what are all the reins and attachments for?
My mom tried to get me to play Polo… No.
No? Polo is so much fun! You’re crazy for not wanting to play. You need to have full control of the horse at all times, when you have 8 horses galloping down a field at full speed, it only takes one to throw its head the wrong way or trip and flip to cause a frenzy. Its very dangerous, which is why the tack is necessary, not only for safety reasons but because the precision it takes to hit the ball at full speed is crazy, and if the horse decides to throw its head up too far, or spin around, etc, it can screw up the swing and/or hurt someone or itself. double reins aren’t always used, only when the extra control is necessary. (and notice the Pelham, double reins are necessary anyway.) Its nothing we don’t use in hunter/jumpers. it just looks like a lot more due to the way its set up and the thickness of the leathers.
❤️❤️❤️❤️ polo ponies
It’s not just double reins though, the reins on the snaffle ring look like draw reins?
Also polo ponies are fabulous but the tack DOES get over the top (although not so much in this case, it just looks like a lot when you have a separate breastplate and martingale) and I think justifying it with “it’s too dangerous otherwise” is not really any kind of a defence.
lol wut? stay safe over anything else, folks.
Or how about, “don’t put yourself and horses in a dangerous situation if the only way to control said situation is to slap a fuckton of tack on your horse”??
I’m not saying play polo and be dangerous. I’m saying that if it’s so dangerous you have no choice but to have a leveraged bit, draw reins AND a standing martingale and often a load of other crap on your horse just to prevent accidents then maybe there’s a deeper issue to be looked at.
as long as they can handle their horse and no one is getting hurt, it doesn’t seem to be your concern
You’re right. As long as no one has an accident, why give a shit how the horses are treated? Sacrifice their wellbeing and slap whatever ridiculous tack you like on them because as long as it prevents serious accidents there is nothing to worry about. I mean as long as my prong collar doesn’t actually pierce my dog’s throat, it’s none of your concern is it? It stops them from running into the road or pulling me over so?? People can do what they like to animals as long as it works out for the humans.
I’m not even saying polo is bad or that this is an issue in every case lol. I’m just saying that the tack thing IS an issue that’s pretty pervasive in polo and is worth addressing. Just like there are problems in every discipline.
riiiiight. you are aware that it’s possible to use a light hand, right? or do you ride so roughly that you don’t think anyone can do it?
Right, yeah, because clearly I can’t have a different opinion on things than you without being a shit rider?
I mean clearly your argument is so fucking sound that you feel the need to personally attack me rather than make any actual point.
What I don’t understand is the horses seem to love it and are well trained.. I get needing brakes on a happy gung-ho horse but that looks ridiculous and far too forceful.
I appreciate that folks who aren’t familiar with polo often initially react to the amount of tack (I know I sure did!), but I promise you that each and every piece has its purpose. Most polo ponies go in small gags or pelhams and the gag/curb rein is kept loose and only engaged when necessary. For the record, not all horses go in draw reins either either - it’s about what works best for the horse/rider combination out on the polo field. Any piece of tack in the wrong hands can be abusive - this is why people are taught (or should be taught) how to properly ride in polo tack. The well-being of the horse is always, ALWAYS the top priority.
I’d like to link you guys to two posts I wrote about polo and polo tack last year (having trouble embedding links right now, sorry!):
As always, if you have any questions feel free to drop me a note, ask box is open!
There’s 50-some rules in the playbook, 10 of them benefit the rider, and the rest are to protect the horses. That should be enough said, but there’s people who don’t understand it- and you won’t until you try the sport. These horses truly enjoy what they are doing, I have never seen a horse refuse to go on the field (or in the arena), they see the tack, they see the arena, the mallets, the ball, they know what’s coming and they walk out (or run out) to get started. Every piece of tack on there is for added protection and security to make sure nothing preventable goes wrong. Some horses get so excited they’ll run through a gag, so they need a little more and end up with a Pelham or a berry-gag to keep them safe, cuz a runaway on the field can get in trouble. Don’t judge it until you try it, not every person or horse can handle this sport- that’s why they’re called polo ponies. This guy looks pretty damn happy to be on the field to me!
To build on the point about the rules - for members of the United States Polo Association (USPA), every year we’re sent an updated “White Book” that contains the rules (and their interpretations!) and regulations for polo (there is no doubt in my mind that other governing bodies of the sport do something similar). If you’re interested, it’s available online in its entirety here: http://cdn.uspolo.org/files/2014_White_Book.pdf. The rules really are designed for the safety of the horse - there are consequences ranging from a foul being called to something far more serious if the rules are violated, accidental or not. All USPA member clubs also have an equine welfare representative.