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#30 Breaking Barriers in the Sport of Polo with Agustin Arellano

Agustin Arellano is a professional American polo player, eco-entrepreneur, and model.

Agustin is also the newly appointed operations manager at Rinehart Polo, where he further assists with the organization’s goals to create a holistic future for the sport. Both Agustin and Rinehart Polo are dedicated to the long-term betterment of the sport of polo by focusing on polo education, sponsoring youth polo programs, and most importantly, making polo more inclusive, while improving equine welfare.

When he is not on the field practicing or playing polo, Agustin is tirelessly working on his co-founded companies, the Project Pampa and The Range, which focus on equestrian lifestyle, interior design, luxury furniture, and real estate. Agustin also practices philanthropy, which is centered around sustainability and well-being for animals through his ambassadorship with the Fauna and Flora International Non-Profit Organization.

Podcast Transcript

This transcript was created by an AI and has not been proofread.

This transcript was created by AI and has not been proofread

[SPEAKER 2]On this week’s episode, Augustine Arellano.

[SPEAKER 1]He would spend like an hour before every game, like playing the game in his mind before he went out on the field. That’s like one of my favorite things about like, and you hear from other athletes as well, but it’s like winning the game in your mind before you even step foot out there.

[SPEAKER 2]Welcome to the Equestrian Connection podcast from WeHorse. My name is Danielle Kroll, and I’m your host. Augustine Arellano is the newly appointed operations manager at Reinhart Polo, where he assists with the organization’s goals to create a holistic future for the sport. Both Augustine and Reinhard Polo are dedicated to the long-term betterment of the sport by focusing on polo education, sponsoring youth polo programs, and most importantly, making polo more inclusive while also improving equine welfare. I’m so excited for you to tune in to this episode with Augustine and learn how he’s breaking barriers in the sport of polo, as well as being an equestrian entrepreneur and philanthropist. So let’s dive in! Welcome to the Equestrian Connection podcast, Augustine. We’re so happy to have you here.

[SPEAKER 1]Thanks, Danielle. I’m excited to be here.

[SPEAKER 2]So I personally don’t know a lot about polo. I don’t have it in my area. It’s something I’ve always been interested in, but just haven’t had the opportunity to expose myself to it. I’m really excited to talk to you about it. And I’d love to know how you got started with polo and what attracted you to it.

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, polo is a really interesting sport, but I got started because my father was actually the best American bowl player for like 10 years. And my mom also played bowl. I’m third generation on both sides. So I was like, born and they like, plowed me on a horse. It’s an incredible sport. Like my parents never gave me any, like pressure to play, or, but they always said, like, if you want a horse, like you have to be at the barn every day and you have to be feeding it and stuff. And I just can’t really imagine my life without horses. Like I think anybody that has the opportunity to be around horses and polo in my case, it’s like you’re lucky and you should be grateful to be there. I mean, it’s like these like soulful animals that can teach you so much about yourself.

[SPEAKER 2]Absolutely. Was there, like, did you dabble in any other disciplines or was it polo right from the start? And then now currently, do you also do any other disciplines as well?

[SPEAKER 1]So we, in the summers, we would spend it in, my dad would play in Wyoming. Um, so we, I actually like, like, a couple of times that we would like put like a Western saddle on my polo ponies and like do some stuff. Like they taught us some roping and we did like some barrels. Um, but that’s the only other thing I’ve done besides

[SPEAKER 2]It’s good to have that diversification. I can’t really imagine, like, polo in a Western saddle, though. I feel like that would get pretty sticky. Yeah, yeah.

[SPEAKER 1]The polo ponies, like, they were pretty relaxed, and they were like, OK, this is kind of weird, but that’s fine. And we just, like, messed around.

[SPEAKER 2]Yeah, yeah, absolutely. OK, so you started off playing polo as a child. And then describe your journey into becoming a professional polo player. Like, was it… Were you able to be exposed to some of that from your father or like, how, how did that all play out for you?

