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Taylor-made Horse Shows

At Viña del Bailo we are especialized in taylor-made shows

what you want is what you get!!

Dressage refers to the training of a riding or carriage horse in order to make it respond to its rider or driver Current methods of dressage were developed in the 18th century, from which grew the "haute école" equitation in which the horse learns intricate steps and movements. In this form of equestrian art, both horsemanship and equestrianism must be mastered before attempting a dressage competition. Both classical (doma clasica) and country dressage (doma vaquera) are characteristic of the Spanish school.  
Doma vaquera, the traditional Andalusian dressage, during which you will admire and more deeply comprehend the importance of horse-handling and the co-ordination of horse and rider as they go through their paces, typical of the daily work with fighting bulls. Doma Vaquera is one of the styles of equitation in Spain, another being Doma Clasica (classical equitation). Doma Vaquera is a style of horse riding which enables the rider to carry out daily duties on horseback on a working cattle ranch and grew out of decades of daily work with cattle in the open countryside. The style of riding, tack, dress and discipline of the working horses evolved into what we see today. It is still being used on working ranches, in Doma Vaquera competition and more recently, Doma de Trabajo (working equitation). The Doma Vaquera is the discipline paying the utmost attention to tradition. Riders and horses have to follow a strict tradition in their outfit and grooming. The Doma Vaquera has only recently been 'standardised' to allow Doma Vaquera riders to compete and keep the traditions of cattle herding alive in a stylised form. Doma Vaquera enjoys great popularity in Spain today. Horses are ridden in a curb bit, all exercises are performed in either walk or canter, and the movements may remind us a little bit of the discipline of reining. Especially the Doma Vaquera and the traditions that go along with it influence the equipment used to present horses in shows or contests. The Serreta is traditionally used to present horses in shows. It is a halter resembling a cavesson, with a leather covered metal noseband and metal ring coming out of the noseband. If used with knowledge and caution it educates stallions to answer their handler. Serretas are also used with 2 rings on either side, which the reins are clipped into when first breaking in a young horse, so as to avoid having to use a bit in the delicate mouth of a young horse in its early stages of training. Later on, the horse is accustomed to the curb bit, always in black iron. The Doma Vaquera rider then rides with the curb bit and reins in one hand (left), in a Doma Vaquera saddle with big triangular stirrup irons, and himself wears the traditional costume of the cattle worker in the field. The same "traje corto" costumes are used by grooms when showing horses in the ring, and the horses are shown unembelished in any way; merely clean and shining in good health.

During the official Spanish Horse competitions, once the judges have analysed the different morphological parts of the stallions, they are shown individually under saddle to be qualified. The training of the stallion, even if elementary, should be sufficient enough for the rider to easily get him to execute the different basic movements that are asked for in the test. The actual rules state that the judges judge the quality of the natural gaits of the horse, without having to look at the rider's position in the saddle.

  • THE WALK: It is asked for medium and extended. The horse should advance to the maximum without changing the rhythm of the steps. But, in the medium walk, he must advance less, although more than in the collected walk (which is not asked for in these tests). This gait should be regular and frank (one should be able to clearly hear four distinct hoof beats). The horse should always reach over the track of the front hoof with the back hoof, and with a bigger overtrack in the extension. The position of head and neck is low and stretched forwards, to facilitate the forward going.

  • THE TROT: It is asked for working and extended trot. In the extended, the horse must advance to the maximum, without changing the rhythm of the hoof beats. In the working trot, the horse advances less, although more than in the collected trot, and less then in the medium trot. The horse ought to show a good balance, and the strides should be even (one should hear every hoof beat), regular, frank and with suspension. In the extended trot, there must be a clear overtracking , and the head and the neck should be low and stretched to help the correct forwards movement. Always, in this gait, the Andalusian should show one of the principal traits that distinguishes it from other breeds, which is the elevation.

  • THE CANTER: It is asked for working and extended canter. The horse should go forwards, more in the extended than in the medium, but without changing the rhythm, the head and neck should be low and stretched. And in the working canter, the horse should advance less, less than in the medium, but more than in the collected (one should hear three clear hoof beats). In this gait, the stallion should show a good balance, the strides should be regular, frank and keeping a good suspension.