So I just want to say that starting now, whenever I wear polo’s, I’m not a poser anymore haha! Hey, I didn’t say I was any good… I’m just saying I’ve officially played polo now! The best part about the whole experience was that 1.) It was in the POLO CAPITAL OF THE WORLD and 2.) Fernando was not only an awesome instructor but a genuine guy as well. That always makes for a better experience.
So we began by meeting up with Fernando inside the city at a familiar location for the both of us. We then rode with him out to the polo farm(I don’t know exactly what to call it), and after a 45 min ride he prepared our horses and we began. The farm and countryside were absolutely beautiful and it was a nice reminder of home. It was also a nice break from the always moving city of Buenos Aires. Muy tranquilo
Before I say anything else, let me inform you that I have never ridden a horse before. That’s if you don’t count the pony I rode in the 4th grade. In my defense that pony had some speed… With that being said, we started out by getting some basic instruction and a feel for riding the horses. If you’ve seen the movie Django, there is a scene where a bunch of the guys are all riding their horses in diffirent directions because they couldn’t see out of there masks. It was basically like that in the beginning, except we weren’t riding blind haha. In the beginning we were instructed to simply follow him but occasionally our horses would veer off because we were so bad at controlling them. Fernando has some serious patience because there is no way I’d be able to teach myself if I was him haha. That’s how you can tell he really has a passion for the game though, which is who you want to teach you the game. The funny thing is that I believe the horse I used is going to play against a top 10 team in Argentina… Which means A) I was lucky, and B) I had no excuse for messing up haha. The horse was awesome!
After getting familiar with our horses Fernando gave us our polo sticks and we began to practice. After some technical explanation of how to swing and a lot of practice (I whiffed the ball at least 20 times) we took a break. After our break we hopped on our horses again and got a basic explanation of the rules. Then my friend from Kansas and I played a game against each other and without hesitation I will say that I WON. If you saw the game you would literally laugh out loud… I watched some video Fernando took for us and it was HILARIOUS! That’s all I have to say jaja.
After I claimed bragging rights I was brought back to reality when my Kansas friend and I played against Fernando. He took a 2-0 lead early but we came back. I’m sure he didn’t let us score or anything (sarcasm)… After we got done we got the privilege of watching Fernando and his team practice for some upcoming matches. Their tempo was amazing. Riding a horse full speed and hitting a ball that small takes some serious skill. It was a pleasure watching it. He also invited me to go watch one of his matches which I really hope I’m able to do.
We really got a good understanding of some things that not a lot of people get the privilege of learning. Like how each horse has a different personality and how that affects their game.
The ride back was nice as well. We talked about a few different topics but I will really remember one thing he said about learning another language. He said that learning a new language is good for you because it broadens your mind and makes you think outside of the box. I know what he meant because I saw a study before I came to Argentina about how knowing more than one language forces you to work your brain more. It’s funny because he just knew that from experience while I only read that in an article. Learning spanish intensively right now is helping me understand exactly what he meant. It’s hard to explain, but if you learn another language you will know what he is talking about.
Playing polo was an extraordinary experience, but the real prize was getting to experience another part of the Argentine culture. To wrap it up, I recommend that all of my friends and anyone else that is visiting Argentina to contact Fernando and POLOELITE to have a truly awesome and unique experience. Argentina is the place to do it and Fernando is guy to contact!
- I really thought if I wore a polo it would make me play better. Especially since my polo was Argentine colors. It turns out that polos have no effect on your game.
- Riding a horse for your first time makes your butt sore…. NO PAIN, NO GAIN!