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2016 Polo at Bliss, Michigan summertime action!




Welcome back to all the players, their families and friends. We are excited to join you as spectators this summer and hope that every day is great play with your ponies! 
For updated schedules and dates check the Facebook Page Bliss Polo Club or call the Bliss Store at the number below !!
SPECTATOR ADVICE : Bring unbrella’s or canopies. Chairs to sit on. Tailgaters will need to arrive early for best parking. Porta Potty on site. The Bliss Store is your GO-TO stop for refreshments and snacks. They have had some cool polo hats, and both Mike and Barb will welcome you to their store. Rules and tips explained below…scroll down…
Direction from Harbor Springs is approxamately a 30 minute drive straight north on Pleasantview Rd, with a very short east/right jog on Robinson Rd. then north/left again on Pleasantview.
OR: Try the address of the Bliss store in your GPS –  it’s 1431 East Sturgeon Bay Trail, Levering, MI 49755 …..Buy a map too!
You can arrive or depart from Polo alongside the lake by taking N Lake Shore Drive, passing Cross Village and intersecting to a right (going East) on W. Sturgeon Bay Trail. It’s longer that way but the roads take you through beautiful countryside.
 Spectator Overview

This brief overview of the rules of polo is for the spectator only. Most of the rules of polo are for the safety of the players and their ponies. If you want to play, learn them thoroughly. For complete details refer to the USPA Outdoor Rules.

  • Although there are many rules to the game of polo, the primary concept is safety, for the player and his mount.
  • Ponies play for a maximum of two chukkers per match.

The Line of the Ball

The most basic concept in the sport of polo is the line of the ball, a right of way established by the path of a traveling ball.

When a player has the line of the ball on his right, he has the right of way. This can be taken away by moving the player off the line of the ball by making shoulder-to-shoulder contact.

A player can:

  • hook an opponent’s mallet,
  • push him off the line,
  • bump him with his horse
  • or steal the ball from him.

The umpires’ primary concerns are right of way and the line of the ball.

  • The line of the ball is an imaginary line that is formed each time the ball is struck.
  • This line traces the ball’s path and extends past the ball along that trajectory.

The player who last struck the ball is considered to have right of way, and no other player may cross the line of the ball in front of that player. Riding alongside to block or hook is allowed, as long as the player with right of way is not impeded.

Ride Offs

Bumping or riding off is allowed as long as the angle of attack is less than 45 degrees, and any contact must be made between the pony’s hip and shoulder.


A player may hook or block another player’s mallet with his mallet, but no deliberate contact between players is allowed. A player may not purposely touch another player, his tack or pony with his mallet.


The mallet may only be held in the right hand. Left handed players are often thought to hit with less accuracy, but guide their ponies better than their right handed peers.

Ponies play for a maximum of two chukkers per match.

Polo detail compliments of !

Did You Know…?

  • While players have always preferred clothing light in weight and color, white pants or jodhpurs (tailored riding britches,) are always worn by the players as a tribute to honor the cavalry that brought polo to the western world.
  • The word “polo” is actually derived from the Tibetan word “pulu” for ball.
  • Trophies are presented at award ceremony celebrations at the conclusion of each tournament.
  • A mallet may only be held in the right hand of the player.
  • The ball is mainly struck using the side of the mallet, not the end.
  • The Divot Stomp is a polo traditional that often takes place during halftime allowing the spectators to socialize and help restore the field for the second half.

See you at the games, Karin and the gang at Brek-n-Ridge Farm

NEW Logo Art revised

CLINICS AT BREK-N-RIDGE – Facility available, stalls and excellent indoor for your clinics. Call for information


Karin, Andrew, Maryal, Kate and Liz, with Sue on her horse

Celebrating many years of training and working with Maryal Barnett, there is not a clinic that we attend or ride in where there is not something learned or better understood. A judge said to me that she didn’t learn from a certain teacher, and my response was too think about how much we can get from a Maryal Barnett clinic if we listen and watch very carefully. Maryal makes us better instructors and riders and spectators!!




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Proud to say…Western Dressage in Harbor Springs at Brek-n-Ridge Farm!


