I was born and raised in upstate New York. I began riding at age 7 and continued to take lessons through school, and eventually competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association while at university. After graduation, I took a hiatus from riding until a few golden opportunities came up to join a weekend trail riding group of some retired Rolex horses. I primarily dabbled in the Hunter Jumper and equitation realms non-competitively, I loved the horses. It wasn't until I discovered polo that the hobby became an obsession.
I took to polo immediately, after stumbling upon it almost completely accidentally, loving the horses, the excitement, the unpredictability and the social aspect of playing polo because, after all, you cannot play polo by yourself. I landed a position coordinating and scheduling polo lessons at a local polo club's polo school, eventually learning how to teach beginners the basics of the game. I had a stellar instructor as a mentor and learned how to match the teaching to what the rider needed and wanted all while having safe, respectful riding experiences in their lessons. That mentor, Kimo Huddleston, is now one of the most sought after professional umpires in the country, umpiring full time for the United States Polo Association. While the USPA wins big in that arrangement, the void left by his absence has not been filled since he left being an instructor/coach/mentor to so many.
While Kimo's shoes are too big to fill, my mission is to take new riders who are interested in polo and teach them the balance, safety, horsemanship and basic rules to be a conscientious, safe and respectful polo player and horseman. Anyone can go fast, but not everyone can play with finesse. My main focus is to create a good rider who can play polo well, not to necessarily create a competitive polo player, and be kind to the horses. While most young girls who start riding take years to learn, an adult with the desire to learn polo is likely unaware how difficult it is to master horseback riding. Since you can't play polo without a horse, it's in your best interest to learn to ride well if you want to play polo well. Polo at any level is fun, but polo played well because you can ride and maneuver with ease is when your game really takes off.
I have some wonderful docile lesson horses to get you started in horseback riding without any specific discipline in mind. With the mostly English style background, horse safety, muscle movement, how to sit safely, quietly, cautiously and how to hold your body, is relatively universal. Safety is safety. Teaching a rider good fundamentals is highly important to me. It should be important to you as well.
Come to me for any basic riding lesson to get you comfortable, confident and safe on a horse in a stress-free, pressure-free, non-show environment. You don't need fancy clothes or discipline-specific attire either. Learn to tack up the horse with the saddle and bridle, and learn to untack, put the horse away and even some accompanying barn chores. A full immersion lesson program to make you an independent self sufficient rider and horse handler. Lessons typically last about an hour but each session is about two hours to be able to get through all the Do-It-Yourself learning.
My lessons are a completely hands on experience, because that is what horse ownership is.
If that is *not* your style, and you would like drive-up service, I can certainly accommodate that. Not everyone enjoys that. At Poway Polo, we are DIY club, but at San Diego Surf Polo Club, a groom will take care of preparing the horse for you so you can roll up, get on, play your game, get off and hand the horse back to the groom. We got your back no matter how involved you want to be.
Ready to learn more? Contact me today! Cheers!