[SPEAKER 1]I got to grow up like in the polo circuit and watching it happen. And I traveled with my dad and my, my, my mom and dad traveled together. So we traveled together and I got to watch it. happened kind of like from, you know, the ground up. But like my personal development into the career was like, you know, I started off like playing like kids polo and like my dad would coach me and stuff until like at the age of like 14. I like went pro which like for polo that’s like going pro is like when you start getting paid to play. And I when I was 15, I represented the US team in China. and and that’s kind of like what kind of kickstarted my career up until now like I’ve won like 20 over 20 USPA tournaments like one my favorite two of my favorites one was with um my all my so my brother my sister and my dad on the same team and we won which is really cool that’s so cool yeah yeah and my other favorite one like the probably like the pinnacle of my career thus far was playing for the US team in the World Cup and getting the silver medal like alongside my sister and my dad was the coach. So that was like the coolest part.

[SPEAKER 2]That’s really cool. Now going pro at 14, 15 seems very young to me. Is that a typical age or was that something that was, you know, maybe like something special?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, so a lot of the pros will, yeah, like around that age, I guess like between 14 and 16 or 17 is like when they’ll like, get serious and start getting paid to play and stuff. And then like, you’ll, you’ll see kind of where your career goes from that. Like some people like, like it, they love the pressure and they like thrive and other people like, they decide it’s not for them. But yeah, like 14 1516 is like when you’ll start making money and taking it pretty seriously.

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[SPEAKER 1]Okay, yeah, I’m glad you asked. I so I think like one of the most important things and like, it’s so interesting that you said that is like, yeah, like the mindfulness and like the, you know, like almost like mental exercise to put yourself through to be an athlete. And I think for me, like that starts like at the very basics, like just being grateful for like being there. Because like, I feel you can get so nervous or like feel a lot of pressure that you just forget to be like, okay, I get to like, play ball on this incredible field, like in like 75 degree weather, like on this horse, like doing what I love. I’m like, okay, let’s just like start there. And that’s been huge for me is like, just kind of taking a moment to like, really be present and grateful. And that’s like been the number one for me. I really learned this from my dad for like, wellness and stuff was cool. It’s just so funny, but he would spend like an hour before every game, like playing the game in his mind before he went out on the field. And I really have like taken that and I try to, that’s like one of my favorite things about like, like, and you hear from other athletes as well. But it’s like winning the game in your mind before you even step foot out there. And then like for a daily like, training for like during season, I’ll work out like depending on like it’s tough because like my schedule changes with the games and riding and stuff. But I’ll work out at least four to five times a week, like a like a tough workout, even if I have practice in the morning or night. But I really have gotten like a shout out to my trainer this winter, India Parker, Chaka Wellness, but she has these workouts that are specific for questions. And it’s incredible how much that’s changed my game because I’ve always been really discipline about working out and stuff but something that is like specific to like your weak points like she’ll watch you ride and she like kind of like watches the biomechanics of like what your body’s doing and she’s like okay like she told me that my lower abdomen was like a bit weaker and we worked really hard on that and like i’ve never felt more balanced on the horizontal with her which has been incredible so i work with her like four or five times a week and then i really try hard in the morning think of three things that i’m grateful for and at night like kind of go through my head like of like everything was a day but like not like a non-judgmental way. And then before a game, I’ll always spend time like on my breathing, like really getting to a point where I’m like present and clear-minded. And I think that’s really important when you’re playing because if you’re not clear-minded, like, you know, like forced birth can be dangerous.

[SPEAKER 2]Yeah, absolutely. And I’m sure that the horses appreciate you being centered and being conscious of your breath, because as we know, the horses pick up on that. So if you come to them and you’re like, OK, let’s get going, and you have that state of high energy, the horses are going to feel that way. And of course, you want the polo ponies to have the high energy, but not in the negative way, right? So one of the things that you mentioned about the playing the mental game in your head, meaning that like you go over winning in your head ahead of time. And that is so smart and just something I want to circle back to because I feel like if we’re not conscious of doing it, sometimes we do the opposite and we go through the worst case scenarios and we start thinking about like, oh my gosh, is this done yet? Did I remember to do this? Oh, well, I saw, you know, I’m kind of feeling this way or my horse is feeling this way. And you kind of go through the worst case scenarios and almost, you know, lose in your head. So it’s so important to be conscious of the idea of winning. So thinking of all the good things that could happen instead. I think that’s such a key thing to focus on.

[SPEAKER 1]No, you’re so right. The brain always picks up on like what you’re focused on. So if you’re focused on the good things, like it’s gonna you’re that’s gonna happen. You know, I mean, I’m a firm believer of that. And I think that it’s worked thus far. So yeah, I love it.

