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University Suggestion Box

a comparison

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed

I would like to see the similarities and the differences in a horse trained to be straight up in the bit using traditional vaquero methods and one trained using western dressage.

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

The methods can be very similar. My trainer is from Peru and is a fourth generation trainer. They train their horse very similarly to the Vaquero. The start the horse at three in the bosal, teaching them all the queues and establishing a head set. They then hand a bit in their mouth with no reins just to get them comfortable with the feet of the bit. This then progresses into the two rein of a bosal and bit with the bosal being the primary rein. Gradually the bit rein takes over and as soon as the horse responds just to the bit the bosal is taken off.
Then it is just a matter of teaching the horse to neck rein if you want. My horse will neck rein, but most of my queues come from my legs and seat. In Peruvian shows you should never see the hands move,, it is always finger pressure on the rein and we alway have contact with the horses mouth. The Spanish training methods are very similar.
The real difference in the Vaquero and other horsemen is the spade bit. Once you understand how the spade works and is intended to work it become a real work of horsemanship. Everything is small movement, nothing quick or strong. The Spade is unlike the curb bit in that it is an indicator bit, meaning it just sends signals to the mouth and not pressure. In the wrong hands it can cause a lot of damage to a horses mouth but a snaffle bit can as well.


julie m.
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed

Thanks, Dennis. I didn't know that about Peruvian methods/show techniques. That's why I love this Uni--learn something new every time I visit :)

I do know there are many similarities between the two disciplines, and I think it would be both interesting and enlightening to see a good comparison on video. Most folks think that acheiving that level of horsemanship is somehow mysterious or difficult, and I think that it would be good to show that while it takes time and patience, anyone with the needs of the horse in mind, a good set of hands and a solid plan and method of training can progress to that level.