This was no gimmick.
Before starting the game my brother-in-law, Kent, and my twin sister, Chipley, instructed me while on the ground in how to use the racket to pick up, catch and throw the ball. Kent told me this game is a great, fun way to improve riding skills. “Because you take your mind off riding and have fun with the game,” Kent assured me.
“What? I am not even able to manage this ball here on the ground!” I protested all the while noticing their five grown children did not even need to practice!
Kent is my riding instructor/trainer. He is an excellent horseman and has sharpened my riding skills enormously over the years. He is quiet and tough. I realized there was no option, I was playing and improving my riding skills. Kent said so.
His one daughter, Esther, himself and I made up one team. Chipley was the referee and photographer. Their other four grown, talented children comprised our opposing team. “At least I will not get killed since Kent and Esther are my teammates,” I thought while breathing a sigh of relief. Kent loves the game and Esther played on the Colorado State University Polo Team while in college. To be one of their opponents is not for the faint of heart! Most especially since I am a greenhorn.
We lined up. One behind the other facing Chipley as she tossed the ball onto the playing field. Suddenly an explosion of laughter, yells for, “Here, Here, get it, get it!”, hitting rackets and horses running filled the wild western air as a flood. Running with their ears laid back, like chasing down a calf, these horses enjoy going after that ball as much as the riders! Kent was right! I did take my mind off riding. I was riding my “polo” pony, Flicka, like a downright crazy woman, and the two of us were going for the goal! Chipley actually got a picture of me smacking Flicka to go faster!!
There was a country song recently out on the radio. The artist and title are lost in memory, but one line I do remember. The singer declares,”I ain’t never had too much fun.” Obviously he has never played polocrosse on a pretty pony nor felt the joy of a game, family fun, fresh air and all the while improving the skill of the passion of one’s life—-riding horses.
Oh! One more thing. My team won, 3-2, and I was one to score of those points!
I want to go back out west. I want to play polocrosse again.