Last Updated 30 November, 2018

Pony puts Coach to grass

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Pony puts Coach to grass

How did Rowan Coach Steve Coulson find himself lying on the dirt in the Equestrian Centre at Gleneagles? Read on to see how Steve successfully "walked the talk" and applied his coaching skills to the Sport of Kings .

Learn from an expert; join Steve for Rowan's Certificate in Coaching Skills:

Certificate in Coaching Skills
credit rated by Napier University, 5 Credits at SCQF Level 9

The Rowan Certificate in Coaching Skills is for managers or those aspiring to a management role.

Festival Cup 2010

How did Rowan Coach Steve Coulson find himself lying on the dirt in the Equestrian Centre at Gleneagles? It all started when Steve received a phone call inviting him to apply for a place in a team taking part in a polo match during the annual Festival Cup. Having past the interview, Steve accepted the challenge of learning polo in 9 weeks and taking part in the match held on 14th August.

Steve describes riding a polo pony as the equestrian equivalent of Formula One driving. The horses accelerate and brake amazingly quickly and can turn on a sixpence. The control is completely different to normal riding too, the pony responds to the slightest hand or leg movement, or shifting of weight. If getting the horse to go where you want, and staying on it wasn't enough, Steve also needed to learn to hit a ball in the intended direction all done at a crazy speed.

So how did Steve manage to learn all these tasks in 9 weeks? Steve explained, "It's down to having fantastic coaches and team work really. Having polo and fitness coaches that really know how to build on your strengths, identify and motivate you, to address areas of improvement make this seemingly impossible task achievable. But it is also important to have the support from your team". This is actually very similar to how Rowan works with its clients.

So did Steve's challenge end in disaster? Even before the game started Steve's pony was nervous of the indoor arena, and it seems the crowd pushed it over the edge and it panicked, reared twice and launched Steve over its head and into the dirt. Thankfully only Steve's dignity was hurt, and due to good training, and a resilient attitude he was able to get up and ride another pony. Together they scored three goals, and were victorious winning 7-6, in what former Scotland Ruby Captain Andy Nicol called, "the best Pro-Am game I have ever seen"!

Steve's coaching and organisational skills had to come to the fore to meet this task. Into his normal working and family life, he fitted in 25 polo lessons, weekly visits to see a fitness coach in Edinburgh, fitness training, and weekends away. Was it worth the sacrifice? "The experience was amazing, I am really proud at what I achieved", said Steve.

Steve successfully applied the resilience and positive thinking skills developed in his coaching career to win on the polo field. If you would like a coaching session with Steve to help you succeed in your chosen field, give Rowan a call now.

Rowan Consultancy, 4 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5EN. +44(0)1738 562005