Vaquero Horsemanship

vaquero: (noun) a cowboy, cattle driver or herdsman

Today I took a Vaquero Horsemanship style riding lesson.  It was interesting and hard…for both of us.  The focus, at least at our very beginner stage, is on how well the horse yields its nose.  Tucker actually yields pretty well, however, not well enough for the vaqueros.  It is not just a physical response that they are looking for.  They want the horse to yield in the mind (which apparently starts with the nose) and eventually gets all the way down to the entire body…especially the feet.  We eventually grew the nose yields to hindquarter, forequarter and sideways yields.  The one we really had a hard time with was yielding the nose in a soft bend while still moving in a straight line.  My horse does not really understand (at least at this point) that his nose and neck can do something independent of the rest of his body.

I am not sure if this is something I will continue with.  I saw a lot of value on many levels in the things we were learning.  BUT…At the end of the lesson instead of feeling excited and empowered about new things, I felt like we had a lot of “work” to do.  I already have a job, so I don’t really want to turn my horses into one too.  But maybe it just felt that way because it was a new way of doing things.  I do know that after the lesson we had to hit the local bridle trails as a way to decompress.

5 thoughts on “Vaquero Horsemanship

  1. Interesting how many different styles of learning there are out there! I just read a paragraph in a magazine of a woman who was lucky enough to take a few lessons with Tom Dorrance. The thing she remembered most was afterword she felt great about herself and her horse and inspired/empowered to continue the “work” (which apparently didn’t seem like work then). Maybe that’s a good clue as to what work we “should” (for lack of a better word!) do with our horses… the work we enjoy will also be better for them! You’ve been doing some fun things out there… fun to hear about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed no “should” in what we do with horses. The cool thing is that there is something for everyone because there are sooooo many aspects to horseback riding. It’s a little overwhelming at the moment as I try to find the right path of progression for us in this moment though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some horsemanship training takes so much repetition. Some horses are more patient that others with this. I know Godzilla hates it with a passion. He just shuts down and goes to sleep. It feels like pulling around a bulldozer after awhile, while my mare gets lighter and lighter. I’m not always convinced one method works best for all horses. But hey, I am the farthest thing from an expert. I am inspired by your energy


      1. Lol, I think I’ve got that covered then 🙂 What’s a hobby without fun? I think that needs to be the number one ingredient, don’t you?


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