Stewarton Polo Club: FAQ's

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How Do I Start Polo
Initially it is a good idea to have a private lesson and then once you have learned the basics we can put you in a group of people of a similar standard.  We also run courses for those new to Polo.

Your First Lesson



First of all don't be nervous!  The ponies are all very quiet and we don't bite, we promise.  We will start you off on the ground using hand sticks so we can teach you the basic strokes without you having to worry about the horse.  After that we will pop you up on a horse and teach you to ride polo style.  Last of all we will put the two together and have you hitting the ball on the horse. 

The whole lesson is done at a speed you are comfortable with and even if you have never ridden before by the end of the lesson, you will be able to hit the ball with reasonable success on the horse.

 



I've Never Ridden Before. Can I learn to Play Polo
Yes! Stewarton Polo Club specialises in teaching people who have never ridden before how to play Polo. We have many people who have learnt to ride with us who now take part in chukkas.

Is it Expensive
It doesn't need to be any more expensive than any other equine sport, in fact in can be cheaper but like most sports the more seriously you take it the more expensive it becomes.

Contrary to popular belief it is not necessary to have several polo ponies, many of our members have just one pony and still have a lot of fun. We also buddy up members who only want to have a half share in a pony.

YOu can hire a pony from the club if you do not want to have you own, or if you have your own pony then your only cost is the membership plus the cost of keeping your pony at home or at livery.




What Do I Wear
When you start out, just wear normal riding gear or jeans and shoes with a heel, then if you become hooked on the sport like most people, you can buy proper Polo gear. Stewarton Polo Club sell most polo equipment and will be able to advise you of the the most suitable equipment for your needs.

What Do I Get For My Membership
Your membership entititles you to use all the club's facilities and to take part in all chukkas (practice matches) matches and tournaments at the club. There are no further fees for any of these unless you are hiring one of the club's ponies.

Stewarton Polo Club has a reciprocal arrangement with all the other polo clubs in Scotland which allows members from the club to take part in tournaments at other Scottish clubs without paying an entry fee.


Chukkas

 

Chukkas are periods of time in a match.  There are normally four chukkas in a match.

The chukka fee is the price you pay for hiring a horse for matches.  The fee is per chukka.  You do not have to play four chukkas though and can do two and swap in and out with somebody else that wants to play two.



How Much Does A Polo Pony Cost

In Scotland prices vary from £2500 for an old schoolmaster to £8000 for a more serious competition horse.

 



What About The Polo Ponies
Polo Ponies are usually Thoroughbreds or three quarter breds, between 14.2 and 16 hands high. They are unusual in that they have to be very quiet but also fast and agile. Someone once said an ideal Polo Pony would be a 40 mph, Donkey and that just about sums it up.

Can I Use My Own Horse
It is better to learn on ponies that have played the game before so that you can concentrate on your game rather than worrying about the pony. However, once you have played a bit, if you have a horse that fits the above description then there is no reason why you can't try and reschool your own horse, some horses adapt very well.

Will Polo Make Me Fit
Definitely! Any polo player will testify to the fact that playing polo will make you very fit. One of our members lost two stone when she started playing polo regularly.

Is There A Good Social Scene
We hold regular parties for our members and at every polo tournament there is usually a Barbeque. We are not averse to the old tipple after chukkas either!

Any Books or DVD's On the Subject
We highly recommend "Polo" by Peter Grace. It really does cover everything, from tack to tactics. You can get it at Amazon.co.uk. There is also an excellent DVD which every new player should buy call Polo Improving Your Game with Claire Tomlinson.



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