It's here! Save the dates and we'll plan on seeing you at Harlinsdale this Summer! Be sure to like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Instagram to stay updated on all of our events.
NEWS FROM FRANKLIN POLO ACADEMY
Franklin Polo Academy is back up and running for the 2018 season! Half of our school horses are currently available for lessons for the first time in "FPA history" this early in the year. Normally, the horses would be turned out to pasture from late November to early March. This is their break, or vacation, from having played competitively and/or continuously being used in lessons during the remaining months. Having a bit of a rest benefits them physically and mentally, and they come back willing and ready to work!
This year, we established Franklin Polo's first Interscholastic team. The "IS" season goes from September 1st through late March, during our horses' normal vacation. Four of our school horses received six weeks off and then started back into work to compete in the IS tournaments. Team FPA competed the first weekend of February, losing one game and winning another. We are planning for another tournament to be held here at Harlinsdale Farm in the next few weeks.
So, due to the Interscholastic season and the horses being in a routine of exercise, we are able to offer lessons starting this early in the year! We are excited to get going with continuing students and hope to bring the exciting sport of polo to many new people during 2018. Please contact us with any questions you may have pertaining to our clinics or lessons. See below for the 2018 Spring Schedule. Regular lessons are offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Call to set up a lesson today!
We feature one of our polo ponies each month to share with you a little about their backgrounds and special roles they carry at Franklin Polo Academy. We hope you enjoy getting to know our horses and encourage you to seek them out at polo matches to say hello as they ride by! Or better yet, come take a polo lesson with them!
May's featured Polo Pony of the Month goes to our "warhorse", Wrangler. We compare him to a warhorse because he is one FPA pony (along with Nala) that just about ANYONE can get on and be compatible with. Moreover, he teaches many riders. Almost every client gets on Wrangler at some point in learning polo and they typically fall in love with him! He is great and quiet with kids and beginner riders, yet fun, fast, and handy when more experienced riders get to play him in chukkers. Everyone that has ridden him knows he has an astonishingly lazy side when you first get on, but as soon as he realizes it's time to work, he puts on his game face!
Wrangler has a different background compared to our other ponies. He was specifically bred for polo at a prestigious operation in Aiken, South Carolina. He was an embryo foal, meaning he was born out of a surrogate mare. His DNA are from a top playing stud and mare, but in order to keep that mare playing polo and not be "inconvenienced" by the pregnancy, the use of surrogates come into play. The subject of polo pony embryos and breeding is quite interesting. If you'd like to read more about the topic, click here.
At 2 years old, Wrangler was purchased with a group of other embryo colts by the Orthwein family to be made into future polo stars. He was trained and played by Steve Orthwein Sr., the father of FPA co-owner, Stevie Orthwein Jr. Steve played him for several years but found that he wasn't quite "enough" for him. This resulted in Wrangler being donated to the academy as a lesson horse. He is 8 years old, a dark bay with a big white star and half stripe on his face, two hind socks, and the kindest eyes.
Fun fact about Wrangler:
He is very vocal. He grunts a lot as if saying, "I can't believe you're making me work", even if we are just doing a simple task like walking. They way he portrays himself, you would think he is an ancient, should be retired old horse. However, he is a young, healthy gelding with a serious case of laziness. Yet, we love him tremendously!
We hope you've enjoyed learning about Wrangler and look forward to next month's feature polo pony! We would love to hear about your personal experience with Wrangler so please comment below or on our Facebook page! If you'd like to come take a lesson on Wrangler, don't hesitate to call!
We will be featuring one of our polo ponies each month to share with you a little about their backgrounds and special roles they carry at Franklin Polo Academy. We hope you enjoy getting to know our horses and encourage you to seek them out at polo matches to say hello as they ride by! Or better yet, come take a polo lesson with them!
McLovin, or affectionately known as "McMuffin", steals the spotlight for April's Featured Polo Pony of the Month! Muffin is a chestnut, Quarter Horse gelding. He is also our smallest school horse at Franklin Polo Academy, barely reaching 14.3 hands tall (about 59 inches) and also our youngest at 6 years of age. He has a cute white star, partial stripe, and snip on his face, and two hind white pasterns.
Originally owned by FPA co-owner, Stevie Orthwein Jr., you probably saw the pair playing in the Tractor Supply Co. Arena numerous times last year at Harlinsdale. When Muffin came to us, he had recently been transformed into a polo pony after being trained as a ranch horse in Texas. He took to polo very well but because of his young age, we tend to put intermediate to advanced riders on him for the time being.
With his small, compact size, Muffin is extremely handy, meaning he is great at stopping and turning faster than other horses. He is a joy to use as a lesson horse since he moves correctly on his own; students can really begin to understand how a polo pony is supposed to move. Muffin spent the winter in Okeechobee, Florida gaining some more polo experience to bring back to Tennessee. He should be back next month and ready for lessons shortly after.
Facts about McLovin:
*Stevie named him after the character in the movie, Superbad.
*He oddly does not like treats like the other horses do.
*He is so small, most of our mallets are too long to use while riding him.
We hope you've enjoyed learning about McLovin/Muffin and look forward to next month's feature polo pony! Have you had a special moment or the chance to ride him? We would love it if you shared your experience! Comment below or on our Facebook page.
Lessons are starting up and our first event at Harlinsdale is just around the corner (June 2nd)! Be sure to contact us if you'd like to participate in either! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 615-800-2268.