Items

Forums
A Tribute To Polo
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   19th Nov 2017   •   3,629 views   •   0 comments
A Tribute To Polo

I could give you an excuse. I could say that I didn’t have the right software installed, or that I just had no free time. I was too busy with work, too busy with competing. I could say “maybe I left it too long, there’s no point now”. I could come up with a thousand reasons for not writing this article, but there’s only one that really matters. I hoped I would never have to.

I joined Ponybox (the old Paint server) in 2007 under the name ‘Polo’ (later ‘Polo the Weirdo’). I didn’t have to think much about the decision – you don’t really, as a child. It’s pretty simple. “Oh, I need a name? Well, I’ll just name myself after my favourite thing!” So, like many of us on here, I named myself after my horse.

I was not a popular child. I was antisocial. Awkward. Confused. I never expected to find much joy in the Internet’s promised escape from reality, but to my surprise, Ponybox became my refuge. I found friends, admirers, role models and confidants – everything a young, anxious child like me desperately needed, but that ‘real life’ stubbornly refused to provide. Through Ponybox and its vibrant, loving and accepting community, I began to develop what I’d never had the courage to have: an identity. I became somebody. And not just somebody, but a somebody that I actually began to believe was worth something in the world. A somebody who mattered. A somebody I was proud to be. I became Polo.

Through the little horse who brought me such pride, such joy and love, I developed a sense of self. Under the name of something I loved so much, I – insecure, anxious child that I was – learned finally to love myself. And compared to that... What more important lesson is there?

I have told Polo’s story before. Actually, it was my first one. It was here, too. On Ponybox, I wrote about how I started my riding career all wrong – how this scraggly little 3 year old that was dumped from racing and polo found her way to me – a novice rider – and how we pretty much did our best to kill each other during what I’m loath to call our ‘education’.

Related: The Story of Polo

We fought like a couple of siblings, but despite it, or maybe because of it, we developed a strong bond. She taught me perseverance, determination, courage and friendship. Success, failure, and how to deal with each (or sometimes both at the same time). I learned that with hard work dreams can be accomplished and that, sadly, some dreams are never meant to be. And that’s okay. She taught me everything that a timid thing like me would never have found in a life without horses. It’s a nice story. It’s my favourite. You should probably read it sometime – but not now. This isn’t that story. That one was a happy one – people loved it. I was proud, too, that I could write something that people loved. I wrote an article that topped the Ponybox popularity charts; it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. And it made me realise something: I love writing. I wanted to write. And finally I had something that everyone else around me had seemed to have all along: a dream. A future. An “I want to be when I grow up”.



Thanks to Polo, I found a reason to battle through what was left of highschool, and drag myself to the ‘anxiety hell’ that was university. While there, I put all that perseverance and determination to good use. I graduated with distinctions in three majors. And with that, I was able to take one more step towards becoming a writer.

There’s a funny thing about writing though. You need to have something to write about – and it’s got to be something good. Well, something you think is good. You have to care, and you have to know what you’re talking about. Lucky for me, that something was already there – one more thing that Polo had given me: horse riding. Through that absolute nightmare of a ‘first horse’, I learned to absolutely love the sport, and developed not only a huge amount of passion and dedication, but even a bit of ability. I learned to bring on and train young horses, and to compete and win in a number of disciplines. I gained some knowledge worth sharing, so I had something to write about. All I needed was a platform which, again, Polo had provided for me, through that ‘Polo the Weirdo’ title. I had all the tools I needed. So I became a writer here on Ponybox.com.

I suppose that brings us to today. I haven’t written in a while, but I still have all the tools I need to do it – I just hope they aren’t too rusty. The only tool I haven’t had is possibly the more important one my little horse has ever given me. I guess people call it ‘muse’? It’s difficult to explain. Motivation? Ideas? Passion? Really, it’s as simple as a ‘reason to write’. A lot of people find their through lovers, or friends, or some breathtaking scenery maybe. I first found mine in a little horse. Her name was Polo, and she was my best friend, and my mentor, who made me what I am today. When I grew up, became an adult, the rude reality that I’d run from as a child had the cheek to come back, and remind me that horses aren’t just precious friends, but also animals. Expensive animals (unaffordable, sometimes, when circumstances change. Which they do). And progress sometimes requires sacrifice. Polo was never a competitive horse, and with the future I was building for myself, based on the foundations she gave me, I had to face a pretty harsh truth: I couldn’t afford to hang on to a horse that wasn’t what I needed in my adult life. Her future was different from mine. She needed children to love, to teach, like she had done for me. She was special – not just to me, but in who she was as an individual. Knowing that, it wasn’t quite as impossible as I had always thought it would be to let her go. I think a little part of myself went with her though. Call it my childhood, I guess?

I wish I could say this story had a happy ending, but it doesn’t. You know that already. She did teach more children, and they did love her, and I really hope they learned as much from her as I did. Unfortunately accidents happen, and quite early into what I believe could have been a truly special career as a riding school horse, Polo sustained an injury which only worsened over time. In August this year she was put to sleep. I didn’t get to say goodbye, but in a way that might be better. Polo never taught me that one. I don’t think I could do it without her. Well, I didn’t. But I guess that’s what I’m saying here, really. In the way I know how. The way she taught me.