[SPEAKER 2]Absolutely. And like you said to the going through the like the things that you’re grateful for at the end of the day, same sort of thing, you know, again, we can think all the things that didn’t go right in the day. And instead, it’s like thinking of the things that did go right. I think that’s Yeah, that’s such good advice.

[SPEAKER 1]So what’s

[SPEAKER 2]the most challenging aspect of playing polo at the professional level? I’m sure there’s lots of different things that come into play. But what do you find to be the most challenging? And then how do you manage it?

[SPEAKER 1]I think two things come to mind is like, obviously, there’s like any sport, equestrian, non equestrian, it’s a, there’s like a lot of pressure that comes with playing sports at that level. And I think, again, like, just circling back that it’s, I thing that I the way that I manage it is like, yeah, just like reminding myself that I’m doing what I love, and like how lucky I am to do that. And the second part is like, obviously, the questions like our schedules can get crazy, like traveling different places. And I think that was like hard for me as like a young adult, like 18 1920, just like trying to like figure out where like my roots were. And I think, for me, what’s really worked is like, you know, deciding that everybody’s career is not the same. Like I, I get to decide how my life goes. And like, like deciding to stay in in one place most of the years that I do have, like sort of like that home and like grassroots, like sort of feel, um, which has helped me a lot. And it’s, I think that it’s important, especially now, like in the world we’re living in, I think before it’s like, there was like such a cookie cutter, like idea of like how to get from point A to point B. But now there’s like everybody’s journey is so different. I think like being able to remind yourself of that and like knowing that you’re in charge of like how your life goes as it really helps me in my career as a professional athlete or professional bowl player. And I think like other people are going to help them a lot to like understand that they’re in charge of how life goes and there’s no set way of how to get and achieve your goals.

[SPEAKER 2]Absolutely. Was there like a moment that was a turning point for you where you realize like, I want to do it this my own way? You know, my life is allowed to look different.

[SPEAKER 1]Totally. Like I just remember being, yeah, like 19 or 20, like traveling crazy for polo, like one month here, one month there, one month there, like all year. And I was like, this is too much. I was like, I cannot manage this. And it, uh, and then it was like, I mean, my mom and dad, but like, my mom was like, so like tender and like understanding. And she, I remember my conversation with her about it. And she’s like, you get to decide how, how your life goes. No one else. It’s you. And it like, that was like a moment where like, it clicked for me and I was like, yeah, you’re right. And like, from then on, I’ve like, I’m setting out opportunities. So I didn’t feel like they suited me. And in turn, I think better opportunities came up, uh, for me and like how I wanted to like live my life. and how I wanted to achieve my goals.

[SPEAKER 2]So was there a point where like setting boundaries or learning to say no came into play as well? Because I think that’s just something that’s important, not only for athletes, but just like people in general is realizing your boundaries.

[SPEAKER 1]Totally. Realizing what’s not okay with me, what is okay with me. And I think like, yeah, once you really decide on that and you hold true to that, your life changes.

[SPEAKER 2]Mm hmm. Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s it’s something that, you know, I think that we always need to come back to and remind ourselves of because it’s easy to slip back into the negative habits and be like, No, this is something like no is a full sentence. So can you discuss your favorite polo match? Like the one that really stands out in your mind that you think back to? And maybe it was what you referenced earlier about, you know, playing with your family. But is there anything like, I mean, maybe it’s that one, maybe there’s another one, but what’s something that really stands out in your mind with your career?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, my side to like, yeah, that I mentioned earlier, one was like winning the, like a tournament with all my family, my brother, my sister and my dad, my mom was on the sidelines. And then I ended up getting most valuable players like that was like, the best experience for me ever. Like we still all talk about it like so fun. And then I most recently Yeah, playing on the US team in the World Cup. Like along my sister and we were waiting to play against Argentina, which was like the favorite team in the semifinals and like We like, I mean, obviously, I think no one said we’re gonna lose because we all were like, the positive, but it’s like, we knew we weren’t the favorite. But we’re like, Okay, well, let’s like, let’s just like, bring it to him. Like, like, no, like, no one was like, we it’s, I was actually so proud. I don’t know, like, I, I’m a really positive person. But like, I showed up to the tent, almost expecting everybody to be like, like, not super pumped. And everybody came in, like with the same attitude, like, let’s do this, like, come on, like, whatever the outcome, but we’re gonna do this. And my sister had to jump in because she was the alternate originally, and she played. And we, we went and we played such a hard game. And like, we got them, we were like winning the whole game, we like got to the end. And we’re like, we’re gonna do this, we are gonna do this. And we, we ended up winning, which was incredible in overtime. So that means like, when the game’s tied, and you have to do one more chucker, and it’s sudden death. So whoever scores the first goal win. And we ended up winning. And it was just like this like, I can’t even explain the feeling. And everybody was there with the American flags and cheering and faces painted. I got so emotional. My sister was laughing. It was just an incredible, incredible experience.

