There are basically only three tasks in Polo:
- Hit the ball into the opponent goal.
- Ride your opponent off the line with your horse.
- Strike the opponents Polo stick to prevent him hitting the ball.
Even if you never hit the ball, the novice can be useful on the field by preventing the skilled player from getting the ball. As you are concentrating and preoccupied in all the above activities you will have no time to think of how you sit on the horse. You will balance naturally, which will make you a very good horse rider in no time. The close relationship with your horse starts when you mount your horse. Once the game starts you have the feeling of being part of the horse, everything happens instinctually , the speed, the fast thinking and the dependence on your fellow team mates, chasing the ball and preventing your opponent from hitting the ball makes the game a most exiting and exhilarating competitive horse sport. You hold the rains in the left hand and the stick on the right hand. Once you raise your rains the horse stops, pressing your legs left or right gives your horse the direction.
In Arena Polo the space is confined by the wooden walls and the 5 m net which means the ball does not leave the arena . The boards of the arena are used similarly to snooker to change the line of the ball. The game is only stopped for penalty shots and this again makes Arena polo very attractive to spectator and player.
Few people give up polo once they got a taste for it.
Polo develops fellowship, "team man ship" and good horsemanship.
Due to the highly skilled horses polo is less dangerous than it is commonly thought.
Once you understand the right of way of the line of the ball the rules of Polo are simple to follow.
The player has to wear the standard safety attire during matches .
- Polo riding hat
- Knee protectors
- Polo shirt
- Brown Riding boots
- White Polo Trousers (usually jeans)
Normal riding gear is sufficient during lessons and practice.
A polo match is either 4 or 6 or 8 chukka depending on the match and the players and horses available. In a match you have either 2 or 3 players in a team and 1 or 2 umpires.
A chukka is 7 minutes, the interval between chukkas is 3 minutes.
A fit horse should never play 2 chukkas in sequence and never play more than 2 chukkas on the same day.
The speed is up to 30 miles an hour and only fit horses can participate in the game. A player must have at least one horse and ideally 2 horses if he wants to play a complete match.
Playing the game of Polo provides good company and an opportunity to enjoy the convivial and sporting atmosphere which participation in this skilful and demanding game creates. There is no other team game which is so exhilarating.
Find out where the nearest Polo Club to you is situated.
Phone the Club and make contact and ask if you can come and talk to somebody about Polo and have a look at the game.
If you like what you see, find out where you can take some initial lessons.
If you can not ride at all, it is advisable to take elementary riding lessons first from any riding school as this is more cost efficient.
Once you are confident in galloping a horse without fear, you are ready to learn how to play Polo.
Usually 3 or 4 lessons should allow you, to play your first beginners Polo Chukkas. This is the time you get "hooked" you and your polo pony having played the first chukka!
You than should play as much as possible which is the fastest way to learn the game. Professional lessons, as required from there on, will help you to speed up your handicap improvement, this will depend on your ambitions.
Polo is a fast, competitive team sport. If your horses are kept in a Polo yard your time involvement is in your control. All you have to do is, arrive at the Polo Club .. climb on your horse and off you go ... have 1 hour of the most exhilarating game . A shower and back to work if that is what you want. Or stay on and share your experiences with the fellow players .. The game keeps your body and mind fit