Sittin’ in the kitchen before day, buildin’ a pot of condensed panther juice, I’m reminiscing about the horse show we just attended in Virginia.

This group of andalusian horse owners have put on a really nice horse show for twenty-six years. Good folks, good horses, and great, cool, Blue Ridge mountain weather made this a delightful summer break.

The Spanish Andalusian and Portuguese Lusitano horses have a five hundred year history of domestication and use as a comfortable riding horse for warfare, herding, bullfighting, and theatrical presentations. Though their numbers are small, we have enjoyed getting to know the people and the horses which are both wonderful to work with.

The show was small, as are many horse related activities these days, despite our booming economy. However, the part of the show that was well attended was the competition of Working Equitation.

I think it is popular because you get to DO something with your horse.

Watching it can be pretty thrilling, especially during the speed phase of the obstacle course, and the team penning.

Working Equitation started as a stockhorse and field horse test in Europe, one that could be done in an arena. It is similar to the Ranch Horse Versatility competition here in the west, only the horse is expected to engage the obstacles with more collected action and precision.

Europeans also use a lance, or garrocha for cattle work rather than the lariat as we do in the USA.

Andalusians and Lusitanos do well in this sport because of their natural ability to work in a collected frame, and because of centuries of selection as a domestic stock horse. They actually seem to enjoy being ridden and worked!

Keep your eye peeled for this sport, compadres, as I believe it will be a fast growing activity.

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