Book Review: ‘Polo Life’
Meant for equestrians of every discipline: a book about life, love and horses.
Adam Snow was inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 2014. A former 10-goal player with too many major tournament wins to enumerate, Snow has now given us a chance to “peek behind the stall doors” of his career and marriage with Shelley Onderdonk, D.V.M. in their new book.
The book contains eighteen chapters, each being their own individual essay about a particular subject. The point of view alternates between Adam and Shelley, whom he describes at one point as the “adviser, rider, confidante, and horse trainer I needed” (Snow & Onderdonk 2016, pg. 21).
The stories range from the ridiculous — the couple was once the victim of an overseas scam artist “buying” 40 top prospects — to the informative. As a player myself, I feel like I need to read the chapters on selecting and training horses over and over again until I can recall the information verbatim. Adam’s detailed analysis of his shortcomings and strengths as a player in relation to sports psychology are also incredibly enlightening. I plan to implement his positive thinking and imaging into my own training.
Equestrians are no stranger to sacrificing time, money and energy for their sport and the chapter titled, “Living with a Professional Athlete” is both compelling and brutally honest.
Shelley writes, “The inequality of being supporting staff was one thing that rankled; being left with all the responsibilities for children, home, farm, horses, and my own work was on a wholly different plane of difficulty. I struggled through many days, weeks, and years. But I am stubborn and compassionate, and Adam never gave me a good reason to leave” (Snow & Onderdonk 2016, pg. 103).
Above all, this book is about love: between two people, between a woman and the horses she cares for everyday as a veterinarian, between a player and their teammates and between a man and his sport.
Polo Life: Horses, Sport, 10 and Zen is available on Amazon.
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