After speaking to players who have leased her or played on her, their first impression of her is that she’s intimidating; some have commented that they were even afraid of her at first! Those who are afraid of her, they quickly became her greatest fan. She takes the underdog player and brings them up to Rockstar status! Her heart outweighs and outshines the outside exterior. She’s fairly easy to spot on the field with a big round roan butt and a big eared, long face with a star and snip. Her head is held high wherever she goes and her legs are at each corner. She has represented more International Tests than most players and horses combined, not to mention also playing in Pony Club and growing that discipline at the same time. She has received more Best Horse awards then anyone can keep track of and received Horse of the Year in 2003. She has contributed to the sport of polocrosse and has been a part of American Polocrosse, mostly played in the Eastern Zone for over 15 years! I think the best way to get to know this little horse is to read from some of the players who have become great players because of riding her!
Elizabeth Protesto Clinger, Posh’s first owner to introduce her into the sport writes about her quickly introduced career into Polocrosse! “Turn and Burn…” Posh came to us just in the nick of time… In 1998 my pony club team had qualified for the first ever Pony Club Polocrosse nationals! But the pony I was riding at the time, the legendary ‘C.A.’, lol, had just been ‘retired’ from polocrosse. So there I was, pony-less, with only one qualifying tournament left on the calendar before the first ever Pony Club Polocrosse Nationals. In pony club, at the time, not only did the riders need to qualify, but the horses did as well. I needed to find a pony before the last remaining qualifying tournament in just a few weeks. We contacted a friend in the horse business and she had just purchased a small load of ponies from an auction so we jumped in the truck and headed out desperate to find a remotely suitable mount. We brought two ponies back to try. One of them being a 14.3 hand diamond in the rough. She was a very frightened, spooky, skinny little roan mare that only had one speed….fast! Unfortunately that speed went in every direction, except for the one you were asking. “It was a very athletic display of total chaos” With our fingers (and toes) crossed we took Posh to her first tournament just days after she finally accepted that the polocrosse racquet really wasn’t a big scary monster that you needed to run in fast spinning circles away from! She came around just in the nick of time and we won the tournament, qualifying her for Nationals. It took a lot to calm her nerves and gain her trust in that short of time, but eventually we became trusting friends. Her second tournament was P.C. Nationals a few weeks later, where she played like a poised, seasoned MVP…. and never looked back. She was no longer the scared scrappy little mare without a friend in the world… She was well on her way to becoming the EXTRAordinary athlete who would go on to inspire and build the confidence of so many players. Her speed and agility rivaling the biggest and best horses throughout her successful career, along with her well known signature move… the ‘Turn and Burn!’ ….
After Beth, came Adrienne Gill, who writes fondly of the mare…
I had been hunting for a new polocrosse horse for what seemed like forever and was unable to find the right one. I told my mom when we were looking that I didn’t want an Appaloosa or a Roan because I didn’t like the way they looked. One night after being pretty down about not being able to find a suitable polocrosse horse, my mom came into the living room and told me that she had bought me a horse I was shocked, a little excited, but also apprehensive that she had bought a horse for me without me knowing She told me it was Posh, I immediately told my mom to sell her back that I did not want her! I had seen her with Beth and thought that she was absolutely crazy. When I would take care of the horses and I would have to feed Posh I would quickly run into her stall throw her sweet feed in and run out because Posh was so crazy and intimidating My mom told me to just give her a try, but I really protested since I told her that I didn’t want a roan and also that Posh was crazy! Of course we all know that I ended up keeping her and to this day I am so glad that my mom bought Posh for me and I feel so lucky that we did not sell her back.
