What to Know Before Polo Season Starts

What to Know Before Polo Season Starts

Polo is one of the oldest sports in the world, and also one of the most exciting. It combines all the speed and thrill of hockey and basketball with the grace and power of highly trained horses. Plus, it has divot stomping, the only halftime ritual to include champagne! If thundering down the field on a polo pony, the wind in your hair, as you fight for the glory of your team sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon, Chukkar Farm is the place for you.

polo pony leg protectionPolo dates back thousands of years and has remained largely unchanged since it began as a cavalry training exercise in ancient Persia. We’re not training warriors anymore, but polo hasn’t lost its edge. Just like in basketball, players compete fiercely for control of the ball. Doing it on horseback just makes it that much more exciting. Divot stomping at half-time gives spectators the chance to stretch their legs, chat, enjoy a glass of champagne, and make the field safer for horses and riders by repairing holes made in the grass during play.

Here’s a few easy ways to get started with polo at Chukkar Farm:

  • Come see a match. What better way to see what polo is all about? The season starts back on May 7. Watching polo can be just as much fun as playing it. Wear your best hat and come prepared to stomp those divots!
  • Bring a group for one of our Polo Experience Packages. A great step for beginners (even those who have never ridden a horse before). Whether for birthdays, the most unique team-building event ever, or just because, Chukkar Farm group outings are unforgettable.
  • Take some lessons. Chukkar Farm offers polo lessons from an award-winning instructor year-round, for juniors and adults. Never ridden a horse? No equipment? No problem. We provide training and equipment, including polo ponies.

Ready to get started? Call Chukkar Farm Polo Club in Alpharetta.

Activities Abound in Alpharetta This Summer

Activities Abound in Alpharetta This Summer

Summer is just around the corner. How will your kids spend the vacation? Switch off the screens and let them explore their adventurous sides. Summer camp activities abound at Chukkar Farm!

Activities About for Kids in Alpharetta

Do you want your kids to connect with nature, learn new skills, and tap into their creativity? Chukkar Farm summer camp gives kids an opportunity to experience new things, make new friends, and explore the boundless world beyond their door. We have day camps throughout June and July, where kids can go adventuring Monday through Friday from 8:30-3:30. We also have early drop off and extended day camp activities available for kids aged 6-14. But you better hurry! Registration spots are filling up fast.

Summer Day Camp at Chukkar Farm

What are our most popular summer camp activities for kids?

  • Fishing. If you think the kids will get bored sitting by the lake with a pole and fresh bait, think again. Last year the campers had so much fun fishing for bass, crappie, and catfish that we added extra fishing excursions to the schedule.
  • boy practicing archeryArchery. Is your child the next Legolas, Hawkeye, or Katniss Everdeen? Beginners will master the bow in no time with tips from our experienced archery teachers.
  • Hiking. There’s no better way to get around than your own two feet! Kids will hike around the farm all day, from the hardwood forest and hiking trails to the old haunted house on the back of the property.
  • Horseback riding. We are a polo club, after all. Mrs. Sue will teach the kids to respect their animals, stay sure of their seats, and even play a little polo.
  • Sports. Kids can unleash their leadership skills, teamwork, and competitive sides with kickball, soccer, capture the flag, baseball, tennis, water wars, ultimate frisbee, and more.
  • Art. It wouldn’t be camp without crafts. The campers will love incorporating their experiences into creative art pieces using colored pencils, oil pastels, pencils, charcoal, and other basic art supplies.

It’s going to be a summer for the ages! To learn more about Activities Abound summer camp, call Chukkar Farm in Alpharetta.

4 Rustic Wedding Projects for the DIY Bride

4 Rustic Wedding Projects for the DIY Bride

We love the DIY wedding trends that have swept through the country in recent years. And why not? DIY decor is cute, affordable, and provides a unique opportunity for bonding with your bridesmaids (or your future mother-in-law). Planning a rustic wedding? These DIY wedding projects are as simple as they are sweet!

