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Old 03-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
Baquero
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There aren't very many examples of horses that are "straight up in the bridle" out there on the internet for people to see. I am going to use this to compile the ones I know of. If you have found any feel free to post them up here. This first one is of Lee Anderson on his horse Dusty.

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #2
Jimmy
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I'm curious about you're take on the way this horse handles.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
Baquero
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I think I counted him switching hands with the reins four times. I personally do not care for the way that horse works. Each rider will develop a different horse, and each horse is different.

A horse that is "straight up" should be able to do all the maneuvers, but is more considered to be "straight up by the way he conducts himself in those maneuvers. Let's compare how the previous video compares with this video of Dwight Hill on his horse "Red Bird"
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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This raises some interesting questions. Once we have established the traditional equipment being used, what criteria are we using to judge movements and training? Many of these things have been gone over and over in depth, and they are called maneuver scores in reined cow horse scoring sheet. Smoothness, finesse, attitude, to name a few. I look for good position as well. Quiet is good, but adding speed is not bad, if it increases the authority of movement and eye appeal. It certainly adds to the degree of difficulty.
There is a popular movement to get back to the roots of the early Californios, with new events emphasizing the roping skills, which is great. . But how to judge the handle on a horse straight up? When it comes to executing the movements of a good bridle horse, I would still refer to the reined cow horse criteria. Why not?
With that in mind, the first horse is poor. The second horse is better, but average, or slightly below.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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I think that there are many videos of straight up bridle horses on the internet. Granted, most of them are show videos of reined cowhorses so their handle is somewhat specialized but most of the show horses also go to brandings etc. Just because they work in the arena does not mean they cannot outside. The cowhorse event has several different groups of trainers, one is the reiners or cutters who want to compete in a new or different event, the second are old time CA training families and their students (this group has generations of knowledge about traditional bridling) and cowboys and colt starters that either want to showcase their skills or make a better living (these guys darn sure know what a working horse is).

I wanted to point out also that different skills are focused on in different bridle horses. Horses whose main job is in the arena are different than those whose job is in the rocks and sagebrush. I think the criteria for maneuvers is good but there is some room for variations. What really separates a traditional bridle horse is if he works off the bridle. Can you steer him, stop him, work a cow all from the bridle. Is he a reined horse or a legged horse?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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"Is he a reined horse or a legged horse? "
Now that is a very good point! There is a lot of emphasis these days of pushing a horse around with our spurs. I agree with you that a bridle horse, a true reined cowhorse, works off the bridle and reins, primarily. Not that the legs don't play a part. But it is a "reined" horse. And not a "reining cow horse", or a legged horse, as you put it. The bit is not supposed to be a third spur!
But even the Vaquero's went to town with their horses on the weekends sometimes, and competed. I don't know how long dry work runs and patterns have been around, but long enough to be a part of whole deal. A finished bridle horse sure ought to be able to stop and turn around. I know they use to just do off-sets. But the fast stop was always a part of it, and circles and lead changes. Your horse ought to be able to run straight and stop straight, and watch, and turn a cow.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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Excellent discussion that I think is often skipped over in the thought process. There is so much emphasis on how to get to the traditional bridle horse and the equipment, that many don't know what they are working towards. I think you have to know what you are working towards to understand the equipment.

To defend the second video, this horse hadn't been ridden in a year and a half. I filmed Dwight only moments after he hopped on. The horse wasn't as crisp as he was later in the day and has been at different times in his life when he was ridden more often. Dwight didn't know I was filming him, and was only warming the horse up. We also didn't have a cow to show the skills of this horse.

I am with you though, I agree that you have to use the maneuvers of the reined cow horse industry. The movements have become very refined, in the judging process. But there are also the additional working and roping movements that come into play on the ranch. Each horse will have strengths that will come into play both from there training and the horses athletic abilities. Once in a lifetime you will come across one horse that "has it all" We are all working till we find that horse.

Until then each horse we develop more feel, and more lightness. We learn to work more off of pulses down the reins, and balance, teaching the horse to work off of movements in our spine. Instead of relying so much on our legs to push the horse around.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:14 AM   #8
Corry
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Again a very interesting topic! Thank you. May I chime in with two questions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
But the fast stop was always a part of it, ...
What did these stops look like? Were these stops kind of sliding stops? I think when, in older times, vaqueros met to compete they had no arenas with suitable ground conditions for sliding stops and, I assume, they had no sliding plates. I'm also wondering whether modern time bridle horses have sliding plates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
I know they use to just do off-sets.
What does "to do off-sets" mean? I don't know that term. Sorry, this is a shortcoming in my English and I cannot find that word in the dictionary. Does it mean lateral movements, i.e., leg yielding, shoulder-in, sidepass, half-pass?

Happy trails

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Old 03-30-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
Jimmy
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Off- sets in an old fashioned term for quick half turns. left, then right, on the hind end.

I wasn't alive back then, so I don't know what the stops looked like. I don't know what arenas were like. Those horse were not quarter horses then. Depends how far back you want to go. I imagine it looked a lot different than today.

Some modern bridle horses might wear sliders, but for the most part, nothing that slippery, because you have to go down the fence, and work out of the herd.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:33 AM   #10
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Thank you very much for your answer. Very interesting.

You are right, I didn't indicate what "old times" I had in mind. I meant the vaqueros in California before gold rush who worked cattle in rough terrain and on Sundays and holidays met in the streets for horse races and mounted games. I guess they did not have any arenas and sliding plates at all at that time.

I think it was in one of Ed Connell's books where I read that the rider would want the horse to shoot his hindlegs under his body in a stop. I have been wondering whether this meant a sliding stop. I thought a kind of sliding stop would be nonsense when working cattle in rough terrain. Maybe the stops, as part of the set and turn, resembled the stops one can see performed in the Spanish doma vaquera? Like these two examples just at the beginning of the videos which are different to both a modern sliding stop in reining and a halt in dressage:




I hope my questions are not annoying you. I'm so keen to learn more about the evolution of vaquero-style horsemanship. I want to get a as true a picture of it as possible. Here in Germany there is no place where you can go and see "real" vaquero horsemanship. Around here it's like sailing in a little boat on a pond and dreaming of windjammers travelling around the world
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