DomaVaquera.Info - The Doma Vaquera information website built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts -
Issue Number 1

From Drainpipes to Garrochas
by Barry Kenworthy (Wales)

Brenda and I got together about 6 years ago. Brenda had kept horses since childhood and I had shared the passion for as long as I can remember. Brenda had focused on breeding and bringing on youngstock, whilst I had been preoccupied with Hunting and Racing.

I had been away from horses for about 12 years when we met, although it wasn't long before I was coerced into buying a couple of horses, (Arabs). It became apparent that though a beautiful animal, an Arabian was never going to take my weight, which by that time exceeded 14 stones without a saddle. We spent some considerable time looking for an animal that would happily take my weight but was possessed of SPIRIT, which excluded most of what we looked at.

It was after over a year of searching that we chanced upon Spanish horses. It was at the American Adventure theme park in Derbyshire, where our stepson Ian was performing in a stunt riding display. Brenda and I were invited backstage after the performance to see a training session of a new horse. We were very impressed and in a whisper Brenda said to me "wouldn't you love to sit on him?" The owner of the stallion overheard the comment and probably because the horse was for sale insisted that we "have a go" in the ménage. Coming from the world where stallions are a mystery and used for anything BUT riding I was more than a little reticent. So it was with a dry mouth that I was given a "leg up" for a short ride, which lasted over an hour. Brenda followed, and we were both smitten. We didn't buy him, instead we bought two youngsters, Amorosso (Floyd [he was pink when young]) and Hurrican, a black gelding.

Sometime after breaking and taking the horses to a suitable level of competence I was wondering aloud where to go next. Ian overheard and suggested I watch a video featuring Richard Chamberlin performing a display of Garrocha work. Other than sounding something like a device for strangling folk I had no idea what he was talking about. After watching the short video I was sold. Here was a guy doing "proper stuff" with a horse and what looked like a washing line prop or a punting pole. No time to look for a suitable tree to vandalise. So after frantically searching the livery yard where we kept the boys, the landlord, (a resourceful man) came up with what turned out to be a brilliant idea, A 12 foot length of 2 inch plastic waste pipe!

Word got around and it wasn't long before upon sight of the pipe emerging, people would gather around the ménage to see the strange goings on. Anyone having read Jerome K Jerome's three men in a boat (the bit where one of them is left high and dry clinging to the punt pole whilst boating) will understand their fascination. It wasn't long before Hurrican developed complete confidence whilst having the plumbing dragged around him. Actually, the plastic pipe is very handy for those manoeuvres around the head. If a mistake is made (and many are) the pipe will almost certainly cause no pain and accelerate progression towards the more complex manoeuvres.

Brenda and I have reached a bit of a brick wall with our schooling, partially as a result of moving house to a small farm in Mid-Wales, and building stables and a ménage, and partially through lack of outside input (there is no-one to my knowledge locally to train and give advice).

I think that Carl's website (www.DomaVaquera.Info) could be the start of something very interesting. If people of a like mind who are saying to themselves as I am "where do we go next for help" can come together to pool ideas and resources, we who have a desire to get good at this Doma Vaquera stuff have a fighting chance. Other good things that could come out of the website are, shared access to videos and tack. To my knowledge apart from a trip to Spain there is only one British supplier of saddlery, clothing and accessories. Another possible plus for the future is pooled funds from interested parties could be used to provide "clinics" which would help us all.

Lastly, my stepson Ian is always on the lookout for interesting displays to supplement his "Horsemen of the Apocalypse" show in Wales, why not visit his website?

Hope to see some of you soon.

Barry Kenworthy (Wales)

In this Issue

Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez - Doma Vaquera Champion of Spain

Andalucia in just one week?

From drainpipes to garrochas to in Wales

Mark Payne gets the Doma Vaquera bug

Doma Vaquera and Doma Clasica Training Clinics

About DomaVaquera.Info


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