Polo Horses: Everything You Need To Know About Them | Kidadl


Polo Horses: Everything You Need To Know About Them

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Horse polo is a popular sport.

The polo horse has become a popular name thanks to its contribution and role in this game. Polo ponies or polo horses are trained and made to eat in ways to ensure that they are apt for a game of polo.

Over the years, there have been so many games that have transitioned from the royal greens to the ordinary turf, horse polo being one of them! Besides the technical details, the interesting history of the sport is one of the most interesting parts of the sport.

Polo ponies are distinctive and not exactly used as regular horses. The dynamics of the polo ponies are of primary importance in polo swing. There are distinct characteristics in polo ponies, and these contribute to the polo riding specifics. More than all of this, players have a very unique way of communicating with most polo ponies. After all, a polo match is a team game.

Without the right polo horse, the plan to play polo does not move any further. Even in a polo pony, there are few qualities that help experts understand if the polo pony can be considered a full-sized polo horse. Both the mental and physical fitness of the polo horse comes into consideration.

These qualities are adjudged only from the perspective of an expert. There is no way to test these as a novice. Becoming a polo horse needs proper training and targeted behavioral training sessions.

What size are polo horses?

A polo pony comes in different sizes. Mostly a standard modern-day polo horse measures about 6 inches, height-wise. Taller horses are also common. Most horses belong to any of the four breeds-Thoroughbred, Thoroughbred Quarter Horses, Argentine polo pony, and the Manipuri breed.

Being an equestrian sport of ancient times, such horses used on a polo field or for regular polo would be of select breeds through generations. This helped create genetic matches of high efficiency for this popular sport.

As one of the popular sports, polo needs agility, endurance, and above all, speed. All these polo club horse breeds fulfill all these sports-based requirements for the riders or rider player to play. The top qualities trainers and polo players look for are certain qualities in a horse that is being considered for polo matches or polo clubs/arena polo. They are speed, agile, sure-footed, motivated, sociable, trained, well-balanced, trustworthy, mildly tempered, physically fit.

What are polo horses called?

As for a polo pony, the term describes any horse used as a player of polo, but this is no breed in itself. While a polo pony or field polo ponies could be referred to by such a name, these are full-size horses that come with the capability of top-notch athletic performances. Take a look at the polo horse breed types popular seen across the game that a rider plays with. After all, this is a play of speed and quick bursts, even for a smaller arena.

ThoroughbredThis category of polo horse is known for its strength, speed, and agility. They are the first rankers in terms of preferences or choice of a polo horse or polo ponies amongst other breeds. This breed is common across the USA. These horses are actually cross-bred. In the USA alone, 75% of horses are Thoroughbred. These horses come with strong hindquarters. This allows it to take on high speeds while running for a longer duration. Stamina levels of these animals are high as well, thanks to the breeding years for this popular breed.

Argentine Polo Horse: This is a Thoroughbred and the Argentina criollo cross. The latter is a breed of working horses and has a high agility level. The Thoroughbreds, when bred with the criollo, result in a breed that is higher in endurance than other horses. The breed is commonly called Argentine polo pony or the Argentine Anglo.

Thoroughbred-Quarter Horse: These polo horses are offsprings of the quarter horse and Thoroughbreds. They have immense endurance and speed. These animals are a favorite for equestrian events and are even seen across barrel races and ranches as workhorses. The build and make allow these horses to take very quick turns while also achieving rapid acceleration.

Manipuri Breed: One of the original polo horse breeds, these horses are native to the Indian state of Manipur. They had earlier been employed as military cavalries but transitioned into popular polo horses. The horses are typically short, ranging between 44-52 in (111.76- 132 cm). Therefore, players need to use mallets with shafts that are short.

Are polo horses male or female?

Polo horses are female primarily. A polo horse is generally a mare despite few males also being used for riding in the sport at times. Mares are more preferred when compared to stallions or gelded males. This is because they come with a softer temperament, and this makes them best suited for trainers.

Mares are a better option because they can be employed for breeding, too, besides just being played on the field. This adds another stream of income to polo players who often take an interest in horse breeding as well. Many polo enthusiasts keep fillies for a match and sell off the colts for breeding farm usage.

Woman horse polo player

Is polo cruel to horses?

No, polo as a sport is not cruel to a polo horse or polo pony. Organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States is a governing body amongst others that keep a tab on incidents that might be tagged cruelty in the field of sports. However, no notable incident has been tagged as cruel in the context of horse polo.

However, in around 2009, 21 polo horses fell to their death all at once or around the same time. The incident occurred at a club in Florida and raised concerns about the possibility of performance-enhancing drugs in the horses for sports purposes. Investigations, however, labeled the cause of death as the wrong dosage of supplement administration.

Horse polo, as a game, doesn’t put much pressure on the horses because a horse is naturally intended to run and keep agile even in the wild. In fact, running is natural gift horses have, and there are jumping movements while playing that could possibly damage the legs in a polo horse. The horses for polo are also protected with a polo mallet too. It is healthier for the horse and its legs to engage in polo instead of staying locked in a stable.

Since polo is a contact sport, horses are well-groomed with tails plaited and taken care of well. Polo horse mane is specifically smooth due to grooming. They are safe on the field unless they are pushed to overperform during play. These horses/ponies are also fed with the best foods, supplements as well as electrolytes since riders compete with team members based on the horses. They are medically checked from time to time and well maintained on a regular basis.

Did you know?

While it looks breezy as a mare indulges in some high-energy polo, training them is one huge journey to undertake. The path is not just uncertain but also marked with challenges galore. The polo horse is in no way forced or coerced into learning. The trainer rather accepts setbacks and time gaps for the horse as part of the training schedule.

The basic movement for polo is what is first revealed to most horses. Rollback, quick acceleration, and rollbacks are the first steps that the trainer teaches a pony polo. They are eventually trained to be part of a polo team. The first stage of the ball game for the flat ground is played in slow chukkies for the horse to get comfortable.

However, there is no specific time frame for a high-speed horse to absorb the game and its nuances completely. As per the ability of the horse/pony, it takes between a few months to even a few years for the pony to grasp the game of polo, as per the full speed-based abilities of the ponies. These ponies barely have to worry about injuries on the playing field unless the player or rider is extremely careless.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for polo horse, then why not take a look at how long can a horse run or horse facts?

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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