Muck Bucket List: Polo
I picked my specific college because I wanted to be on the varsity riding team. It was the only thing that really made me give a shit about college, and it became my whole focus during high school. I didn't realize I wanted to be on the Skidmore riding team, specifically, until I went and visited my senior year.
|We managed to find horses at graduation.|
|Snowy day at the school barn.|
The next day I was wandering around the club fair, realizing that I had been on campus a grand total of six days and it was already really not going as planned. I didn't know where to go from there. I guess I could've busted my ass working at the barn and trying to get into the coach's good graces. Then maybe next year I could score a spot on the riding team, but the whole experience really left a bad taste in my mouth.
And I might also be stubborn.
Somewhere between the student radio station and weekly yoga in the chapel, I heard someone say "Weren't you at riding team tryouts?"
|Pre cell phone era: sepia|
|Charity game - only outdoor game I ever played. I scored a goal!|
But everyone on the club was nothing if not passionate, and we all worked our asses off to turn things around. Not to mention we got to travel all over the east coast, meet people from schools all over the country and ride lots (and LOTS) of ponies. I developed a bond with my teammates that I haven't experienced since.
|This was last year, when I had a mitten and couldn't play :(|
|I MEAN WHAT THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN|
|I'm in the black hoodie.|
And of course the horse has purple wraps.
|My favorite pony - Missy|
|Check out her markings!!|
The club gave me so much. I'm lucky enough that I have the opportunity to be involved as an alumni. And club continues to change and grow; we gained 501c3 status and they're developing an interscholastic program. It's incredibly watching these young kids whip around whacking balls better than I ever could.
I don't know that I'll ever get to play again, it's just too expensive. But once a year I go back to my alma mater to gallop around like an idiot, hit a ball and remember all the sport gave to me. I learned lessons in horsemanship and sportsmanship that have followed me both in my continuing horse endeavors and professionally.
Plus it's just really goddamn fun.