Spanish Equestrian Culture

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Doma Vaquera

The original cowboy

From Spain

CAMPEONES DE ESPAÑA DE DOMA VAQUERA 1970-2003

History of the Jinete

Jinete is a Spanish word meaning "horseman", but in some cases this is applied to the horse, the rider or both.

As a military term of art, jinete (also spelled ginete or genitour) means a Spanish light horseman armed with a javelin, sword and a shield, a troop type developed in the Middle Ages in response to the massed light cavalry of the Moors. Often fielded in significant numbers by the Spanish, and at times the most numerous of the Spanish mounted troops, they were proficient at skirmishing and rapid maneuver, and played an important role in Spanish mounted warfare throughout the Reconquista until the sixteenth century.[1]

At the modern working cattle ranch of Spain and in Central America, the jinete style of riding is similar to doma vaquera with differences in the maneuvers.                                       

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org

Doma Vaquera: a bit of history

Doma vaquera is the style of riding developed for working cattle ranches and evolved from a style called jinete.  Doma means training, vaquero means cowboy from the Spanish vaca for cow. 

 

Ranching and the cowboy tradition originated in Spain, out of the necessity to handle large herds of grazing animals on dry land from horseback. During the Reconquista, members of the Spanish nobility and various military orders received large land grants that the Kingdom of Castile had conquered from the Moors. These landowners were to defend the lands put into their control and could use them for earning revenue. In the process it was found that open-range breeding of sheep and cattle (under the Mesta system) was the most suitable use for vast tracts, particularly in the parts of Spain now known as Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Andalusia.

 

Over time, most of the cattle ranches in Spain have given way to agriculture, and the few remaining ranches raise fighting bulls. The Spanish vaquero rider more often than not is working with aggressive and dangerous bulls requiring that his skills are carefully honed and his horse is particularly skilled, athletic and brave.    With many of the large ranches disappearing, doma vaquera has been developed into a competitive sport and art form.

Vaqueros

In the Great Basin range cattle industry, the vaqueros came first--not Anglo or black cowboys, but Hispanic California horsemen. In the Spanish colonial days before the cattle business developed, vaqueros worked mostly for hide and tallow companies in California. Later, as Anglo ranches and herds were being built up, the European-American pioneers employed Mexican vaqueros, and the vaquero traditions of horsemanship, equipment, and language greatly influenced other working cowboys. By the time the open-range cattle business reached its heyday in the generation after the Civil War and family and corporate ranches were thriving in northern Nevada, vaquero was the word used for cowboy. The legacy of expertise imparted by the oldtime vaqueros lives on in Paradise Valley, in the riatas and horsegear made by traditional "rawhiders" like Frank Loveland and the everyday use of Hispanic California-style, center-fired saddles with "taps" covering the stirrups.

Vaquero (from the Spanish vaca for cow) is the obvious source for buckaroo, and the oral testimony of ranchers adds significantly to the understanding of how buckaroo was Anglicized from vaquero. Reinforcing conversations at his ranch over two years' time, Leslie Stewart (grandson of William Stock, the German who developed the 96 Ranch) wrote me a letter in February 1980 summarizing his own experience this way:

“The word "Buckaroo" sprang from the Spanish word "Vaquero," as you know "V" is pronounced "B." Even in the time I can remember the word Vaquero was used much more than Buckaroo, finally it was corrupted to Buckaroo. The word was not brought in by any specific group of early settlers as the Spanish word originated many, many years before this country was settled.

 

The early Spanish Grant owners in California used the word for their herdsmen and horsemen in the time of the first settling of California and when it was still owned by Mexico… The Spanish style and custom of working cattle spread into Nevada, Oregon and Idaho. Hence the Vaqueros or Buckaroos came with them. Even in this area in early days a large percentage of the riders were Mexicans or California Mexicans, especially on the larger outfits. ‘

 

‘One of my early, and fondest memories, is of the Circle A round-up crew annually coming up through our meadows on the way to the fall round-up. They had a Chuck Wagon drawn by six mules, a "Caviada" of many horses and 8 or more Mexican riders. They would generally stop here to get some eggs, potatoes, any other fresh garden produce that might be available and especially as much fresh homemade bread that my Mother might have for them.”

