To talk about polo is to talk about horses, machines that have the capacity of galloping at high speeds reaching up to 60 km per hour. The Argentinean Polo breed is a cross between purebred race horses and Mestizo field horses. The result is a resistant, strong animal; with great agility, but with a docile and defined character.
Nowadays, Argentina has the best polo horse breeding farms in the world. They received this sport and their thoroughbred horses from English colonists, when these were mixed with "criollo" horses used in Argentina for strength tasks and to work in the fields, a new breed resulted from this combination that would be recognized even today.
This brief introduction to the history of the Argentinean Polo Horse allows us to understand the value of this animal in the world of polo, a value not only in terms of money but also in terms of physical effort and the time to keep the ponies in good condition, in order to ensure optimum conditions so that the horse's performance improves and is preserved over time.
If we start from the fact that a polo horse can travel up to 3 km for each chukka, then we can measure the magnitude of the wear-out to which these horses are subjected. It is unthinkable that a single horse can withstand such a load during a whole match while maintaining the same rhythm as when the polo match begins. Therefore, each player must have at least two horses, which can be exchanged between each chukka and give the animal the possibility to recover in between times.
If a polo team is made up of four players, then it would be a total of at least eight horses per team, although in reality it is usual for each player to have an average of five horses or more. The average life span of a polo horse is from four years to fourteen years, during which time constant training is the key to knowing and shaping the animal's temperament.
Polo horses must be cared for by specialised breeders and veterinarians, who are dedicated full time to the maintenance and well-being of the horses. We could say that maintenance is expensive, but if we add to that the cost of acquiring a polo horse, which can range from 40,000 USD to 100,000 USD, then we understand that the best thing is to prevent illness and injuries and take care of these animals.
The love for horses is essential for those who love polo, creating a bond with the animal is not only necessary but vital to obtain good results in this sport. This is achieved by training and dedicating hours staying with the horse and achieving mutual trust. It is also necessary to have elements that take care of the horse when riding, remember that the polo saddle is the bridge of communication when we are on the pony and a proper horse whip motivates it the way it should.
Krono has an ideal catalogue for looking after your horses as they understand what they mean to you, find out more at www.kronopolo.com