04 September 2010

Doma Vaquera - Cowboy Dressage

Doma Vaquera is a style of horseriding which enables the rider to carry out daily duties on horseback on a working cattle farm. It was developed out of the use of the horse for handling the fighting bulls of Spain and grew out of decades of daily work with them in the open countryside. The style of riding, tack, dress and discipline of the working horses evolved into a competitive event, which has followers all over the world.  


Around Alcalá these techniques are still used on working farms and it is not unusual to see horsemen rounding up cattle in the fields, sometimes carrying garrochas, three-metre poles which are used instead of ropes or lassoes to control the animals.




In the video below, recorded last night at a doma vaquera contest in Alcalá, the horseman is on foot and controls the horse using riendas largas, or long reins.   The soundtrack is the theme from The Last of the Mohicans; this was actually used in the contest, but because the of the wind in my camera microphone you could hardly hear it so I've added it as a separate audio track.






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