Spanish North America

When the Conquistadors came to the Americas in the 16th century, followed by settlers, they brought their cattle and cattle-raising techniques with them. Huge land grants by the Spanish (and later Mexican) government, part of the hacienda system, allowed large numbers of animals to roam freely over vast areas. A number of different traditions developed, often related to the original location in Spain from which a settlement originated. For example, many of the traditions of the Jalisco charros in southern Mexico come from the Salamanca charros of Castile. The Vaquero tradition of Northern Mexico was more organic, developed to adapt to the characteristics of the region from Spanish sources by cultural interaction between the Spanish elites and the native and mestizo peoples.

United States

As settlers from the United States moved west, they brought cattle breeds developed on the east coast and in Europe along with them, and adapted their management to the drier lands of the west by borrowing key elements of the Spanish vaquero culture.

SOME OF THE MOVEMENTS IN DOMA VAQUERA

Leg yield, half pass,

full pass, pirouette,

rein back

half turn on the haunches,

canters in circles,

flying changes,

sliding stop

Photo: Paco Aranda

Photo by: Paco Aranda

Read More about

Doma Vaquera:

Click here for Article

A Guide to

Doma Vaquera

in Competition

by

John St Ryan

AÑO

JINETE

CABALLO

RAZA

CAPA

LUGAR

1970

J. Mª Maestre y Lasso de la Vega

Aleada

P.R.E.

Alazana

C. Pineda (SE)

1971

J. Mª Maestre y Lasso de la Vega

Aleada

P.R.E.

Alazana

Jerez (CA)

1972

Rafael Jurado Castillo

Malandrín

P.S.I.

Castaña

Jerez (CA)

1973

Alvaro Domceq Romero

Río - Pío

A.H.a.

Torda

C. Pineda (SE)

1974

José Tirado Cerrada

Diamante

H.a.

Torda

Jerez (CA)

1975

Luis Ramos Paúl

Llerel

A.H.a.

Torda

Sevilla

1976

Luis Ramos Paúl

Llerel

A.H.a.

Torda

Sevilla

1977

Luis Ramos Paúl

Jaleo

A.H.a.

Castaña

Jerez (CA)

1978

Luis Ramos Paúl

Jaleo

A.H.a.

Castaña

Sevilla

1979

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Golondrina

A.a.

Castaña

Sevilla

1980

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Centenaria

P.R..E.

Torda

Sevilla

1981

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Centenaria

P.R..E.

Torda

Sevilla

1982

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Centenaria

P.R..E.

Torda

CH. La Dehesa (M)

1983

José Tirado Cerrada

Noche y Día

A.H.a.

Castaño

Oliva de Fra (BA)

1984

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Mandanga

A.a.

Alazana

C. Hípico (CO)

1985

Ignacio de la Puerta García-Corona

Guitarrero

A.H.a.

Alazana

C. Hípico (CO)

1986

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Mandanga

A.a.

Alazana

Dos Hermanas

1987

No se celebra C. España por peste Equina

 

 

 

 

1988

Antonio Ángulo Jiménez

Valduque

A.H.a.

Alazana

Medina C. (VA)

1989

No se celebra C. España por peste Equina

 

 

 

 

1990

Antonio Quinta Casas

Júncia

A.a.

Torda

C. Hípico (CO)

1991

Rafael Román Postigo

Cortafuego

A.H.a.

Castaño

Pz. Toros (SE)

1992

Alfonso Martín García

Trapero

A.H.a.

Castaño

Huelva

1993

Antonio Quinta Casas

Galá

P.S.I.

Castaño

El Rocío (HU)

1994

Francisco Díaz Rodríguez

Israel

P.S.I.

Alazán

Castro del Río (CO)

1995

Francisco Díaz Rodríguez

Israel

P.S.I.

Alazán

C. Pineda (SE)

1996

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Missisippi

A.a.

Alazán

C. Pineda (SE)

1997

Francisco Díaz Rodríguez

Israel

P.S.I.

Alazán

Paterna de Rivera (CA)

1998

Rafael Román Postigo

Espléndida

S/F

Alazana

Fuengirola (MA)

1999

Rafael Román Postigo

Chaparrón

A.a.

Ruana

ECUMAD (M)

2000

Alfonso Martín García

Retama

A.H.a.

Torda

Carmona (SE)

2001

Manuel Rodríguez González

Enamorada

Cruz.

Castaño

Málaga

2002

Juan Carlos Román Postigo

Poseidón

A.a.

Tordo

Sevilla

2003

Joaquín Olivera Peña

Turronera

Cruz

Alazana

El Rocío (H)