She was one of the best horses, although maybe not the most technically correct horse on the field (which I think didn’t make Paul Johnson too happy) but she was always able to get the job done. She taught me a lot and helped me succeed in my polocrosse career by making sure I was in the right place at the right time. In the area guarding the 1, there were times where I would want to spin left to catch the 1, but posh would take me right instead and we ended up right on the 1 to protect the goal. She not only taught me a lot about the sport, but I think it was amazing that she was able to help other young riders during her polocrosse career I successfully got my C-3 rating on her in pony club (which was amazing). When I was preparing for my C-3 rating I took her to a dressage lesson with Peter Hansen We were doing canter circles and trying to stay supple and on the bit and as we came around the ring to where Peter was standing in the corner, she kicked out towards him The first time this happened Peter told me to get her back down on the bit and concentrated on me the next time around the circle she kicked out again she never tried to buck me off or throw me off, but she kept kicking out at peter, she knew he was making her do dressage. After the third time Peter stopped me and my mom, myself, and he all died laughing because Posh knew exactly who was making her work Again I say that I passed by C-3, but it was difficult Posh was never too keen on being in a ring. Stadium jumping was super fun on posh, she would tend to rush jumps and jump them like a deer, but we would successfully get over them. However, in the open cross country I think that she just felt more at home, she was more at ease on the cross country course, which I like to believe felt more like a polocrosse field wth jumps. I owned posh from 1999 thru 2013 where she taught me and many others the love of polocrosse through her love of the sport. She is now happily retired with her previous owner Beth Protesto and has earned her retirement in two-folds. -Adrienne Gill
Sara Cifelli borrowed Posh for an historic NSW vs USA Youth Tour.
Photo Credit: Laura Webb Photography
It was just funny that I really didn’t want to borrow her because so many other people had played her so well. I knew that I would be the one person who wouldn’t get along with her, and of course when I first tried to ride her in a practice the second week of the tour, the first ten minutes were an utter failure.
Photo Credit: Laura Webb Photography
But as soon as Adriane showed me the buttons, posh was awesome and played great in the test match all weekend. We played both a 1 and a 3 and she rocked at both.
The next young rider who came along several years later who Posh was a main horse of was Kate Liner…. I remember the first time I saw Posh, I was coming home from a 4H show. My mom and I were shocked by how she looked! I had also never been so afraid to turn a horse in my life because she could turn around so fast! I once took Posh to a barrels show and was told she was the fastest mule they had ever seen. Posh may not have been the prettiest, but she is still the only Horse of the Year recipient on the East Coast! She was the first horse I’ve owned to win a best horse award 5 times, including the Pony Club Cadillac Award! I was so lucky to have the opportunity to lease a horse like Posh. I never thought I would ride a horse that was smarter than I was. Posh meant the world to me, but I was happy to see that she would be passed down to another upcoming player, and knew that she would whip them into shape!
Well, I didn’t have her very long, so I don’t have much. I really liked her, though; she was a lot of fun! She was so easy to ride, I got better every time I rode her. She knew how to play better than I did. You could tell she loved playing and she was still excited to be at a practice or tournament even though she was older. She also liked to jump a lot! I took her cross country schooling once and it was so much fun. At the time I had just started jumping my thoroughbred, and it was nice to get on Posh and not have to worry about her refusing or anything like that. The thing I remember most about her is always getting asked if that was Posh at tournaments. I felt like I was hanging out with a Rock Star! PUT PIC IN Everyone knew who she was. They always told me stories about how their kids, themselves, or someone they knew had ridden her. It was cool hearing the stories about her. She’s such an awesome horse, and I’m so glad I was lucky enough to get the chance to ride her! – Haley Blend
Some of the riders that I can think of that have ridden post are (I think in order – but not 100%): Beth Protesto Adriane Gill Stephanie Shuttles Lauren Ellis Chris Younger Derry Jameson Jess Brown Cheri Brown Sara Cifelli Gracie Gill Kat Liner Haley Blend Anyone else????
After Posh’s successful career her life has now come full circle and she is back home to relax and enjoy the long lazy days of the retirement she more than deserves. It’s wonderful to have her in the back yard again, and it brings a smile to my face to see her still sprint around the pasture like a carefree youngster.