Baby steps towards playing polo
Anyone who has read my blog, seen my Instagram page or had a 5-minute conversation with me knows that I love polo, but when people ask me if I play I hate my answer, I don’t play polo. I read about polo, I follow polo websites, I subscribe to polo magazines, I will watch 8 hours straight of polo online, if there is a polo match going on nearby I will be there, but I don’t play, not yet at least. I fell in love with polo in December 2010 in Buenos Aires and you can read the full story here.
After BA I went to visit my dad in Rio, my godmother is a member of the Itanhangá golf and polo club in Rio, so I did a polo clinic there for a short week. This was the first time I had ever had a riding lesson and it was amazing, I was so happy and I wanted to learn how to ride and play polo.
After Rio I went back home to Copenhagen in Denmark where I was in university. The Danish Polo Association was only founded 2-3 years later, so there was no polo in Denmark when I was there. The burning desire to learn polo kind of faded and I stuck to just watching polo.
In August 2012 I moved to Dubai to work as a stewardess in Emirates. One of my first friends in Dubai was Mohammed Al Habtoor and he is very passionate about polo and plays a lot. I wanted to start polo lessons, but in my Emirates contract it was specifically listed NO extreme sports and polo was of course on the list of activities which were not allowed. So again I remained on the sidelines watching polo, but I really enjoy that very much as well and if I was in Dubai and there was polo going on I was there.
Now I have the time and freedom to learn to play polo, but I live in Bahrain and guess what? There is no polo club here! It is as if the universe is telling me that I shouldn’t play polo, that I should stick to being on the sidelines observing, but I have decided that I am not going to listen to the universe. There might not be polo, but there are plenty of riding schools for dressage and show jumping here, so I called around and finally decided on the Dilmun Club. The riding style of dressage and show jumping is quite different to polo, but it all starts with balance and staying on the horse! So I started riding lessons this week.
I must admit that I felt like a sack of potatoes when I first got on the horse, but I enjoyed it, I was laughing the entire time, mostly at myself, and how ridiculous I probably looked. But then I smiled because I was doing it anyways, even though I looked and felt a little ridiculous I wasn’t going to let that stop me. Not everyone knows how to ride before they can walk, although it does seem like Argentinians are born with excellent riding skills and literally get on a horse before they can even say horse, just look at Facha’s (Martín Valent) son Santos, who is still in diapers but riding a horse and even with a mallet in one hand and without a saddle, I guess it’s safe to say that he’s got it in his blood.
If a two-year-old can do it then I should be able to as well, so I am determined to learn how to ride a horse properly and hopefully I can do it gracefully as well at some point, once I have mastered that I can pick up a mallet and figure out how to control that as well. I have always been in awe of polo players’ talent and now that i know how hard it is I am even more amazed!
I have had two lessons this week, i am so sore and have a few bruises, but I love it and will have my next lesson on Sunday, which I am already looking forward to. So stay tuned! Subscribe and get an e-mail when there is a new blogpost! And please any tips and tricks for riding and soreness after let me know in the comments field. Thanks!