Diaries of a Polo Bum: No Means Maybe Means No

I did it: I turned down a chance to play polo.


After a glorious week of playing polo in Wyoming — I’d give you more deets, but #whathappensinWYstaysinWY — I had to make the hardest decision of my life summer season. I turned down the opportunities to not only have a fun day of polo at a friend’s house and play in the impromptu summer league, but also to return to Wyoming.

But first, a little backstory.

You see, my husband accepted an offer for a new job and we’re moving. It’s not a huge ordeal. We’re keeping it Texan, but it is a different house in a different town. We’ve known the change was coming for some time, but I’m a procrastinator when it comes to “the minutiae of life” as my husband so delicately puts it.

We’ve been casually looking at houses for a while now and nothing really piqued my interest. I turned down half a dozen alone because they didn’t have the right soil type — try explaining that to a non-equestrian realtor. “Oh, the kitchen has new appliances? That’s … sort of … interesting, but do you know if the previous owners irrigated and fertilized their coastal pastures last year?”

So, with mundane deadlines looming — like my daughter’s new school registration — my husband put the pedal to the metal and forced me to make a decision. We ended up sealing the deal on a beautiful 10 acre property with ridiculously small bathrooms, some other house-like features, sandy loam soils, a 4-stall barn and an arena. It’s gorgeous.

Then entered those pesky minutiae. Inspections, realtors, title companies, banks, independent school district administrators… the list just goes on and on. All of which forced me to the horrible decision to not play polo this summer. It was the hardest phone call of my life, i.e. telling my polo coach I … gulp … couldn’t make it.

Here’s how it all went down.


At first, it seemed easy enough. Handle the relocation details and packing during the week and play polo all weekend.


Then I organized my first closet.

It wasn’t even an important closet. It was the closet in our spare bedroom that holds, literally, nothing we use on a daily basis, but somehow still has to be moved. It took eight hours. My husband had to drag me, like a crazy woman, to the dinner table saying, “It can wait,” with me shouting, “It can’t wait or I won’t have time for polo!”


I looked at my calendar and decided, “Nope, gonna make this shiz work. I’ll get up and pack boxes at 5 a.m. Train horses from eight a.m. to noon. Work from noon to five p.m., pack more in the evenings, never sleep and then drive a six-hour round trip to go play matches twice a week on the weekends. Title offices and realty places aren’t even open on the weekends! Beautiful.”


In which, I wallowed on my sofa and did absolutely nothing but watch the new Netflix original series, Stranger Things. It’s good.


And here we are. I’ve accepted that I can’t play polo for the next month or so. I’ve made the hard calls and sent the hard texts informing my coach and peers that they won’t be seeing my barely competent amazing form on the fields anytime soon.

I think equestrians have one of the hardest work/life/hobby balances in existence. Every decision we make for ourselves and our horses takes time, energy and money away from something else. So it is insanely hard to admit when we do need to take a stride back and get “real life” stuff accomplished. The good news is that horses seem perfectly content grazing twenty-four hours a day while we get our lives in order.

So here’s to the fall season … when the crazy lady in the orange helmet and lime green belt will hopefully have a triumphant return. Meanwhile, I get to move to an insanely gorgeous new property, meet new neighbors, make new friends and focus on going back to the basics of conditioning with my herd. That’s really not that bad.

One from Wyoming, for good measure ~ Amanda Uechi Ronan.

One from Wyoming, for good measure ~ Amanda Uechi Ronan.

Go Riding.

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