Mallet in hand, I griped the reins with one hand moving them up the horses neck, a signal for him to move forwards, at the same time as giving him a good kick. Gringo, my polo pony for the day, sprung into action and the chase was on. Darting and weaving past the other players, little white ball fever had well and truly gripped me, as we sped after the ball trying to get to it first. It was all set up, world class polo pony, other players who also had no idea what they were doing behind us, some of which had never ridden a horse before arriving on the Estancia, and the words of advice from Argentina’s Ladies Polo Playing champion ringing in my ears. As we neared the ball I lowered the mallet lined it up with the ball and swung, I heard the satisfying clunk as the mallet found its mark. Elation filled me as I turned to my team mates expecting to see happiness; I was met instead with cries of “Wrong way!” I had hit the ball towards our goal, but this meant the race was on again and Gringo knew just what to do as we wheeled round to line up the ball once again.
The Polo at Estancia Los Potreros, Córdoba Argentina was something I had been rather nervous about. As a horse rider in the past I had very much been looking forward to the visit to the estancia but having watched many a game of polo I knew how vicious and brutal it could be and wasn’t sure if my rather rusty horse riding skills would stand up to the challenge. However with the expert polo pony Gringo helping me, he even kicked the ball and moved back under me when I lent a bit too far, I was in safe hands. Instead of the terrifying experience I had thought it to be it became the highlight of my entire trip.