Cool Rememberings of Portuguese Campinos

Now that the “dog days of August “have set in, and the thermometer is spurting mercury out of the top, with no rain in sight because of the high-pressure “Aggie dome” sitting over Texas, keeping away the storms which could otherwise bring us much needed moisture, we fondly remember recent days in more temperate climes! Ft Davis, Colorado,and Portugal!
One such really “cool” (in both meanings) night in Portugal we watched open mouthed as five guys brought a group of what looked like longhorn bulls into the horse show grounds. Basically, we watched a grassy football field become a ranch pasture as the riders, Portuguese cowboys called “campinos“, formed a moving cattle pen with their horses and long lances, called garrochas. Two of the horses moved sideways in front of a tightly clustered group of bovines numbering about six. The others were forming side and rear of the “equine corral”. But, wait, let’s not stop at that! Not only were they riding their horses sideways and right up in intimate contact with the bulls, keeping them contained and controlled with their position and with the use of their long garrochas, but they were only dressed in shoes, knee-socks and short pants. To top it off they carried their jackets over their left arms, while that same hand guided the reins. Then, their vests were bright red, over white longsleeved shirts, and they wore long tasseled stocking caps of green. Now, I understand that green and red are the national flag colors of Portugal, but what I saw were guys dressed like Santa’s elves, being more cowboy than Roy Rogers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *