What is horse polo?
Horse polo is a physically demanding sport, both for rider and horse. As a rule, the horses gallop all the time they are on the field, and for the rider it is important to be able to control the horse, to be able to balance while bending down to the side to hit the ball, and to concentrate on the strategy and the team of the opposing team. Horse polo, like ice hockey or rugby, is a contact sport: it is allowed to “body check” your opponent by pushing the team away from its riding path. To be successful in the sport, one must therefore not only be a skilled rider but also have a strong and capable horse.?
Along with the polo player’s skill, the horse he sits on is the decisive factor in the outcome of a polo match. According to the international regulations, it is allowed to use any breed of horse when playing polo. But due to the demanding nature of the sport, horses with special characteristics have been bred. The horses used in horse polo are called polo ponies. They are not a uniform breed of horse, nor are they true ponies. They have come to be called ponies because it was decided in the 1890s that a polo pony’s height at the withers could not exceed the then permitted height at the withers for a normal pony, 147 cm. Today, the average height at the withers of a polo pony is approximately 150 cm.