We met Harry Tytle in Walt’s People – Volume 7. A good polo player, he was part of Walt’s polo team in the ‘30s.
Harry Tytle: I played polo with Walt a couple of times. At the old studio there was a polo cage, a wire enclosure where you could mount on a pedestal and practice hitting the ball.
I first met Walt in 1934. He was a good player, but that’s all a matter of degree. He was a two-goal handicap. Ten goals is tops. There’s nobody better than ten, and Tommy Hitchcock in those days was ten. Then you grade it down. It’s a handicap system. Were we armored? No, we had helmet and knee pads, that’s all. The injuries come from falls, or being hit by a ball, or your pony going down.
Walt wasn’t a natural horseman. He started too late in life. And in my opinion, polo doesn’t teach you good horsemanship. It teaches rugged horsemanship. To me a good horseman has good hands. This other thing: you’re playing a game. You’re not studying the horse. You’re inclined to yank him up a little quick. It’s great for your seat (being able to sit a horse) but horsemanship is putting no more pressure on the bit than it takes to stop that horse. […]