Puesto Viejo – Luxury Polo Holiday Cañuelas Argentina
Cañuelas, although a seemingly normal suburban and slightly rural area of Buenos Aires, it is very famous in the polo world, as this is where the top polo player Adolfo Cambiaso has his farm. Although a smaller polo Disneyland than Pilar, it does boast a few private polo clubs with tournaments and polo activities. One of the biggest polo clubs in the area is Puesto Viejo, with 6 polo fields, a large clubhouse, where events are often held and a boutique hotel, where the service is splendid and every detail was perfect.
From the first conversation, to the reservation, everything went smoothly. I arrived late for my first polo lesson (I am not the best with driving directions, even with google maps), there was a bit of confusion at the barn, as I hadn’t showed up at the right time, but they quickly got a horse tacked up for me and off I went to join the others.
I met Chino, my new instructor, on the field. He immediately saw that I had learned a lot of different things from a lot of different people (yup and in a lot of different countries, too!). He also established immediately that my riding and my confidence was what needed to be improved. I was too stuck in the saddle, cause I was scared of falling off. Chino is brutally honest and to the point, and he would NOT let me get away with any excuses, which is great. Sometimes you need some tough love. He taught me that I wasn’t going to fall off by almost pulling me sideways off my horse, but I stuck on and that showed me, that I wasn’t going anywhere as long as my feet pushed against the stirrups and my knees went into the saddle.
A quick shower to cool off and it was time for lunch, 16 people around the table, from all over the world, literally, from New Zealand to America and several places in between. And the woman from New Zealand lives and plays in New York with one of my good friends, the world is so tiny! A three-course delicious feast was served. When booking the stay Puesto Viejo asks for any dietary restrictions.
After lunch it was time to relax and recover by the pool, overlooking the polo field. My best friend Tiller especially enjoyed the pool and tanning deck.
By 4 pm everyone was getting ready for chukkers, I felt that everyone was way more advanced than I was, so I didn’t want to join the chukkers and either get scared or slow the others down. The instructors were very understanding and Chino gave me a private stick and ball lesson after the others had finished their chukkers. We worked a lot on my riding, the first 30 minutes I didn’t even have a mallet in my hand, focused only on riding. Especially on changing leads when turning and on stopping (something that always scares me a bit).
Dinner was once again a feast, salad starter, steak main and delicious traditional desserts, everything prepared right there by the in-house chef. A few bottles of Malbec went down smoothly too.
By the time we made our way to the comfy beds, my tired, content and sore body slept like a baby. The natural alarm clock of mooing cows, roosters and the sunrise woke us up in the most delightful way, then opening the doors to all the natural beauty of Puesto Viejo was a great start to the day.
The early birds were already up and doing yoga with the instructor. A full breakfast with fresh eggs to order, fruit, pastries, bread, cereals and yoghurts, better than most hotel-chain breakfasts, that’s for sure (and way better than the granola bars I had been living off before).
The schedule was switched around that day as many of the other guests wanted to go shopping in the afternoon, so to accommodate that the instructors swapped the chukkers to morning and stick and ball to the afternoon. I still wasn’t feeling up for chukkers, so instead Tiller and I went for a hack around the grounds, and what beautiful grounds they are.
Another stick and ball sessions in the afternoon had me feeling much more confident. I practiced a lot of start and stop, cantering, checking up, then turning and starting again, this was something that scared me a lot before as I always felt that I would do a roly-poly over the horse’s neck, but Chino taught me how to do it properly and confidently. Once I had the stopping under control I was more confident in my canter, which improved my swing, voila!
Those two days went by so fast, lots of riding and lots of yummy food is my summary of it, Tiller really enjoyed the pool and the food and Malbec wine. That evening the other guests enjoyed themselves with tango lessons in the clubhouse, we, unfortunately, couldn’t stay as we had to get back to Pilar for an event. I can definitely recommend Puesto Viejo for a polo holiday, whether you are a beginner or more experienced polo player, they can accommodate all levels and set up a program that will suit your needs and interests.
Send me an e-mail through the contact form if you would like to know more.