Adventure #16 – Polo Lessons

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There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.  ~Winston Churchill

Hiatus OVER!

If you follow our little blog you may have noticed we have been on a bit of a hiatus.   We are a strong, collective group of 10.  When Tracy and Kelly both moved away from the area we took it hard.  There have been times when one or two of us couldn’t make it to an adventure for one reason or another, but this was different.  The dynamic had changed a bit.  We all bring something wonderful to the group and when one or two are missing it is not easy.  Life moved on and we all have been dealt a few blows this past year.  That didn’t make it any easier.  But, it was time to get back on the saddle . So I thought what better way to get back on the saddle than to ACTUALLY get on the saddle….with mallets and lots o’balls.  POLO balls, you dirty birds.

bals

I can’t even remember how I landed on Polo lessons for Adventure #16.  I always try to choose adventures that I know will give me butterflies and scare me silly.  I also knew from conversations with the girls through the years that it would stretch them, as well.

Phone Calls to Columbia

I am a bit of an over-planner.  I was relentless with my emails and phone calls to the instructor.  “Will there be enough horses?”  “We are all beginners, just so you know.”  “Are tennis shoes ok?”  “Do you think we will be ok?”  You get the picture.  My emails and phone calls were either not answered or I was sent a curt, “Yes, no or maybe.”  One time I called her and she was in Columbia.  She said, “I can’t hear you.”  dial tone.  I was a little nervous about what it would be like when we got there.   I will not go into too many details because in the end we left happy and fulfilled.  And to be perfectly honest,  I am scared out of my ever-loving mind that I will get my clock rung if I share the details.  Let’s just say she is tough.

Helmet Sqeevies

Patty doesn’t like lice. She now comes equipped with a beanie to put on her head just in case there is a helmet involved.  And the helmets…oh my word.  If you were there you would think we were picking out our dresses for the Golden Globes.  Those late to the helmet wall were left with the football helmets.  Once our heads were fashionably outfitted we were told to head to the barn and pick out a horse.  Tina and I were both a bit nervous so we asked for the calm, less frisky horses.  One of us got our wish and one of us did not. One guess who was saddled with “Horny Henry.”   Check out Tina and Heather trying to figure out the helmet cam, mainly to see the football helmet.

Stacy Lays Down the Law

Stacy was given a horse that just wasn’t feeling like being a good girl.  She took off running a few minutes into our lesson.  Stacy was not down with that.  She let us know she was calling it quits.  We looked over and said an encouraging, “You can do this.”  I was riding next to her and if there is one thing I have learned about Stacy through the years it is this; she says what she means and she means what she says.  She was done.  For the record, I would have been, as well.  That horse was not having any of this polo nonsense. Later that same day when Stacy showed the videos to her husband he laughed and said something along the lines of, “Are you sure those aren’t camels?  They are awfully slow.”  Oh Phil…I oughta….

It looks easy, folks.  It is not.  I have so much more respect for riders now, including my own daughter. But, to every cloud there is a silver lining.  If Stacy had not jumped off that horse we would not have this video footage.  You know the saying, “I can’t make this stuff up.”   Just focus on the audio…especially the last few seconds.  Can you take it? I can’t. stop. laughing.

Despite the “tough love” we felt ready to move to the outdoor arena.  I think Tina and Patty thought it was a lake at first?  In their defense Stacy has a watering eye and Patty is in her 40’s now.

Here we are heading to the “lake!”

lake

Ohhh….they are supposed to all go in the same direction. Yay, that’s not going to happen.

…and it didn’t. But, we actually learned to whack those balls.  My horsey was as sweet as could be, but was smitten with Suzy’s horse.  He showed his affection by doing the following:  showing aggression, sniffing her butt, pooping as she walked by, attempting to eat that poop when she rounded back around.  I miss him.

Once again, Kelly and Maryhelen led the pack.  Kelly was kind of a big deal.  She not only hit all of the balls, but they went further than a foot.  This isn’t the first time she has showed us all up.  Remember the cave where she scaled the walls?   Maryhelen wanted to trot towards the end of the lesson.  Our instructor let us know she would think about it.  I think right about now she is thinking, “Oh shoot, I forgot to let the skinny girl trot.”

I saw this beautiful quote and picture about friendship and had to share.

horse_friendship-cf2bce3bc9d2621ceeadbe3c5ad8a326

It made me so happy and laugh at the same time.  I thought of the kitty with the missing tail on the farm and Stacy’s horse.  I wonder if they would smooch like that?

kitty

Sweet little kitty.

They will never tear us apart

I do know one thing.  There is NO WAY I can ever go as long as we did between visits.  I feel so inspired and feel like I am walking on air for days after spending the day with them. I realize that one day our bodies will scream, ENOUGH!  But, we will find a way to adventure together.  Maybe Tina’s dream of going in topless in public will come true.  That shouldn’t be strenuous at age 80, right?  Tina, in 2053, I will make that happen for you.

All joking aside…thank you to our tough love instructor.  She was hard-core, but she helped us overcome a few more fears.

Here we are….the 2013 Polo Champions of the World.

kelly

tina

lisa

suzy

mhlean

heather

patty

kath2

stacy

This picture of Stacy cracks me up.

Our instructor discussed with us how a horse can help with anxiety and depression. You could tell that she adored her horses and knew they were capable of doing so much more than just carry us from one place to another.   I can totally see that.  After the initial fear subsided I did feel sense of calm.

Until next time, my beautiful equestrians.   Next up!  Tina.  Can’t wait to find out what Spunky has planned for us in May.

One last thing: Lisa is a rockstar.  Despite foot injury and surgery she still got on the horse.  My girls are strong mammajammas.

A few more videos…

 

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