How do I teach my horse to play Polo and how do I make a polo mallet? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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How do I teach my horse to play Polo and how do I make a polo mallet?

How do I teach my horse to play Polo and how do I make a polo mallet? I would like to try Polo on my standardbred but I have no polo mallet and I don't know how to play. I know there are 3-4 riders on a team and they play 4-6 chukkas in a game and each chukka lasts 6 minutes and I know they have to score goals but other than that I have no ideas. Also, are there any Polo clubs in New zealand that I could join? Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-06-2012, 12:38 AM
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I don't know about training or making mallets but I do know that you generally don't use one horse for the entire match; generally a few to several horses are used.

Googling Polo New Zealand got me this :
New Zealand Polo Association

Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be ****ed if you do, and ****ed if you don't. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-06-2012, 02:39 AM
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Polo is a tough sport and it takes good eye/hand co-ordination.
It is not a matter of just getting on a horse and hitting a ball.
All players have to play right handed. The ponies have a lot of tack on their heads, usually a gag bit, standing martingale, breast plate and running reins. They have to be able to go straight into a gallop, withstand another horse charging into them from all directions, the rider swinging a stick, about it, over and under. It must continue in a straight line unless asked to turn.

All ponies are hogged (roached) and tails tied up. Boot and bandages are a necessity.

Find a local Polo Club and call them. Most will give lessons what they call 'Stick and ball" where you practice on a wooden horse hitting the ball just to develop an eye.

As said, a horse will only play a single chukka as it is hard and fast.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-08-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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I have no one else to play with so I would not be playing whole games, just stick and ball myself to give my mare some experience and so i can get a feel for the game if I ever do play.
Thanks guys!
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-09-2012, 10:35 PM
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Me too!

Originally Posted by Standardbred View Post
I have no one else to play with so I would not be playing whole games, just stick and ball myself to give my mare some experience and so i can get a feel for the game if I ever do play.
Thanks guys!
my friend and I are getting into polo too just for fun. We bought mallets online. They weren't too
expensive. Be sure to get polo wraps tho. Your horse could get hurt and turned off very easily. Have fun!
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-13-2012, 12:38 PM
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Hmm,well,if you are just stick and balling,you mare might be fine.However,we use Appendix and a few QH or TBs due to their stamina and abilities to turn and burn,I would look your ponie over carefully to make sure she has the right conformation for it..polo,due to high mechanical stresses can break a ponie down quick if you arent careful...but for just messing around,she should be fine.As for your mallet.They are handmade out of bamboo and now there are some that are made of graphite,but either way,you will need to purchase one.Everything Polo is expensive,so you will have to dedicate if you are going to do it.Oh ,you might be able to buy a mallet in classifieds of Polo USA or something.ITs a great game,I hope you enjoy
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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I agree, you definitely should be using polo wraps on all four of your horses legs if you are going to be playing around and stick-n-balling. Also, you you cannot make your own mallet but I would see if you could borrow or try one out from somebody else before buying your own. They come in different sizes and the one that's right for you can vary based on your body, your horses body, and your natural ability to bend and reach down for the ball.
If you are planning on teaching your pony to stick and ball, first make sure that your horse is already comfortable with neck reining. A little help with your leg is alright, but you need to make sure your right hand is completely free for the mallet. Secondly, many times horses can become quite nervous around the mallets and polo balls (especially because of the loud sound that you'll make when you hit the ball!) so make sure your pony is used to it. I've seen some trainers even begin by hanging polo mallets in their horse's stall! Once you finally decide to get on with the mallet, just walk around and swing it, not even going for the ball. Make sure your horse gets used to you swinging it on both of it's sides, (you hold the mallet in your right hand and your right side is called the offside, while your left side is called the nearside) in front of its legs, and behind it a bit, just so there are no surprises when you actually hit the ball. Start off nice and slow, and move your way up. It may take weeks before your horse is comfortable enough for you to hit the ball, but be patient.. polo can be scary, but once their comfortable, horses tend to really love it can be a great way for you to bond with you pony!

Good luck finding a club in New Zealand! Have Fun!
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