Rustic DIY Projects for a Barn Wedding

  1. Stairway to heaven. All you need is an old wooden ladder and a bridesmaid with an artistic eye. Use the steps of the ladder to display bursts of flowers in vintage birdcages, stack cupcakes if you’re low on table space, or show off oversized versions of you and your new hubby’s initials.
  2. Mr. and Mrs. signs. Drill holes in the top corners of two old boards. Paint “Mr” on one board and “Mrs” on the other. Thread the holes with ribbon, and hang on the back of the bride and groom’s chairs. Voila! Picture-perfect.
  3. A billowing frame. Don’t ruin the view of the countryside with a backdrop. Instead, focus every eye on the main event by draping light, elegant fabrics from tree branches. It will create a sweet, tasteful frame that you can use for photographs, to set off the cake table, or for the big moment when you say “I do.”
  4. horseshoe in barnBurlap and lace accents. Looking for a simple DIY project to add elegance to the table? Wrap silverware in burlap and tie a lace ribbon around each bundle of cutlery. Set them at each place setting or, if you’re going buffet-style, in a vintage tin bucket by the food.
  5. Horseshoe escort cards. Instead of simply tacking escort cards to board, lean into the equestrian wedding theme. Tie each name card to a horseshoe with a bit of twine or ribbon. Arrange them on a table or hang them from the fence for a cute, rustic twist on a wedding must-have.

Chukkar Farm is your destination for barn weddings in Alpharetta. Call today to schedule a tour of our facilities.

5 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Horse

5 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Horse

Buying your first horse is an exciting—and daunting—process. For many, it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, it’s an unexpected opportunity. Before galloping headlong into horse ownership, know what you’re getting into. These are the 5 things to know before buying your first horse.

  1. farrierPlan financially. Horses aren’t a one-time purchase to scrimp and save for. They’re a lifelong investment. Regular horse expenses include food and supplies, boarding, and vet and farrier bills. If you plan on training your horse to compete, you may get a monetary return on the investment. But before buying a horse, make sure you can afford everything ownership entails, even if your mount never takes home a prize.
  2. Ask a professional. Most first time horse owners don’t know what to look for when it comes to the age, breed, history, and health of a horse. Before committing to a purchase, ask a professional to help you find the right horse.
  3. Be smart. Think with your head, not your heart. Ask yourself what has drawn you to each particular horse. If you’re a regular polo player and the horse is an experienced polo pony, you’re probably in the clear. But if you like the horse because of its coloring, temperament, or because you bonded with it emotionally, ask for a second opinion.
  4. Schedule an exam. You wouldn’t buy a used car without getting the all-clear from a mechanic, or purchase a home without a house inspection. Don’t take risks with your horse! Vets are used to giving pre-purchase exams; they’ll be able to tell you if the horse has any health or fitness issues before you sign the papers.
  5. Know what you’re getting into. Owning a horse isn’t just a financial commitment. Horse ownership takes time and dedication. Before making the final decision, make sure you can give your new horse what it needs.

Chukkar Farm is a polo club and boarding barn in Alpharetta. Call to learn more about our services.

Fundraisers Are Better at Chukkar Farm!

Fundraisers Are Better at Chukkar Farm!

With the rolling pastures, wooded hills, and crystalline rivers and lakes, there’s no better location for your next fundraiser than Chukkar Farm. We’re a polo club and event facility in Alpharetta characterized by rustic charm and the elegance of the old South. We’ve hosted some spectacular events, from weddings and photoshoots to concerts and charity polo matches. Chukkar Farm is dedicated to making each event memorable. That means doing everything we can to make your next fundraiser a rousing success!

How to Make Your Fundraiser Stand Out

  1. Focus your cause. Whether you’re raising money for a family in need, a community organization, or a national charity, grabbing people’s attention is the key to a successful fundraiser. Choose a focus for your fundraiser and make it attainable. For example, a tagline like “Polo Sunday keeps the doctor away” tells your supporters why you’re raising money and how they can help you meet your goal.
  2. woman using smartphoneRally the troops. No fundraiser is successful without boots on the ground. Gather a team of volunteers who will chat up your event to friends, post about your fundraiser on social media, and generally spread the word. The more friends they have on social media, the more potential donors they’ll reach!
  3. Make donating easy. There’s nothing more frustrating than deciding to give, only to waste your time figuring out the system. Whether you’re earning funds through ticket sales, a charity auction, or online donations, you’ll earn more if you simplify the process of giving.

Contact Chukkar Farm in Alpharetta for your next fundraiser event. It’s time to make history!