[SPEAKER 2]Oh, I love that. I’m here in Canada, as I mentioned, and so obviously hockey is a big thing for us. And it’s currently the Stanley Cup playoff, not necessarily the Stanley Cup, but the playoffs leading to the Stanley Cup. And my husband gets so into it and same thing. He like stays up so late and cheers for his teams. and it’s something that I love that energy there’s something about the crowd there’s something about the teams there’s something about there’s just an energy that’s so infectious so it’s uh I love that no matter what sport it is you know the the players the people in the stands everybody feels it totally I completely agree so team dynamics you mentioned about like For example, in the tent there and you’re thinking, OK, everybody’s nobody’s going to feel good about this and going in and realizing everybody felt so great about it and everybody was excited. And, you know, you fed off that energy. How important are team dynamics in the sport of polo for not only your like human teammates, but also your equine teammates, communication, all of those things?

[SPEAKER 1]So human teammates, it’s like so important because I think a lot of times, you know, you like you can train, train, train and be to the best of your ability. But if you’re not a team player, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, it’s a team sport and you can’t win alone. So I think something that’s really important is being positive with your team and getting that camaraderie. A lot of time we’ll hang out off the field and stuff to build that repertoire, which I think is really important. And yeah, like positive talk and stuff, because you know, you’ll be out there and you’ll hear guys like, not talking very well to your team to their team and stuff. And it’s like, it’s like, there’s just like, there’s no reason to like, get your get your teammates down. Like it’s the only way to like truly like Which I think it’s cool. The idea of playing on a team sport is really interesting. You have to depend on somebody else to back you up, which I think is really cool. And don’t even get me started about partnering with horses. I could talk about that for hours and hours. But it’s cool. And I think the thing about polo that is interesting, and other equine sports as well, you do so much time and preparation and like time spent in the barn time spent in the saddle like building that partnership with the horse that when you get to the field it’s like you guys are like working like well-oiled machine that you’re like on and you know each other so well that you can really like like deliver.

[SPEAKER 2]Now what are some of the things that you do to help build a bond with the horses specifically? Is there anything like outside of playing polo?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, I spent a lot of time with that. And so I’ve gotten really into natural horsemanship. Um, recently, I think it’s not so recently, it’s only two years now. But I am like spending time instead of like, building like a fear based relationship where they feel like they have to do something, like being like a leader to them. So they want to do something like they want to follow you. Because like, In horses’ minds, they originally look at humans like a predator. So if you can instead make them look at you as a leader rather than something that they need to fear, I think it builds a lot more trust. I think if a horse trusts you and wants to do it because they trust you rather than something they’re doing because they’re scared of you, it’s so important. So I really try to spend as much time with them as possible and play with them and build a playful relationship rather than just a working

[SPEAKER 2]Mm hmm. Is there a special horse that comes to mind that, you know, whether it’s in the past or the present, that you’ve really had a good relationship with?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, one that it’s like I like I’ve had favorites and stuff, but one that I think an amazing relationship with is a young mare of mine that she’ll be like, yeah, she’s I think she’ll be the best horse I’ve ever owned. But she’s now like this year, I’ll like push her into like really intense and like high pressure tournaments. But she was bred on our farms. She was born on our farm. Her dad is a pretty well-known polo stallion. And her mom, my dad, played. He was actually a quarter horse, one of the only quarter horses that’s ever played the US Open.

[SPEAKER 2]That’s interesting. What are the normal breeds? I don’t even know. What are the normal breeds of horses?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, so it’s usually an American thoroughbred. Or there’s actually, in Argentina, there’s a polo breed. So it’s called the Argentine polo horse. And it’s a registered breed. they’re, it’s cool. They’re really cool. They’re like, they’re like thoroughbreds, but like maybe slightly smaller and slightly stronger, like stronger, I mean, like thicker. But they they’re similar to thoroughbreds. And so those are the two that people use in polo. But this mare, like she’s so cool, because I’ve had her since she was a baby. And she’s like a really like alpha personality. But like, I like, like I’ll whistle and she comes like running, I’ll just like, hang out with her. I’ll just hop on her like with zero tack and like ride around in the pasture. And It’s just cool. Like she’s always talking to me and stuff. And like, so then when I go on the field, it’s like, I know she’s got like full trust in me, which is like a really cool sort of feeling to have.

[SPEAKER 2]There’s something about mares. I have a mare and a gelding and I love my gelding’s personality because he’s just like that, like goofy puppy dog. But then my mare, she’s so like, I love the grittiness. I love like the there’s just like that trust in the sense of like you’re going to go and get the job done. And I love that feeling. Yeah, there’s something about a mare. So, so in terms of the game of polo, what about like the spectators? So, um, you know, you had mentioned like the, the crowd atmosphere, everybody cheering, having the flags, things like that. But what are some aspects for maybe people that aren’t familiar with polo, um, that you can explain that maybe will draw people into the sport and want to go, you know, watch or, or participate themselves?

[SPEAKER 1]I think it was quite interesting. I think a lot of people have like, the, like, I don’t know, like a skewed perspective of it. And like, I’m sure that you see it with like, every question on sport that they think that it’s like, sort of this like, fancy, like, I don’t know, like pretty woman vibe. And in reality, it’s like so much more than that. And it’s kind of nothing like that. I mean, obviously, there’s like events that it makes it feel that way. But you know, like, when you go and watch a polo game, it’s like, these people have been like at the bar and since God knows what time, and they’ve spent so much time being able to get to that point. And so being able to understand that is, I think, the first step of realizing how cool the sport is, in my opinion. And then the next thing is, if you put it in perspective, that’s basically hockey on a 1,000-pound animal going to a park. It’s also pretty cool to me. But yeah, I think if people took the time to understand it, they’d find it as entertaining and as incredible as I do.

[SPEAKER 2]Yeah, absolutely. I feel like we can bring in even more of the fans, like you had said, like hockey on a thousand pound animal. It’s like, oh, that’s cool. It’s like a slogan to bring in people that aren’t aware of it. So speaking of, you know, bringing in more people and Polo education and that, so you’re now the operations manager at Reinhardt Polo. And so what are some of the things that you are doing and the whole team there is doing that is helping to bring in more Polo education and, you know, the youth programs and that?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, I’m really excited to be working with them. They it’s like a really awesome organization that’s like, kind of dedicated to like the long term betterment of the sport, which I find really exciting. They right now we’re working on like digitizing a lot of polo. So it’s like obviously the question we’re all this like, slow to follow, like the rest of the world’s footsteps. But like now we’re like developing a bunch of apps to like help the people’s lives like be easier and connect the community more and then we’re also working on like a bill of rights like a bill of rights for polo ponies that we want to make universal to all the organizations in polo around the world like all the governing bodies want them to implement this equal and bill of rights just to like keep I mean all the rules in polo are made to like keep the rider and horse safe but I think an equine bill of rights would be really beneficial and like just keeping like the animals we all hold so close and dear to our hearts like safe and happy and so those two things we’re working really hard on right now and then we’re currently working on an event in Oxford UK to like continue to bring awareness to the sport and like I was just saying like so that people like understand like what a cool sport it is and like to better understand what we’re doing and stuff.

[SPEAKER 2]I love the idea of the Equine Bill of Rights. That’s so smart. And now, what about inclusivity? Because you had mentioned, and I know that it’s a little bit of like a, I don’t want to say the word stigma, but like a preconceived notion that, I mean, as with any equestrian sport, people, you know, it is something that’s seen as a little bit more like glitz and glamour. So what are some ways that we can make polo more inclusive so that people don’t feel that they need to be at a certain whatever in order to attend?

[SPEAKER 1]I think, yeah, and like, so like, going back to what I was saying about it is it’s because I think that like, it’s painted in that way. Interesting enough, I don’t know who started or what. But it’s, it’s not that I mean, like, if you came to my bar, and you saw like, how I show up at the bar, like, hanging on my horses and stuff. But I think it’s like, just goes down to like, reaching out to if somebody wants to take a lesson, like it’s all about like, what was about family and like inclusion and seven. So if you really did, like want to come and take a lesson, the polo community is so welcoming, and so like I don’t know like there it’s like a big family like if you know one person on Polo World like you know everybody and I think that it’s I think that if somebody wants to get involved like so yeah give me a call or anybody but it’s it’s just a it’s a cool sport a cool world and like people take the time to learn more about it I think that they would like I don’t know they love it as much as as much as we do.

[SPEAKER 2]Yeah yeah it’s it’s funny it’s like the um like the equestrian meme that you see circling around social media that it’s like people’s like expectation of what an equestrian looks like and you see them they’re like modeling like this like perfect outfit with this perfect horse and it’s like equestrian reality and it’s like you’re covered in dirt. At least that’s my reality. So what are some tips for young players aspiring to become professional polo players? So let’s say they have a league in their area, they’re getting started, they’re taking some lessons, they’re playing some games and they really think, okay, I wanna go further in this. What are some tips that people, that you might wanna give some people about how they can excel?

[SPEAKER 1]I think the number one thing is to spend as much time doing it as possible, like being in the saddle as much as possible, play as much as you possibly can, and want it like really want to be better. I think watching videos, just immersing yourself in it is so important. And it really like, people underestimate how much that can help you improve is just being there, being around it, being in the saddle, watching it, consuming it is really, I think the best way to improve quicker.

[SPEAKER 2]And now going back to what you know I’m going to take the pin out of the thing I said I’m going to put a pin in the beginning, which is the idea of the pressure of the professional athlete. So, if somebody was to say I want to become a professional polo player. A, what do you do to help to manage the pressure of being, you know, a like a professional player and then also somebody that’s in the limelight? And then B, what do you recommend that other people do? Or maybe it all, you know, works together.

[SPEAKER 1]I think, yeah, I mean, we’ve talked about it a lot, this interview, which I’ve loved because I love to talk about it. But like, yeah, the idea of like being present one. So it’s like, like just starting off of being president, you’re like, okay, I get I’m a professional volleyball player. I like to be around horses all the time. Secondly, like practicing like, like, gratefulness and gratitude and like, just really like understanding like, you know, I think it just all goes back to when people forget it sometimes like when they when they are when they’ve been playing a while or any sport, but it’s like why you started like it’s because you love it so much and you get to do this incredible sport and be around incredible animals. And when you can really like understand that, be present and mindful and grateful for you know, the fact that we get to do that not a lot of people do. It’s I think that’s the way I handle the pressure the best. And that would be my advice to anybody else to is like, just like understand like why, like, remember why you’re doing it, why you started. And yeah, I’d be grateful for what we get to do, which is pretty incredible.

[SPEAKER 2]Yeah, I absolutely love that so many equestrians, specifically professional equestrians, are speaking about that, about, you know, mindfulness and about like, learning about yourself and doing the self work and managing your mindset, because I do think that so many of us put the horse’s needs above our own. And maybe we spend the money on supplements or, you know, whatever it may be, rather than, you know, taking the time to go to a class that can help to teach us about our breathing, you know, or something like that. And I think it’s so important that that people that others look up to, you know, as professionals are speaking about this. So I’m glad that you keep mentioning it. And, you know, and I hope that the conversation continues with the idea of mindfulness for equestrians. So let’s talk about the fact of like breaking barriers. So you yourself are breaking barriers for the LGBTQ community, um, as the first openly gay polo player, um, for Team USA. And so how, first of all, how does that feel? Because I feel like it would feel really good. And then I also feel like it would feel like, man, like what, like, why hasn’t anybody else? come forward or you know or something like that like to be the first like why why aren’t we talking about this more so how does it feel first of all uh yeah it feels amazing truthfully i think like the reason why i’m doing it and like i i want to talk about it it’s like

[SPEAKER 1]You know, growing up, I think you always want to like, look at somebody that’s doing something to like, go off of. And, you know, there was like plenty of polo players who off of it, I didn’t see like, so many, like LGBTQ athletes, none in polo, that were doing what I wanted to do. And I think it’s like, for me now, I’m like, it’s important for other people to be able to watch me like, Oh, I can do that. Like, if somebody who’s like, in the closet and doesn’t want to come out because they’re afraid of a backlash or somebody who just like, is, is living openly gay, but doesn’t see like a lot of professional athletes. And I mean, thankfully, a lot of them out now, like, I think the first one that I remember was Gus Kenworthy coming out, like after winning the silver medals in the winter, like Olympics, and I thought that was so cool. I was like, wow, like he’s doing it. And that inspired me a lot. And I hope to be able to inspire like other people who are, who do want to do it and want to see somebody like them doing it. Because I didn’t, I didn’t think I had that as a kid to somebody that was like, important to me in my career.

[SPEAKER 2]I’m currently doing like a manifestation program and one of the things that it recommends is finding expanders so looking for people yeah like looking for people that okay I want to do this so I need to find somebody that’s already doing it and then look up to them and so it’s kind of like they’re doing it if they can do it I can do it so it’s it’s kind of cool for you you know to consider I mean for me I’m looking at you and I’m thinking You’re an expander for people. And like, that’s a really cool thing. So yeah, it’s it’s a it’s a pretty cool feeling to have, I’m sure. Now, what is your hope for the future of polo sport, and then just like the equestrian industry as a whole?

[SPEAKER 1]I really hope to see Yeah, I mean, I bet it’s already changing, like people are becoming so mindful, and they’re creating like their own realities and lives around what they want their world to be like in this incredible equestrian community that we have. And I think for the future of polo, I’d love to see it grow in a more organic way, in a better light. I want it to be inclusive. I want people to come and watch and enjoy it and understand the sport. And I think that it’s just something that’s really, I don’t know, it’s incredible. to think that like, we’ve grown so much the community already. And so I’m just so excited to see like where it goes. And I’m excited to be a part of it.

[SPEAKER 2]So we’ve been talking about Polo exclusively here, and I want to switch a little bit to discuss your co-founded companies. So you have Project Pampa and The Range. And what inspired you or put that desire to become an entrepreneur?

[SPEAKER 1]So again, going back to creating your own life, I always knew I wanted to have a business alongside of Polo. the range, it’s specifically like a real estate company that is like, built around, like opportunities in the conservation and more specifically, the equestrian community, because that’s the world that I’m in. And like all the contacts that I’ve made, I’ve been through there. But it’s like, you know, sales, eco development, design, and like hospitality, all within that it’s a consulting group. So we’re a consulting group, that you’ll come to us and be like, Okay, I have this idea for this project. and we’ll help you get there. So whether you want to create like an equestrian community, that’s like all eco friendly, like we’re there every step of the way, like between the builders, the sales, the design, and, and go through that, which has been so fun for me. Like, I’ve loved that. Love that.

[SPEAKER 2]That’s so cool.

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, yeah. And then Project Bomb Bomb was a And it kind of just like plopped into my lap. But a friend of mine that I met playing polo.

[SPEAKER 2]Sorry, can you can you say the word again? Because I like totally like Canadian eyes to the word.

[SPEAKER 1]You can say it however you want. Project Bamba. But you can say however you want. Like Bamba are like the rolling hills in Argentina. But a friend of mine from Argentina that I met playing polo messaged me about like we we’ve known each other for a while. And he was like, oh, I like I have this company that I’m starting. I’d love you to be a part of it. And it’s basically like sustainable furniture that we curate different designers in Argentina and like the two like prerequisites we have is it has to be sustainable and then it has to be like contemporary and we curate a like a list of designers from different South American countries and bring over the collection here to the United States. And both of these partners that I have from both companies are people that I’ve met in polo, that they’re equestrians, they’re horse people. And they also care about the environment and care about making a difference. And that’s another thing about that I’m sure you can agree with. Equestrian communities, the amazing people you meet is for me, bar none.

[SPEAKER 2]Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I think that’s such a cool combination of like you said, like equestrianism, eco friendly sustainability. I think that’s such a cool combination. And I’m so excited for you.

[SPEAKER 1]Thank you so much. I’m really excited as well.

