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Spring is HERE at the Ranch!

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Spring break isn’t just for people. Did you know we give the horses a break as well?

 

Spring is HERE at the Ranch!

 
 
 
Similar to students working hard in the classroom, polo ponies follow a relatively strict regimen and periodic breaks allow them to refresh and “just be a horse”. So as March showers bring April flowers (at least in our neck of the woods!), we take advantage of this time to give our playing horses a little R&R. While the playing horses enjoy a little break from the action, lessons are moving full steam ahead in both arenas. If you're looking to get started in polo or want to brush up on your nearside back shot, now is a great time to schedule a lesson.See you on the field, 
How to Stay Busy During Spring Break
Read Crossing the Line 
If you haven’t yet seen the episode of ESPN’s The Undefeated featuring the incredible success story of polo player, Kareem Rosser, and the Work to Ride program, we highly recommend you click HERE. Founded in 1994 by Lezlie Hiner, Work to Ride is a non-profit community-based prevention program that aids disadvantaged urban youth through constructive activities centered on horsemanship, equine sports and education.  At the core of the Work to Ride program, located in one of the poorest areas of Philadelphia, referred to as “the Bottoms”, is their championship polo team.  Kareem is the most well known graduate of the program and he has a new memoir out called Crossing The Line. This inspiring story is a must read. Click here to purchase.
Spring Cleaning in the Tackroom
Some people dread spring cleaning and others are ready with broom and dustpan. This annual task is as much needed at the Ranch, as it is in our homes. Now is a great time to clean out your lockers and/or gear bags, order your NOCSAE approved helmet, or make any necessary repairs to your boots or knee guards. What is the stinkiest item in your locker?! Boot socks and gloves are always a good place to start. 
Practice in the Hitting Cage
Did you know we have a hitting cage at OC Polo Club? Or you may be wondering, “what is a hitting cage?”.  The hitting cage is one of the greatest and most underused tools available to a polo student. Time spent on the wooden horse allows a player to focus on the mechanics of the swing without the distractions of trying to ride or focus on the game. 10-15 minutes a day on “Woody” can greatly improve the fundamentals of the swing. Challenge yourself to a few days a week during the break and see how much you can improve your hitting.
Mallet Repairs
Mallets are an essential tool for polo. Most players will have two or more mallets in each size, so that if one breaks there is a back up. The mallet is made of cane and wood and it's common for cracks and breaks to occur while playing. Fortunately, in most cases, the mallet can be repaired at one of the specialty mallet shops. Sometimes a mallet must be replaced completely. Players customize the weight and flexibility of the mallet, as well as paint colors. Custom mallets can take a few weeks to make or repair, so now is the perfect time to send in repairs and place orders. 
Stretching and Yoga are Great for Polo
It’s not just the polo pony that must stay in good shape, but the polo player as well. The off season is a great opportunity for strength training, practicing yoga and stretching and improving the overall fitness of the player. Take advantage of the break from lessons and playing to focus on personal fitness. 
STALL PROJECT COMPLETE!

We had some of our own spring cleaning projects at the ranch. After a few years of heavy rain, we experienced some erosion in the back of the stalls. In order to solve that problem for many years to come, we re-did the grading in the back of the stalls and added mats. The horses and the crew could not be happier with the result!

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