POLO PONY INJURIES STUDIED
Polo ponies are no more likely to be injured than horses in the general population, according to a new British study.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool interviewed 81 playerowners of 815 polo ponies to collect data on preseason training practices, perceived risks for individual horses, and injuries—defined as incidents requiring veterinary treatment. They found an injury rate of 11 percent among the ponies, with tendon injuries being the most common, followed by wounds and splints. The only factor that seemed to increase a horse’s likelihood of injury was being stabled all season long.
The player-owners reported taking several measures to prevent injuries, including bandaging, checking tendons, cold hosing and applying poultices and other coolants to the legs. Noting that the injury rate among polo ponies was similar to that of horses in other sports and occupations, the researchers call for further study on the efficacy of various injuryprevention measures.
Reference: “Polo pony injuries: Player-owner reported risk, perception, mitigation and risk factors,” Equine Veterinary Journal, May 2014