It occurs to me, as I start to write these stories, that almost all of them are only in my head. They’ve made me part of who I am; I wish I knew more of my mom and dad’s stories, so I guess these are also really for my girls, in case they ever wanna know stuff lidis. Maybe it will help them learn more about whodaheck I am.
From small kid time, I loved horses. I didn’t just love horses, I loved them. With a passion. Thanks to my tūtū kane and tūtū wahine, my dream of owning my own horse came true when I was eleven: they bought me my first horse, Kapiʻolani. I was in heaven. I had to earn her keep, though, and will write more about that later.
This story is about polo ponies. They were boarded at the same place as Kapiʻolani, and during the summers, there were polo matches on Sunday afternoons at Kapiʻolani Park, which was across from the stables. On those days, I got to be one of the girls who hot-walked the ponies between chukkars. We all loved doing that. The ponies were so hot from all the running, and had to be cooled down, which we did by walking them slowly till they cooled off and were breathing normally. The polo players were happy to leave that job up to us while they continued in the matches. Sometimes we’d walk alongside the hot ponies, and sometimes we’d ride our own horses and walk the ponies beside us, in the shadow of Diamond Head, with the trade winds softly blowing over us, while the sound of shouts, the crack of mallets against the ball, and thundering hooves, echoed in the background.
I absolutely love finding stuff lidis on newspapers.com! This one’s from 1953. I’m so grateful I have access to old issues of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser!
Those were some of the happiest days of my life. I will never forget them.
What a wonderful memory. I nevah know dey used to play polo in Kapi`olani Paka! I on’y knew about da fields in Waimanalo and Mokule`ia.
Yeah, was befoa yoa time I bet. Dey wen move to Waimānalo anden I neva could hotwalk nomo. Sad. Shua was fun while it wen last but.