Skip to content

Riding in Polo II

Tips to improve

Whoever sits on a horse should learn the mechanisms of their movements. You will get the most out of your horse by using your stirrups (platforms) frequently. The flexibility of the knee will absorb the shock given by the seat, and it will provide adequate distance between your hand and the ball (calibre).

You should manage the horse’s energy (posterior members) between your legs and (mouth) with your hands (reins). This will improve your riding. You should have a good touch, sensitive on the reins, and be familiar with the available aids since these are tools of communication between the rider and the horse. In order to have a good touch, we must have good posture, and leg positioning is the basis of such (half-seat and platform).

Don’t be a prisoner of the reins (drawn short); steer with freedom using loose reins; this is good for you and your horse. The reins link the horses mouth to our hands, and to the game. It is of vital importance to learn to steer the horse with both hands and use the stick to check, turn and stop, especially since 95% of the game is spent managing the horse, while only 5% is spent striking the ball.

Good hands don’t exist without the help of corporal aids. Learn to place your horse in perfect relation to the ball. This will facilitate the strike. When you strike the ball (contact), independence between the riding hand and the seat (platform) is indispensable. This is the secret to handling the horse successfully.

In the plays that start from a standstill, before the ball is placed in motion, prepare your horse with a touch of the whip, adjusting the reins, and a tap of the heels. This will ready the horse for a quick reaction. The harmonious, well-balanced horse will offer frank support from the bit; this support will be lighter when the neck is more sensitive and the head is lighter.

Squeeze your knees against the saddle and it will be possible to move your feet backwards or forwards in relation to your torso. In this manner, you will be balanced with your horse. The less you move around on the horse, the easier it will move. If your stirrups are not the right length, it will be harder to change positions in the saddle – full-seat, half-seat, standing.

You will not achieve greater speed using spurs – this is what the whip is for. Beware: excess use is not advantageous.
Do not force the horse unnecessarily; instead, administer its strength. To do so you must bear in mind factors such as the ground, climate, adversaries, and the position of play – attacking is not the same as defending.