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PoloPolo was brought to Cedar
Lodge in 2005 and I do beleive it's here to stay! Laura Chess,
who was both a camper at Cedar Lodge for many years, and a year
around boarder at Cedar Ldoge Stables as well, had informed me
that she was free to work for me that summer. "Great" I said.
Laura was truly a Cedar Lodge kind of person. Having her on board
as a riding instructor was surely going to be a great perk for
our program. "And," Laura added, "I'm bringing a new program to
I must admit, I wasn't enthused with Laura's suggestion of bringing polo in to Cedar Lodge. My visions of campers and polo ponies doing a mad gallop across open fields wielding long sticks with deadly mallets did not exactly sit well with my idea of a "safe" riding program and "healthy" horses. But as all good camp directors do, I told Laura to come up with a plan and give me a way that she planned to teach the program to polo playing beginners, using our resources and horse power to get the job done. With in a month, I had a plan in hand and Laura had sat down with both Chris and I for an hour to explain the plan to us. We were both impressed. Laura's plan was both safe and structured. It was everything either of us could ask for. Chris and I both agreed to add polo to the Cedar Lodge riding program under one condition:
Laura had to find us at least 4 additional horses to meet the needs for extra horses for this program. And, oh, they had to be free. Free horses I felt would clinch the deal. How on earth was Laura going to find 4 free horses for us to use for the summer?
I pretty much chalked up polo as a dead Cedar Lodge camp program. Much to my surprise, a month later, Laura had found me 4 free horses to use for the program. Truth be known, only one had previous polo experience, but they were free and most of them returned home after summer was over. Maya, who had been a polo pony most her life, was a give away and is still with us today. I must admit, that that first year of Cedar Lodge polo was a eye opener for most of us. As it turned out, most of our camp horses took to the polo field like troopers, where most of the new horses, just didn't have high enough training to get the job done. Starting at a walk, and sometimes moving into an occasional trot, our show horses and school horses, thought that moving around the field in no particular pattern was great fun.....now if we could just get Stormy to stop attacking the ball!
Our Cedar Lodge campers were enthused, and 2005 Parent's day say the addition of a polo match, campers against staff......now that was fun! Everyone agreed that polo was indeed the find of the summer and I predict it will be here for many years to come. Thanks, Laura!
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