When I was first introduced to Vaquero Style horsemanship, I must admit, it was the shine and sparkle of the silver and the fancy bits that first grabbed my attention, but it didn't take long for my attention to quickly move to the horses, the lightness, the presence, the balance, and the partnership the riders had with their mounts was so inspiring.
When I compared other styles of horsemanship from other countries and events, it was the Vaquero Style I found most intriguing.
Above you'll see 5 different disciplines, The Charro (Mexico), The Vaquero (Thats me), The Reiner (USA), The Gaucho (Argentina), and The Doma Vaquera (Spain).
The first things I learned that impressed me about Vaquero Horsemanship, was the system and tack used to progress a horse from start to finished that were so logical and well thought out. From the "Hackamore", to the "Two Rein", and finally "Straight up in the Bridle" the horse is gradually, over time educated to the highest degree of lightness and refinement, and with this way of thinking, if at any time the horse and/or rider struggle with more advanced things, they can both at any time go back to the previous stage and refine things.
When I first started pursuing this method of horsemanship I was in quite a hurry to ride my horses in the shiny bits, but soon realized it was not the bits that created the horses I so envied, it was the horsemen themselves and their understanding. I have now come to realize that this method of educating a horse is about so much more then shiny silver bits. It is about the relationship with your horse, it is also about pride and being the best version of yourself for you horse. It's about knowing who built your bit, or Bosal, or saddle, or Romal Reins, or Silver Conchos, or Armitas, and before you can have an "Bridle Horse", you must first create an exceptional "Hackamore Horse".
AQHA Stallion Champ Silverado ridden and trained by Marty
first day in the "Two Rein".
Saddle, Breast Collar and Armitas by Troy Macaulay, Bit by Al Tietjen,
Bosalita by Nick Reinhard, Silver conchos by Richard Brooks.
The best thing I have learned about Vaquero Horsemanship is that it is about me evolving and learning as a horseman, it is a journey, there are no quick fixes or short cuts. The silver starts the conversation, but soon leads to more deeper and meaningful things.
Marty riding Nevada in the "Two Rein"
Saddle and Breast Collar by Deryk Pitts, Armitas by Troy Macaulay,
Spade bit by Richard Brooks, Stirrups by Keith Wilson.
If you would like to learn more about Marty, Vaquero Horsemanship or any other discipline with horses, please visit www.flattophorsemanship.com or check out our
Facebook page Flattop Horsemanship Clinics and Lessons.