One of my favorite persons in the world happens to be Megan Smith. Aside from her charm, good looks, and generous spirit, Megan is an incredible dressage instructor. When Megan first explained to me what dressage was she said it was basically like choreographed dancing for horses. I am still trying to convince here how awesome it would be if she could get them to learn how to break dance.
Ive done some design help for Megan Smith Dressage Instruction, in return Megs let me tag along on a long day of horse time. I set up a chair by the stables, read some Rumi, and listened to some classical music with the horses while Megan gave her first lesson. Next we were off to another farm… even further out, where she gets paid to give the horses lessons, which mostly just looks like riding them a bunch. We packed up and headed off almost to Ocala to a huge farm where a bunch of trailers were arriving for weekly polocrosse practice. I quickly recognized how completely out of place I was in my thrift store boots and denim, watching Megan convince the owner she could ride both Western and English and that she could certainly hold her own in a game of polocrosse.
Here are the BASICS:
Polocrosse is like a less pretensions version of polo. Its polo mixed with lacrosse actually… not that I have any idea how to play either. The objective is to throw the ball between your goal posts. There are two teams, each with three players, and each player has their own section of the field. The three players in each section play the position of a No. 1, attack, a No. 2, midfield (a combination of defense and offence), or a No. 3, defense.
The 1’s get to enter the opposition’s goal scoring area and the center area. The 2’s can only be in the center area, and the 3’s can defend their goal scoring area and enter the center area.
To score, the ball must be thrown by the No. 1 from outside an 11-yard semi-circle in front of the goal. Players can pick up the ball from the ground, catch it in their racquet, and ride with it. They throw it to other players until the No.1 has possession in the goal scoring area. A player cannot carry the ball over the penalty line, but must bounce it so that they do not have possession of it while actually crossing the line. It can also be passed to a player over the line. There’s a few other little things, like the keeping the stick on one side of the horse only, and everything being underhand for the most part, but those are the basics. Oh, and you can knock the ball from your opponents racket as long as you knock it up, not down.
Average COSTS:It turns out it was quite a good thing I didn’t get my own horse to play. I had no idea how aggressive the game would be! Megan insists that I would have fallen off, an experience I will gladly forgo. I did however get to practice a little, with the ball, and the stick and the horse and all.
I don’t even know where to start… the horse, the farm, the saddle, the helmet, the field, the racquets, leg wraps for the horse, a helmet. Yeah.
Coming up... dark room photography, bee keeping, surfing, and something asian*
THINGS I LEARNED (THAT I REMEMBER):
- I do not like being aggressive with animals, even when they have taken off with me full speed on their back heading straight for a pasture of grazing cattle
- horses are really fast
- you can get really messed up in polocrosse, just ask my new friend with the broken foot who explained to me the rules to the game while we sat on the sideline together