It's been a while since I wrote. I guess I wasn’t ready to find a ‘reason’ to. But life has to go on, and even if you feel like you’ve fallen off it a little bit, you have to get back on. Polo certainly taught me that lesson a number of times.

So, to my Polo, goodbye, and thank you. You were more important to me than you could ever know. And to all you at Ponybox, Hello again, and thanks for waiting. With this long overdue tribute to a very special muse, Polo the Weirdo is back.

A Tribute To Polo

A Tribute To Polo

A Tribute To Polo
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Polo The Weirdo,
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
 Related Horse News
Perfection has its flaws - The story of Polo
12th Apr 2010   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
This is the story of my horse, Polo. Yet it is not only about Polo, because you see her story is my story. In this day and age we often see things that have come to be known as 'fursonas', virtual creatures that Internet users hav ...
Jumping My Polo Horse Bareback
25th Jun 2010   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
This video shows myself and my Polo horse simply being ourselves and having a great time! Everything in this video is bareback, it is a complete no saddle zone! The only tack used is always either a bridle or a halter and lead rei ...
April 20th 2013 Showjumping Competition With Bronze
27th Apr 2013   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
The weekend of April 20th saw my official showjumping debut for 2013. Since the South African Junior Championships in December, my horses were given a well deserved holiday, before slowly building back up to competition standard. ...
A Tribute To Polo
19th Nov 2017   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
So, to my Polo, goodbye, and thank you. You were more important to me than you could ever know. And to all you at Ponybox, Hello again, and thanks for waiting. With this long overdue tribute to a very special muse, Polo the Weirdo ...
April 20th 2013 Showjumping Competition With Finola
2nd May 2013   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
The weekend of April 20th saw my official showjumping debut for 2013. Since the South African Junior Championships in December, my horses were given a well deserved holiday, before slowly building back up to competition standard. ...
Baby Horses are kind of like Farts
18th Aug 2018   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Have you ever experienced while attending an extremely proper and dignified horse show, an elegantly dressed person suddenly erupting, at the top of their very polite lungs, WHY YOU LITTLE FART! And, having had this strange experi ...
10 Signs you have the Wrong Instructor
10th Mar 2017   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
If your instructor is able to get through more than three bottles of wine in a lesson, you probably have the wrong instructor. Or your instructor has the wrong pupil. You should never drive instructors to alcoholism, no matter how ...
My Horse is a #$@&%*!
8th Oct 2016   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
As I write this, I am soaking wet from the knee-down, with puddles in my boots, and sand in places I’d rather not mention. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: My horse is an #$@&%*! ...
If Horses Were Celebrities
17th Apr 2017   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Horse and Hound recently released a quiz which tells you, based on a series of questions, what celebrity your horse would be if he was a human. Unsurprisingly, my own Moonfire would probably be Kanye West. This got me thinking, if ...
Alternative Equine Behavior Issues
15th Apr 2017   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Have you ever thought about the terms that we equestrians use for horse behavior problems, and what those terms would sound like to the average man on the street? Our jargon often leads to much confusion for the layman (which ofte ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Polo the Weirdo
Baby Horse Diaries - Sass Levels Reach All Time High
7th Jul 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
This is not fake news. Our sources have confirmed that Baby Niro displayed excessively high levels of sass recently when being ridden in the arena after a week off work. Witnesses report high levels of head tossing and neck flicki ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Starter Kit
16th Jun 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
So you just bought yourself a baby horse? I bet you’re wondering what you’ll need to help you in this new chapter of your life! Well never fear, Baby Horse Diaries is here to answer all of your questions. To create your own Baby H ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Playtime (AKA the Hunger Games)
9th Jun 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Baby horses, like most babies, are curious, energetic and playful beings that constantly seek out new means of entertainment. In fact, one of the most fun things about having a baby horse is all the wonderful new games that you ge ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Energy Levels
3rd Jun 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Here is my top 10 SECRET list of master plans for dealing with excess energy in horses. ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Baby Horses Are Stupid
26th May 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Baby horses are really neat. When you get them they are stupid. You know they’re stupid, any rational human being can expect them to be stupid, and they don’t know they’re stupid because they don’t know anything. Because they’re s ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Meet The Babies
19th May 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Today I would like to introduce the stars of our series, VanRee De Niro (Baby Niro), and Little Miss Sunshine (Baby Sunny). ...
Baby Horse Diaries Introduction
12th May 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
Some of you might remember that about 8 years ago I created a series on Ponybox documenting my progress in retraining a young Thoroughbred racehorse, Moonfire, for his eventing career. Those of you who continued to follow my (admi ...
Among The Stars - Part 8 of 8
24th Mar 2019   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
I wish I could say ‘time heals’, but it doesn’t. I still miss him every day. I still cry every time I look at his photos. Some days I’ll wake up and simply can’t face a world without him in it. I can’t leave my bed, because, what’ ...
  View All News by Polo the Weirdo
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
423 Members Online 251,688 Registered Members 2,609 News Articles 11,023,088 Unique News Article Views 257,212,613 Website Views