Best Polo Pony Breeds

Earl Hamilton
• Friday, 25 December, 2020
• 8 min read

The preferred height rose when the game of polo migrated to the West. The ideal polo pony has a combination of speed, intelligence and endurance, as well as a love of the game.

polo breed pony grey
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A polo pony must have strong leg bones to be able to carry riders at full speed and turn or stop at a second’s notice. Many experienced polo ponies develop an ability to anticipate the roll of the ball and precede it to its destination.

Breeding has given the thoroughbred stamina to carry the creature over long distances at high speed. Like thoroughbred polo horses, these animals have the speed and the stamina to compete in the fast-paced game.

Their agility enables polo horses of this crossbreed lineage to make quick directional changes. The Argentine polo pony is a cross between the thoroughbred and a native Argentinian breed called the Criollo.

Unlike the quarter horse, the Criollo is typically bred for endurance rather than speed. Polo “ponies” range in size from 14h2 to 15h2, although there are taller horses being used.

For a novice player it’s best to start with an older horse that already knows the game. She taught me a lot about the game and carried me to the ball every time.

polo breed pony bay
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As a beginner you’re more likely to hit the ball and get to the play if you’re not traveling 30 miles an hour. (He now has Thoroughbred or Argentine polo horses that he leases to club and players throughout the Pacific Northwest and California.

You want a horse with quick reflexes that can stop, turn and change direction easily. Horses that have participated in drill teams have some skills necessary such as riding in a clump and moving laterally easily.

Polo horses also need to be quiet enough to stand tied to a trailer for an afternoon, waiting to play and then waiting to go home while players socialize. They are hardy horses with brawny, strong bodies with broad chests and well-sprung ribs.

Their legendary endurance makes them a natural for the game of polo. Argentine Polyphony Although the Argentine Polo Ponies are not an official breed, Argentina is recognized the world over for their fine polo horses, a cross between Thoroughbred & Criollo blood.

For competition, polo ponies have their manes roached and tails braided so that there is no danger of being tangled in the mallet. Depending on time and location, the height of polo ponies has varied from about 13 hands (52 inches, 132 cm) in the sixteenth century to modern horses of 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) and over.

polo cambiaso adolfo horse kings pony sport breeds
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True pony breeds typically stand a maximum of 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm). Polo ponies need to be trained so that they are not afraid to bump into other horses, and not to shy at the ball or at mallets swinging near their heads.

Thus, there are significant costs of ownership and time required for exercise and conditioning of a polo string. Today, polo ponies in competition often have their dock trimmed or shaved, and the skirt of the tail is braided and folded up against the tailbone.

The Polyphony requires speed, stamina (since his work is done at a gallop), courage and very good balance. For the sake of balance, a fairly long, well muscled neck that is in no way heavy is absolutely essential for the Polyphony.

Prominent withers with good, strong shoulders are also an essential attribute if the pony is to be sufficiently handy. Limbs and joints must be strong and correctly made for the pony to endure the rigorous game and to be able to accelerate, turn and stop quickly.

Hooves need to be completely sound, as polo grounds are often hard and the game is played at a full gallop. Concurrently with this they are played, slowly at first, and they generally improve as they gain experience of the game. Preparations for the game include braiding of the pony's tail in a polo bang so that the stick does not get caught in it; the placing of protective boots on all four legs; and meticulous inspection of all tack to prevent accidents during the play.

polo pony horse wikipedia yorkshire coach
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Britain was the first western country to play polo and used to have a Polyphony Stud Book based on native pony mares crossed with small Thoroughbreds. The Argentina Polyphony seems to have an inbred talent for the game in much the same way that a cow pony works cattle instinctively.

The pony is the most important factor, other than the skill of the player and often times in history it has been the qualities of a Polyphony who determined the winner of a game. Reproduction of any portion of this copyrighted website without written permission of the publisher is prohibited and subject to legal action.

These animals are bred to be quick, strong, agile & to handle the rigorous life of a polo horse with ease. Breeding is controlled closely by Argentine breeders & only proven horses are bred to retain their good qualities.

The Argentine Polyphony, as its name implies, originated in Argentina and is mainly used for polo, an ancient equine sport developed in the Orient over two thousand years ago. While not technically a breed, the Argentine Polyphony is very common, which is directly attributed to the popularity of the sport of polo.

Physical Characteristics The Argentine Polyphony may look as beautiful as any other horse, but it is highly sought after because of its speed, stamina, and endurance. Standing about 14.2 to 15 hands high (57-60 inches, 144-152 centimeters), the Argentine Polyphony is relatively small, though this is important for the sport of polo.

polo ponies pony horse criollo breed lapolo nonpareil manipuri bhutia spiti breeds thoroughbred argentine
(Source: www.lapolo.in)

Always alert and unfailingly obedient, the horse is sensitive to signals and commands from its rider. Manipur “ponies” in India were the first to be used extensively, though polo enthusiasts soon realized the Argentine Criollo possessed the vital qualities of toughness, calmness, and stamina for polo.

