Represent the Horse, Breed, and Culture

Years ago I was asked to do an exhibition with a friend’s Andalusian stallion at a horse show in Houston. The essence of this performance was to be a Spanish vaquero mounted on his steed dancing around a platform, wooing a flamenco dancer. Since I am obviously not a flamenco dancer, I was to be the vaquero. Not long before the performance, I was attending the Andalusian National show in Fort Worth where I approached a well-known and well informed Spanish tack and attire importer at her booth. I explained that I was to do the exhibition and what it entailed and that I needed to look like a Spanish vaquero. I also explained that I needed to “do it on the cheap. “

Her response was one which has changed my life in many ways. She said, “N o, you are going to spend a thousand dollars and you were going to be completely correctly attired. And I’ll tell you why. When you ride out on that Andalusian stallion, you will not only be a Texan on an Andalusian stallion, you will be representing the Andalusian horse to all present, and in addition, you will represent the Andalusian people and their culture. You will want, for their sake, to be correct in your appearance!” Since that day, I have worn the attire, and ridden in the Spanish vaquero saddle for numerous exhibitions and Doma Vaquera competitions. Each time I perform, her words echo in my mind, “You are doing it for the breed, for the people, and for their culture.”

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