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Our Disciplines

Polo Projects > Our Disciplines

What have in common all our Polo Projects?

 

You will always find the following disciplines within our Polo Projects*

 

Polo Game of Kings, as it is worldwide known.

 

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Polo is also commonly called a “gentlemen’s sport,” when in reality, almost 40% of players today are women, a number which is still growing. Actually, Polo is the only contact co-ed sport played professionally today. But this is not the only one reason why Polo is an amazing sport everyone should try.

 

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The love and intrigue of Horses can start at an early age and soon thereafter be part of your Life

Your horse becomes your Loyal & Trusted companion.

 

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Picture this: You are on an expanse of green grass nine times the size of a football field. Beneath you an athletic thoroughbred stands poised, ready to leap into a gallop at your signal. Two sets of reins are threaded through your left hand, while your right grips four feet of specially made bamboo. At the umpire’s whistle, you and seven other riders take off after a white plastic ball, hurdling at almost 40 mph towards goal.

 

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Many already know that Polo is a fast sport played on horseback, using a mallet to hit a ball into a goal. It is played either on a field or in an arena, and the rules vary slightly for each. In field Polo there are typically four players on each team. Play is broken up into seven-minute periods called chukkers, and riders change mounts after every chukker. During high goal matches—which normally consist of 6 chukkers—Polo ponies can run one or even two miles and therefore always given a respite after playing.

Polo isn’t just confined to horseback either. Camel Polo, Bike Polo, and Elephant Polo all also exist, if horses seem like too tame an option.

 

Beach Polo

Beach Polo is a team sport that was directly derived from Polo. the gameplay is exactly similar to that of Polo, where players play the game on horsebacks with mallets and a ball. It is a close variant to Arena Polo. The sport was invented by Rashid Al Habtoor and Sam Katiela of Dubai in 2004, and soon began to spread to Polo playing nations around the world.

The major difference between Beach Polo and Polo is the surface on which games are played. Beach Polo is played on sand covered fields rather than grass surfaces used for regular Polo.

 

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The playing field used for Beach Polo is smaller of regular Polo. In addition, for beach Polo, the edges of the field are padded with sideboards, so there are no out-of-bounds and the ball is always in play. The other significant difference from Polo is that there are only three players per team instead of four as in regular polo. The ball used is an inflated rubber or a leather ball which is at least 12.5 inches in circumference.

A match is played for four seven-minute periods. The target is same as other forms of Polo, which is to score as many goals as possible by striking the ball through the goalposts.

 

Cross-Country

Cross-country equestrianism is a horse-riding endurance test that forms one of the three parts of the sport of eventing (the others are Dressage and Show jumping). The sport tests the speed, endurance and jumping ability of the horse. The cross-country course is usually between 4.5 and 6 km long, comprising between 24 to 36 fixed and solid obstacles. The aim is to complete the course with as few penalties as possible. The lowest score wins.

 

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Cross-Country equestrianism may also be held as a competition in its own right (also known as hunter trials), although these tend to be for lower level, local competitions.

Cross Country Jumping is not a competition for the faint of heart. It is a division of equitation requiring the cross-country horse to showcase endurance, tenacity, grit, courage, resilience, as well as a “My greatest competition is myself” kind of an attitude. It is a discipline, or an event depending on who you ask, that pushes a rider and her cross-country horse to her physical and mental limits while simultaneously immersing everyone involved in an exhilarating experience. The demands for the competition are high, but the rewards reaped by the champions are far higher. Such is the draw to this intense style of competition.

 

Dressage

 

The word ‘dressage’ comes from the French term, ‘dresseur’ meaning ‘training’ and adding just a few minutes of it into your daily routine can help in many ways.

Dressage is all about learning to work with your horse and help him achieve greater suppleness, flexibility and obedience; enhance his natural movements and ability and improve his athleticism. 

 

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It’s for exactly these reasons that dressage was originally developed by the cavalry in the 17th century – after all, having an unresponsive or undisciplined horse on the battlefield could have meant the difference between life or death. Only later did it develop into some of the more flamboyant moves still seen today at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.  As with many equestrian sports, necessity on the battlefield, developed into the sporting spectacle we now enjoy.

As a sport, dressage is all about putting training into practice in front of a judge (or judges) to show how the horse’s development is progressing against a set ideal.  From the lowest level to the pinnacle, horse and rider perform movements in a rectangular arena and are awarded marks for their efforts by a judge or panel of judges.  

 

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Dressage is a sport for any rider – it is up to you how far you want to take it. But be warned, it can become addictive!

 

Show jumping

 

Horses and their riders have been jumping over natural obstacles together for a very long time (in fact, millennia), at first in the ordinary course of going places, and then, many centuries ago, for sport (hunting) and war.

 

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However, it was not until the 19th century that jumping became a particularly admired, special equestrian skill. 

In the beginning, show jumping courses lacked originality and often only included straight bar jumps and an occasional water jump. Time was not a factor at first, and circling between obstacles was not penalized for many years.

The first set of rules for show jumping gave penalties depending on which leg hit the fence. This was another bit taken from foxhunting, as it was (and still is) more dangerous for a horse to hit a jump with his front legs.

Show jumping made its first Olympic appearance in 1900, and it reappeared in 1912 at the Stockholm, Sweden, Games. The Stockholm course had 15 jumps, and some of them were contested more than once. The jumps were about 4’7” high, and the water jump was 13’ wide. Through the years, until today, the fences have been growing in width, length and height.

 

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Show jumping has come a long way since it was primarily a matter of a single high jump and a broad jump; it is now a fully fleshed-out, varied, exciting, beautiful display of riding skill and subtlety and equine talent, athleticism and courage. To see it at its best is to enjoy one of the oldest forms of sporting collaboration between man and horse translated into modern terms.

 

Equestrian Archery

Equestrian archery is a fast-paced adrenaline ride that blends speed with accuracy. If archery wasn’t challenging enough, imagine trying to shoot targets while controlling a horse galloping faster than 30 mph.

 

History

Equestrian archery’s rich history includes armies of mounted archers fighting on Asian steppes and Native Americans hunting buffalo on the American plains. Equestrian archery today is a serious sport in Asia, Europe and the United States, i.e., in Japan the tradition of horse-archery events dates back 400 years

In this sport you are not alone, but part of a team with your horse.

Equestrian archery is part of cultures throughout the world, and its varying competitive formats reflect every culture’s traditions.

 

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Techniques

Horseback archers use shooting techniques that differ from those seen in the Olympics. Olympic archers methodically shoot their arrows, repeating the same technique over and over.

Equestrian archery, by its nature, is a very dynamic type of shooting, passing multiple targets at speeds up to about 55 kph, with angle and distance to the target constantly changing… here is when your instinct appears.

Horseback archers don’t use sights. They rely on a combination of muscle memory, hand-eye coordination, arrow trajectory and subconscious distance calculations to the target. Shooting quickly while controlling a galloping horse are just some of the sport’s unique challenges.

 

Therapeutic Riding Programs

Equine-assisted therapies are programs where professionals guide clients through activities with horses. There are different kinds of equine programs, and they have different goals for the people involved. Some programs are part of mental health treatment. In other cases, clients ride horses as part of a physical or occupational therapy regimen.

Therapeutic riding programs use specially trained horses alongside staff with professional training in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Clients of Our Polo Projects will be able to work toward various goals, depending on what their needs are.

 

 

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Therapeutic riding programs of help people with a variety of special needs, including:

  • Amputation

  • Autism

  • Asperger´s

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Inattention and hyperactivity (ADHD)

  • Trauma and posttraumatic stress (PTSD)

  • Down syndrome

  • Emotional or behavioral difficulties

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Paralysis

  • Spina bifida

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Bullying

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Visual and auditory disabilities

Riding is also good exercise and a lot of fun, for both adults & children. People who may have physical limitations and can’t participate in other recreational activities find riding to be an enjoyable way to spend time.

 

 

*Disciplines may vary depending on the size & features of the location.