June, Polo Pony of the Month: Espy

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!

This month, we'd like to introduce our new polo PONY, Espy!

Espy, short for Esperanza, arrived at Franklin Polo Academy about a month ago from English polo player and friend, Julian Daniels. She spent many years on Daniels' Aiken, South Carolina farm teaching his children how to ride and play.

Espy is a 17 year old, chestnut, Argentine bred, polo pony. She is actually considered a "pony" because of her height, 14.1 hands (equivalent to 57 inches). She has huge, cartoon-like brown eyes and a thick white star between them. Espy is as sweet as they come! She will play a big role here bringing confidence to younger students and we have no doubt that she will be able to do that with ease!

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Espy,

Welcome to F.P.A.!

We hope you've enjoyed learning about Espy and look forward to next month's feature polo pony! We would love to hear about your personal experience with her so please comment below or on our Facebook page! If your children would like to come take a lesson on Espy, don't hesitate to call! 

May, Polo Pony of the Month: Wrangler

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! 

 

April, Polo Pony of the Month: McLovin

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.

Stevie Orthwein Jr. plays McLovin in the USA vs. Mexico match in July 2016. 

Stevie Orthwein Jr. plays McLovin in the USA vs. Mexico match in July 2016. 

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 info@franklinpolo.com or give us a call at 615-800-2268. 

March, Polo Pony of the Month: Taco

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!

Taco gains the spotlight for March as our featured polo pony! She is an 18 year old, bay, Thoroughbred mare with a unique "C" shaped star on her forehead and big, bright eyes. Taco originally came from our good friend and former polo player, Ed Silva. Ed played Taco for many years at another polo club here in Franklin and we are grateful to have gotten her when he decided to retire from the sport. Taco is a spunky girl with a goofy attitude that everyone seems to fall in love with.

You can find Taco playing multiple roles around Franklin Polo Academy. She serves as a lesson pony from beginner to advanced students, she plays in practice and game chukkers by some of our club members, and she can be found leading the kids around for pony rides at our public matches. She is an "all-around" wonderful asset to our string of polo ponies.

Franklin local and club member, Jamey Parker, plays Taco the most in practices and games. He exclaims, "Taco's a handy and nimble horse with a knack for knowing where I want to go before I do! She wants to be in the right place at the right time for the right play as much as me." You will most likely see them together this Summer competing in our arena polo matches at Harlinsdale Farm! Check out the schedule here to save the dates!

Fun facts about Taco:
*Did you know "Taco" means "mallet" in Spanish? So as a polo pony, her name is very fitting!
*She is one of the best "bumpers" that we have in the barn. Shown below in the first photo, you can see how she really pushes the other horse and rider off the line of the ball. 
*Taco loves treats almost as much as Nala! You can see her stretching as far as possible over the fence for a treat from one of FPA's students, Connor, in the photos below. 

We hope you've enjoyed learning about Taco and look forward to next month's feature polo pony! Have you had a special moment or the chance to ride Taco? We would love it if you shared your experience! Comment below or on our Facebook page