beautiful the horse were.
I did a little research when I got home and here are a couple facts I learned. Free flowing manes and tails are a danger in polo because they can become entangled with players’ mallets or with the reins as the rider tries to control the horse. Manes, therefore are shaved and the ponies’ tails are wrapped or braided to prevent the hazard. Also, lefties are banned from polo. To understand why, consider this: you’re driving down the road when all of a sudden, coming straight at you, is a crazed English person (Patricia) driving on the left side of the road. The panic you’d feel in the situation is just what a right-handed polo player feels when he and a lefty approach the ball from opposite directions.
The polo season is just getting started here in Lakewood Ranch. To see this years schedule click here. It’s been several years since I have been to a match. If anyone is interested, I think we should get together a group and go sometime. It would be fun to pack a picnic and take our cameras out for a little practice. There are a lot of photo themes just waiting there for us: below the knees, panning, at a distance and of course horses and humans!