the Doma Vaquera bug
by Mark Payne (England)
Carl and I have spoken many times on the telephone about Doma Vaquera
and Spanish style riding in general. Last Sunday we finally got
together at Carl's home to really "chew the fat" about
this fascinating riding style and the way of life that seems to
elude most of us in our everyday existence.
Mark riding his horse Mill Hermoso I
My own Andalusian
gelding, Mill Hermoso I (see picture), is only just 4 years old
and although he's had some basic training is at the very early stages
of his riding career. I've had glimpses of brilliance from my horse
amidst all the (understandable) confusion of the horse communicating
to me "Where do I put my legs now?" and "I don't
really understand what you want me to do!"
Carl and I spent the whole day discussing training methods and watching
videos of real vaqueros at work and in competition. In the sand
school Carl demonstrated his Garrocha
work on his stallion Jocoso XX, and I jumped at the chance to
have a try for myself. This was the first time I've ridden a trained
Spanish horse and the experience was incredible! I've never felt
such lightness and grace of movement in any horse I've ridden before.
Jocoso's movement reminded me of those small glimpses of brilliance
I've already seen in Hermoso, so I've been given new hope for my
future with my own horse and his training.
Thanks to Carl and Rose, we had a great day.
Mark Payne (England)
If the truth
be known, I probably enjoyed myself more than Mark and Alison did.
It is not often that you get the chance to see your horse being
ridden by a complete stranger and to see the fruits of the hard
hours of training manifest itself in the expresion on the face of
Mark riding Jocoso reminded me of myself when I first rode Richard
Chamberlin's horse, Lucero. Then, I could not find the words to
express my delight. I wanted a horse just like Lucero and I got
my friend, Jocoso. You are a true ambassador for the Spanish Horse,
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