Two Wishes Polo Club in Lockhart, Texas, recently hosted a polo clinic with St. Edward’s University (Austin, Texas) students led by Honorary USPA Certified Polo Instructor Robin Sanchez.

Sebastian Acosta, a Junior at St. Edward’s University (SEU), has spearheaded an initiative to form a polo team at the school, “I started playing polo and riding horses in El Paso [Texas]. When I moved to Austin, I started practicing with the University of Texas polo team but since I couldn’t compete with them I thought I would start a new club with SEU. I approached Ariel Rodriguez at Two Wishes Polo Club to help coach our team. He has been really generous teaching us to play polo because he wants to preserve the sport with younger generations.”

Robin Sanchez demonstrates arena strategy
Robin Sanchez demonstrates arena strategy with a magnetic board.

Using team teaching methods, Sanchez, along with Rodriguez, covered basic rules and arena strategy in a “classroom” consisting of a grassy hill in beautiful Texas spring weather. After the chalk talk the group moved into the arena to work on swings utilizing Robin’s “everyone has a hitting horse” method on hay bales. “I travel and teach a lot of clinics. Almost every club has small square bales which can be turned into a hitting platform to use regular sized mallets,” says Sanchez, “plus I get to make a corny joke about ‘green horses.’”

working on swing mechanics
Working on swing mechanics from hay bales.

The group split into two sections for the mounted session. One group of four worked on nearside swings with Ariel and foot mallets. While the other four worked on riding for polo and horsemanship with Robin.

Melissa Lopez, a freshman at St. Edward’s attended the clinic, “I have no horse experience whatsoever and decided to participate on a whim—it seemed fun and attractive. Since joining, I have had the time of my life! I have played almost every team and individual sport out there and none of them have been as rewarding as polo. The horse and human relationship and bond with both your human and horse teammates is something special.”

Sanchez and Ariel Rodriguez demonstrate Right of Way rules
Robin Sanchez and Ariel Rodriguez demonstrating Right of Way rules.

SEU students have already had the chance to be part of the Texas Arena League – helping with the games and selling concessions. Acosta was also able to play at the 2018 Fall Fandango in the club member tournament. SEU students will also be involved with tournaments in the Central Texas Polo Association as supporters and players.

“I started teaching the students at St. Edward’s University in January. These kids have worked amazingly hard to present the idea of polo to their school. Not only did they take initiative to start the club with such enthusiasm and excitement; but they have stayed super committed to taking lessons and putting in hours around Two Wishes Polo Club. They are truly becoming stronger riders and are beginning to bond as a team.”  – Ariel Rodriguez

“The students rode in a clinic with Robin Sanchez which was a tremendous asset in fine tuning their knowledge of rules and how players should interact with each other. This was the chance for them to ask a million questions and walk away with a new set of skills as well as a whole new level of confidence,” Rodriguez said. “Robin travels all over the country to teach and umpire, so we, at Two Wishes Polo Club, feel honored to have her as part of our family. Huge thank you to Southwestern Circuit Governor Paul Jornayvaz for making the clinic possible.”