All About you returns with a bit of a difference this month. We have a Polo player in our midst
Adam Russell, an 18 year old, -1 Polo player from East Yorkshire, tells his story about what got him hooked on horses. We will get an insight to what an average day looks like for him and his inspirations. Part 2 will include his Top Tips for keeping his “Team” healthy.
An early start saw Adam riding at 3 years old on his 11.3hh pony Timmy, who is 20 now and still part of his daily life. Starting school saw other opportunities present themselves which meant Football, Rugby and after school clubs then took priority.
Aged 11 Adam picked horses back up when his parents bought 14.1hh pony Simba. As is sometimes the way the chemistry was such that confidence on him was sky high. Labelled a “one in a million” he passed aged 23 with colic, Adam reflects on how Simba owed him nothing but he owed Simba the world.
Aged 13 saw Adam find the Polo bug in the strangest of places. Rowley Park Polo Club organized a game at his beloved Hull City FC stadium back in 2014. Along came Paloma when he was 14 and “it’s gone on from there”.
Adam counts himself lucky to be able to have his horses at home. His team now consists of 3 ponies Paloma, Tordi (8), and Evita (25). Paloma has now retired from Polo and is happy hacking but is still very much part of the team. There is hope of a fourth pony coming along soon.
On this season….
“2020 hasn’t been the best of years for any one of us in any sport, but we did make the most of the polo season this year as best we could”
“I’ve had the opportunity to ride some amazing horses and have a great friend and coach, Sebastian Funes, behind me who has really brought my polo play on. Giving me a real confidence boost in my game and my riding.”
Hard work & effort
“As all horsey people will know having horses is a 365 day a year commitment and can be very tiring, but yet so rewarding. My horses are my team and I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for them. So their welfare is absolutely paramount and we look after them the best we can so they’re safe, fit, healthy and most of all happy.”
“I want my horses to be happy in the job that is being asked of them otherwise you don’t get the best out of them. If they’re happy they will give you 110%. Our vets at Rainbow Equine Hospital are always on hand for advice. Coming to us throughout the year for injections, teeth etc, so we always get a good check up. The team are on the older side, but are still very fit and active out on the polo pitch.”
“My family have always been into horses so it’s been passed down the line to us from the gentleman who taught my grandma, my mum and cousins. Although I’m the only one to have gone into polo. The others were all into showjumping and racing. It’s been great as there has been so much to learn from each others experiences and how they have done things over the years, then also seeing how so much has changed over the years too from feeds even down to grooming and all the products that are available now.”
A day in the life
So what does a day in the life of a polo player look like?
“At the moment the ponies are on their break having finishing the polo season. They will come back in to work at Christmas time, but might be sooner just to be pottering about after lockdown.
We have the standard daily winter yard routine. Where they are fed, rugs off, groomed, rugs changed. They are turned out daily, even if the weather is bad as they’ll go in the arena to stretch their legs after being in all night. Then mucked out (on shavings), hay and water in and brought back in from the field mid afternoon. If not blathered in wet mud they’ll get brushed again. They’ll get their feet done, hosed off, picked out with rugs changed again when they come in, thank goodness for our Centaur Heated Rug dryer and boot dryer.
They then get their evening feed about 6pm, night hay nets in, waters topped up, skipped out and feeds made ready for the morning. The team live out all summer. Ours are all fed the Dodson and Horrell range of feed. My horses have always been great, but after a recommendation we introduced them to supplements from Hi Form Equine UK and the difference in them again was unbelievable.
My mum is always sceptical of everything and I mean everything, so it all gets scrutinised. Both Grandma and Mum were taken a back by the difference in them, they like the old school ways. Like with anything I think it’s good to read reviews but most of all it’s good to actually try these things for yourself. What works for one doesn’t always work for another and that can be the same even with prescribed medicines for us.”
Advice for others?
His family orientated team are advocates of finding what works for you. It is therefore no surprise that this was his response…
“We are just normal every day people enjoying our sport/hobby. This is just what we do and what works for us. Doesn’t make it right or wrong, it is simply is our way and routine for ours. Obviously everybody’s routines are different, everyone has their own way of doing things, some horses live out 24/7, some don’t, so equally all of their needs will all be different as will personal preference. Anything I have named have a FB page, Instagram page or website for anyone to go have a look at for themselves.”
So that concludes Part One. Thanks to Adam and his family for allowing us to see what works for them.
Part 2 will be along soon. In this Adam and his Mum (mothers know best) have kindly agreed to let us in on their Top Tips for keeping the team healthy.