Known for its astounding stamina and disease-resistant power, the very popular Criollo is widely adored for its style and refinement. Pronunciation Cree-o-low Also known as Argentine Criollo, Criollo (Brazil), Content / Morocco (Peru), Corral (Chile), Leaner (Venezuela) Temperament Independent, tenacious, strong, aloof Physical Characteristics Medium-sized straight to convex head; medium stature, muscular neck; short back; well-sprung ribs; brawny quarters; little cannon bones; dense mane and tail hair Colors Line-backed dun, buckskin, palomino, blue or strawberry roan, black, chestnut, grille, bay, brown, gray and over colors Common Use Endurance riding; general riding; as saddle horse; work with livestock Life Expectancy 40 years Weight Medium Height (size) 14.3 hands (average) Health Generally healthy, no known breed-specific diseases Gained Some are gained while others not Popular Traits Endurance capabilities, living in harsh conditions, disease-resistance Feeding/Diet Frugal eaters; can thrive on little grass Country of Origin Argentina, Uruguay Year/Time of Development 16th Century In 1535, purebred Andalusian stallions were imported to South America by Pedro de Mendoza from Spain.

Over the decades, these horses bred in the wild, thus adapting themselves to the harsh climatic conditions of the region, ready to withstand the rough winters and the dry summers. These horses were captured by Native Indians, the Gauchos and early European settlers to be used as pack animals.

The new standard defined an individual’s characteristics with a much tall and leggy structure, a square body, and a more angular hock. In Argentina, an endurance ride for the Criollo's is held every year that lasts for 15 days, covering 750 km.

At one point in the journey, they reached an altitude of 19,250 feet, and also crossed 93 miles of desert in Ecuador in 120-degree heat without drinking water. Thus, the Icelandic horse has its origin in a herd of preselected, high quality individuals who had to survive the rough trip on a Viking longship across the Atlantic, before taking on their role as “the most indispensable servant” for the first Icelanders in this vast, wild, and entirely unknown country.

polo argentine ponies horse argentina pony england horses halter wonderful thoroughbred breeds kait bring would paintings breed uploaded user
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Due to the geographical isolation of Iceland, very few horse diseases occur here, and no vaccinations are needed. Anybody travelling to Iceland is also kindly requested not to bring any used leather equipment such as gloves, chaps or riding boots, and to disinfect all gear (particularly helmets).

These strong, intelligent and smooth horses are successful in endurance racing and very well suitable for therapeutic riding. A horse that the whole family can enjoy as a trustworthy and loved companion, but also out on long or short rides through the woods of Germany, along the beaches of Denmark or mountains of Iceland.

The horse is the embodiment of the Icelandic spirit and has for centuries played an important role for the entire nation. Today, this is as true as ever, as it opens up a world of adventure and companionship, forging friendship that will last for a lifetime.

Most are sensible with their attitudes toward humans or their herd, while having a willingness to train or work that is atypical of many warm-blooded breeds. Developed in Germany, there was a need to have a horse that was versatile enough for farmers with limited income or resources.

With the right horse, they could have a worker who could be out in the fields plowing, yet still be able to drive the carriage if the family needed to go into the town. Since the end of World War I, the breed’s temperament has evolved more into a horse that is willing and easy to train.

polo ponies thoroughbred pony nonpareil lapolo quarter horse breed manipuri bhutia breeds brown arabian
(Source: www.lapolo.in)

You’ll still see some attitudes that are reflective of the older days, especially when the lineage comes from a rural area, but for the most part, the Hanoverian is an athletic and strong horse breed that has some fire within its personality. They tend to be somewhat docile in their interactions, but approach work, training, or a ride with a specific fierceness that few breeds can match.

There are negative behavior traits that can develop in certain individuals over time within this breed. If they are kept in a stall or turned out in small areas, then their energy gets the best of them and the negative traits will begin to show.

It is a breed that is extremely social, so horses that are kept alone need to have regular human interactions to maintain their positive personality traits. Without a stall-mate and regular tending, the characteristics which are so prized within the Hanoverian horse temperament will slowly fade away.

You’ll see signs of distress develop over time, with high levels of discomfort creating a horse that will be agitated and defensive. Treating the health issues can ease the symptoms the horse experiences, which can then begin to restore the true personality of the individual.

These horses are very talented and can perform multiple tasks with relative ease, even if they have been shown limited training. They pick up jumping and general riding skills quickly and many love the challenge that a dressage competition presents.

polo horses pony horse breed appaloosa breeds argentinian abbeville topsport met player mount
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One of the issues that owners and handlers face within the Hanoverian breed is the cross-bred genetics that are occurring right now. In an attempt to alter the health issues that this breed faces, there have been instances where negative behavior traits have become the norm.

They are consistently patient, have strength and energy to spare, and enough speed to create an exciting trail ride. Assuming that the breeding patterns remain as they are, with the occasional exception to the rule, the Hanoverian horse temperament is one that is highly valued and will continue to be as the years pass by.

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