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Issue Number 1

Catching 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 the rider.

Watching 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 one.

Well done my friend, Jocoso. You are a true ambassador for the Spanish Horse, Ed.

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

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