[SPEAKER 2]So we have four WeHorse questions that we ask every podcast guest and they’re just like a quick rapid fire. So the first one is, do you have a motto or a favorite saying?

[SPEAKER 1]I have a couple I honestly, and most of them are like from Michael Jordan.

[SPEAKER 2]But I mean, he’s the goat, right?

[SPEAKER 1]So my one that I like will tell myself like before a game, I like just over and over and over is like, some people want it to happen. Some wishes would happen and others make it happen. I love that. And then another one and it just goes back to like when my dad like, did is like, just I remember watching an interview of his And it’s just winning the game before you’re even step foot on the court. And I think that is like been probably like my favorite motto is probably some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. But the most impactful has been winning the game before my foot even such a touch his foot on the field.

[SPEAKER 2]And I feel like you can apply those to so much more than than a sport. You can apply to everything in life.

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

[SPEAKER 2]The second question is, who has been the most influential person in your equestrian journey? And I’m sure it’s been your father. So maybe mention your father and then tell us about that, but then also if there’s anybody else.

[SPEAKER 1]OK. My father, for sure, is the most influential person. It’s funny, he will take his dad hat off and put his coach hat on a lot. And that was hard for me growing up. Like, I am so sensitive. So I’d be like, dad, like, why are you talking to me this way? And it was like, he wasn’t gonna treat me different than he would like anybody else, which I now like, I like so many things that I look back and appreciate so much. But yeah, he’s incredible. Like number one, I looked up to him all growing up, like as like Superman. And then like, now to be able to like coach me through things. It’s just like kind of like, something like I can’t even describe. And then somebody else that I mean, it’s like, terrible, but my mom is the other person that’s been so influential. She’s like, has an eye for horses that it’s like, unbelievable. Like she’s like, can see a horse and know whether it’s a like one foot polo, it’s gonna be a good polo horse. And she also gives like, incredible advice. Like there’s time, there’s times in a game where I will like find her on the sidelines, and ride to her for advice rather than like going back to the tent for like, my dad to coach or whoever to coach because like, she’s got like this like incredible eye and intuition. And she’s So supportive. She’s helped my dad get to where my dad was in his career, helped me, helped my siblings. She’s incredible. All moms are incredible. But my mom has really been an influential person.

[SPEAKER 2]I think that’s so special that the two people that have been so influential for you have been your parents. That’s just such a special thing. So that’s really nice. The third question is, if you could give equestrians one piece of advice, what would it be?

[SPEAKER 1]I think that if I could give the questions one piece of advice, it would be to never throw your leg over the saddle in a bad mood. The horses can feel it. And it just turns worse. I’ve always said to myself, after going through adolescence, even if I’m having a terrible day and I’m not going to get out of it, which doesn’t happen often, I can pretty much always make myself feel better. I won’t get on a horse, because I’m not going to ruin their day, too. They’re such soulful animals. They can hear a heartbeat from five feet away. It’s not fair to them. It doesn’t help anybody. And I really only want to cultivate positive environments for my horses. So I think that would be my biggest piece of advice for an equestrian, is to just understand that your emotions, your horses are feeling also.

[SPEAKER 2]Love that. I was like internally clapping while you were saying that. Love that one. And the final one is, please complete the sentence. For me, horses are… For me, horses are everything.

[SPEAKER 1]They’re inspirational. They’re soulful. They’re spiritual. They’re emotional. And they’re like, like the embodiment to me of like what my soul looks like. I mean, the horse is like, I think you can learn so much more about yourself through a horse, and for that, I’m eternally grateful to them.

[SPEAKER 2]I love that, the embodiment of my soul. I love that. What a nice way to wrap this up. I’m so grateful for you taking the time for this episode, and I know people are going to get a lot from this. And even if it’s something as simple as, hey, I want to tune in to the next polo match, I’m so happy that you were here and sharing your light with us. So thank you so much, Augustine.

[SPEAKER 1]No, thank you. I really appreciate it, Danielle.

[SPEAKER 2]Thank you for listening to this episode of the Equestrian Connection Podcast by WeHorse. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a rating and review, as well as share us on social media. You can find us on Instagram at wehorse underscore USA, and check out our free seven-day trial on, where you can access over 175 courses with top trainers from around the world in a variety of topics and disciplines. Until next time, be kind to yourself, your horses, and others.

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