“WESTERN DRESSAGE IS MORE THAN A MOVEMENT. IT’S GOING TO BE A GRAND SUCCESS. I joined up with a good number of horse trainers this week to learn more about the sport, their mission and the steps they are suggesting that we as trainers take so that we can be a part of this new sport. “

The Train the Trainers™ clinics were established by the Western Dressage Association of America in early 2012.  Intense national and international demand led Frances Carbonnel and Cliff Swanson, to begin the development of a training curriculum which addressed the needs of equine professionals who were interested in training their horses and clients about Western Dressage.

Western Dressage is a synthesis of two worlds; it is the need to understand this synthesis that drives the Train the Trainers™ program. All participants leave the clinic with volumes of materials supporting the training methods delivered during the clinic.

Professionals from a traditional dressage background leave the clinic understanding more about western horses, their movements and gaits and tack. 

Western professionals are able to observe classical dressage principles demonstrated on a variety of western horses. The interface between both types of participants is one of most rewarding parts of the program.

The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse and to value the partnership it has provided us on our American journey. Its mission is to provide a model of training and horsemanship which optimizes this partnership for the benefit of both horse and rider. Its mission is to celebrate the American West where all these things came to pass.

“Congratulations are in order for Cliff Swanson and Frances Carbonnel for putting on a two day educational experience that for me gave me what I wanted and needed. Now as a classical and western dressage trainer I am a better all around teacher because of them. By being a participant in the TTT program, I have become a part of their foundation of the educational thrust of Western Dressage.”  Karin Reid Offield

Excited to be “Person of the Week!” by Michigan News!


Thank you Eric for bringing HARRY & SNOWMAN into the news!

Michigan News Person of the Week –

Here in northern Michigan, there are a lot of people making a difference in their communities. We’re recognizing those who make an impact with the “MI News 26 Person of the Week.”

This week, we’re recognizing a woman dedicated to promoting equestrian sports.

Those nominating Karin Offield said she runs a program giving members of the YMCA in Harbor Springs and Petoskey an introduction to horseback riding. She’s also been a long-time supporter of dressage competitions across of the country.

In addition, Offield produced a documentary — “Harry and Snowman” — about a trainer who saved a horse from a slaughterhouse… leading that horse to become a national show jumping champion. That film was submitted to the Sundance Film Festival.

For all her work in the field of equestrian sports — both locally in Harbor Springs and around the county, Karin Offield has been named this week’s Person of the Week.

If you know of someone who’s working hard in their own community — whether that’s by making an extraordinary accomplishment in school, volunteering for a local non-profit, or just impacting the area in their own unique way — send an email to

Karin Reid Offield and Merlin


NEW Merlin_hd3_300dpi copy

Janet Foy Symposium, Hosted by the Midwest Dressage Association Located on Carole and Tonya Grant’s Farm,
5390 Pleasant Hill Drive, Fenton, MI 48430
April 9 & 10, 201

Congratulations to our Demo Riders!

Hillary Oliver & Tonya Grant – Training Level, Jennifer Clooten & Karin Reid Offield – First Level, Rebecca Moras & Lorie DeGrazia – Second Level, Andrea Landis & Jayne Bailey – Third Level, Carrie Wilson & Lisa Delaat – Fourth Level, Sally Dietrich & Anne Stahl – Prix St George, Sue Thome & Sherry Nelson – Intermediate 1, Andrea Bingham & Marie Domke-DeWitt – Intermediate 2/Grand Prix
What is the difference between a Symposium and a Clinic?

The main purpose of the symposium format is to educate the audience through living examples of theory. This is done through using the rider as an illustrative extension of the instructor’s theory. Riders are chosen by their current ability to solidly illustrate the theory and their education becomes secondary to the audience’s experience.

For example: if the lesson is to teach the audience the bio-mechanics of flying changes and how they are achieved, a pair with great simple changes and inconsistent flying changes cannot be used. However a pair that can land big, straight, solid changes, that can do them repetitively, on various lines would be used instead.

Whereas clinics are specific intensive educational sessions for the horse and rider, where they are encouraged to hone and develop their personal skills. These sessions are often used to serve and encourage a learning curve, trying of new processes and resolving issues via a different approach. The audience itself is indirectly educated through watching the learning process between rider, instructor and horse.

Depending on the prerequisites of the clinician, riders are chosen by level shown/schooling, their willingness to participate and improve.