I was a little nervous about my first polo lesson at JF Polo Academy, but soon to find out I had no reason to be...
I arrived at the immaculate stables in Great Barrow (only 6 miles outside of Chester city centre) and James set about getting our 2 ponies ready – Izzy and Garantia – both of them incredibly well behaved and very gorgeous. Hats on and it was time to go, and after a not-so-elegant mount, I was in the saddle and feeling remarkably relaxed.
We rode into the field whilst I listened intently to James’ directions for a good half an hour; I felt happy and confident, James is patient and extremely clear – and rather importantly doesn’t make you feel like a complete idiot! It was also a beautiful crisp, sunny afternoon so my experience was already turning out to be so much better than I had nervously anticipated, I was rather enjoying myself!
We rode our ponies back into the stables for 10 minutes or so when it was time to get onto Woody (the wooden horse) for swinging practice. After a less elegant mount than before, I finally got up and James gave me some pointers. Yes, of course I missed a few times (more than a few), but I understood what I needed to do when back on the real thing, so we went and fetched our ponies and it was back in the field, this time with stick and ball.
The next 40 minutes was FABULOUS! Despite my complete novice status I had the best time ever, and with some degree of confidence I happily trotted round the field on Garantia (I think she liked me!), trying to hit the balls (which was a bit ‘hit & miss’ to be fair), thoroughly enjoying myself.
You don’t need to join an exclusive club or shell out for loads of expensive gear, this is pay-as-you-go polo for EVERYONE.
I’m booked in again next week and think this may well become my new hobby. Can't recommend highly enough!
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