What Type of Horse Boarding Is Right for You?

What Type of Horse Boarding Is Right for You?

Whether you own a polo pony, a dressage horse, or an endurance horse, you want to make sure your horse is boarded in a good barn. Most horse owners don’t have the space or resources to board their own horses, so they board at a local barn. But if you’ve never boarded a horse before, you might not know what to look for in a barn. Brush up on the different styles of horse boarding to decide what’s right for you.

Pasture Board

Pasture boarding is a great way to save money on horse boarding. The facility provides your horse with feed, water, shelter, and room to roam. Pasture boarded horses are kept outdoors with grass to eat, water to drink, and a run-in shelter in case of bad weather. The barn owner will keep an eye on your horse to make sure he’s safe and healthy.

Self-Board

When you self-board a horse, you’re given a stall in the facilities. The rest is up to you. You’re responsible for feeding your horse, mucking the stall, turn-out, and scheduling appointments with the vet or farrier. Self-boarding gives your horse the benefits of barn boarding, but takes more time for the owner than other types of boarding.

Part-Board

If you can’t afford to buy a horse, part-boarding is a good option. When you part-board a horse, you pay a portion of its boarding fees in exchange for using the horse. What’s included in part-boarding depends entirely on the terms laid out between you and the owner in the contract.

Full Board

Full board is a good option for horse owners without a lot of free time. Boarding includes the necessities, plus a stall with full turn-out. Some full board contracts also include training, equipment, use, specialized feed, and vet or farrier appointments, while others include these on a pay-as-needed basis. Full board allows horse owners to provide their horses with good care without visiting daily. The flip side? It’s more expensive than other boarding options.

Chukkar Farm offers unique, high quality horse boarding in Alpharetta.

Ride Off into the Sunset with an Equestrian Wedding

Ride Off into the Sunset with an Equestrian Wedding

Your wedding brings the most important people together and share in your joy, toast to your love, and cement a lifelong place in your wedding photo album. But not every cherished member of your life is a person. Your horse has been there through it all, giving you a sense of freedom, joy, and companionship. Why leave him in his stall? A Chukkar Farms equestrian wedding lets you give your beloved horse a place of honor on your special day.

4 Ways to Incorporate Horses into Your Wedding

  1. Get hitched on horseback. Julia Roberts might have given horseback nuptials a bad rap in “Runaway Bride,” but as long as you choose a well-trained horse and keep your feet nice and warm, his hooves will stay firmly planted while you exchange vows.
  2. bride on horsebackBrides and their bridles. Capture that perfect wedding photo with the help of your horse. Arrange your train, grab your bouquet and your bridle, and prepare for the perfect bridal photo to grace your mantle.
  3. Bust open the barn. Brides love barn weddings for their rustic charm. Instead of keeping the guests relegated to the dance floor, why not decorate the horse stalls, braid flowers into the horses’ manes, and let guests wander through? Just make sure all guests know how to behave around the horses. Nobody wants nipped fingers on the night of your nuptials.
  4. Ride off into the sunset. Capture that fairytale moment. Saddle up with your new spouse and ride off into the sunset.

Your dream of an equestrian wedding is within reach. Call Chukkar Farms to tour our rustic Alpharetta wedding venue.

Bride on Horseback

The Definitive Guide to Polo Match Etiquette

The Definitive Guide to Polo Match Etiquette

Polo is an ancient sport with a long and illustrious history. And that doesn’t just go for the horses and players. We’ve had centuries to hone the art of watching polo. Do you know the proper etiquette for polo spectators?

Polo Match Etiquette

With the chic attire, the buzz from the crowd, and the thrill of watching 1,000+ pound horses moving gracefully under the hand of their riders, attending a polo match is often just as much fun as playing polo. Once you’ve mastered the rules of the game, you may think it’s simply a matter of catching the action. But there’s a certain etiquette to attending a polo match that you should know.

  1. queen elizabeth ii - polo matchSpectate safely. You wouldn’t think you’d be prone to distractions when there are eight massive horses thundering around the field, but you’d be surprised. Don’t get so distracted discussing the finer points of the game that you put yourself in harm’s way. Keep an eye out for stray balls, mallets, and horses.
  2. Learn the lingo. You’ve mastered the basic terms of polo, now it’s time to show off your knowledge. A few well-placed words can make you look like a polo pro, whether this is your first match or your 50th. Want to impress a first time guest? Share the knowledge that Chukkar Farms is named after the segments of a polo match, which are called chukkars.
  3. Dress to impress. A wide-brimmed hat will keep you cool under the hot Alpharetta sun, while a simple, sophisticated ensemble gives polo matches a classic, relaxed feel. Ladies, leave the heels at home! You don’t want to wobble around the sidelines while your stilettos sink into the soft earth, and heels put a damper on the traditional “stomping of the divots.”
  4. Be on your best behavior. Polo etiquette for the audience falls more in line with a golf match than a football game. Celebrate good plays, but take care not to startle the horses. Enjoy the game standing on the sidelines or spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy a relaxed afternoon as you take in the action.

The start of polo season will be here before you know it. Visit Chukkar Farms to watch polo matches in Alpharetta.

10 Polo Terms to Know

10 Polo Terms to Know

Polo is a sport with a long and illustrious history. In fact, there’s evidence that polo may have originated in Persia as long ago as the 6th century B.C.! With such a storied past, it’s no wonder that polo is a popular sport across countless countries. Want to become part of the rich tradition of playing polo? Chukkar Farms offers polo lessons, polo matches, and space to horse around (excuse our pun) during polo season. But before you get started, check out these terms to know.

10 Polo Terms to Know

  1. polo gamePolo pony. A well-trained polo pony makes it easy for players of all experience levels to get into the game. Most polo ponies are thoroughbred, although some may be quarter horses or have other breeding.
  2. Clipped mane. Clipping the horse’s mane prevents it from getting tangled as the player maneuvers the reins.
  3. Braided tail. Braiding the horse’s tail prevents it from getting caught in the mallet.
  4. Polo martingale. A leather bridle of unique design, a polo martingale prevents the horse’s head from jerking up and hitting the rider.
  5. Breast plate. You may feel like you’re riding your horse into battle, but this breastplate is designed to keep the saddle from slipping.
  6. Bell boots. Encircles the horse’s ankle to prevent the horse’s hooves from over reaching.
  7. Polo wraps. Bandages wrapped around the horse’s legs to prevent scrapes and bruises and provide added support.
  8. Polo boots. Your horse wears boots, and so should you. Polo boots protect the player’s legs from injuries due to stray balls and mallet strikes.
  9. Knee pads. Like polo boots, knee pads protect the player’s legs from injury.
  10. Mallet. A long, thin striking stick reminiscent of a croquet mallet, a polo mallet is what players use to strike the ball.
Does Your Horse Have Spring Allergies?

Does Your Horse Have Spring Allergies?

Owning a horse can be one of the greatest pleasures in life. What many people don’t realize is the amount of training and upkeep that goes into taking care of these magnificent creatures. Outside of regular daily horse care and feeding, grooming and exercise, you need to be on the lookout for health issues. With spring just around the corner, it’s a good idea to watch your horse for signs of spring allergies.

Spring Allergy Symptoms

horse in fieldWhat are the symptoms of horse allergies?

  • Runny eyes
  • Nasal drainage
  • Head shaking
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Inflamed Skin
  • Bald patches

Possible Allergens for Horses

Just like people, horses can be allergic to common allergens, such as grass, tree pollen, and weeds. They may also suffer allergic reactions from:

  • Mold and dust from their bedding, animal dander, or hay
  • Cleaners and other volatile chemicals that might be sprayed in and around the barn
  • Contact dermatitis from tack, boots, and other equipment
  • Insect bites, including mosquitoes, flies, or midges

Reducing Allergy Risks

You should always consult with your veterinarian if your horse has allergy symptoms. He or she will often recommend creams and shampoos that will reduce itching and help soothe the skin to promote healing.

There are things you can do to reduce your horse’s exposure to allergens:

  • Keep your horse in its stable when pollen counts are expected to be high
  • Keep pastures mowed to control weeds and cut down on grass pollen
  • Use a bedding that is less irritating
  • Soak hay with water to reduce dust
  • Store hay and bedding in another building if possible to reduce exposure to mold and dust
  • Scatter hay when feeding instead of leaving it in a pile
  • Keep stables well ventilated
  • Use fly sheets or screens to prevent insects in your barn