More Fiesta of the Spanish Horse! Champagne, Tricks, Group Traffic Jams!


I’m writing about the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse again because I found some fun footage.  First though, I want to write about the Behind the Scenes stuff.  You see, when HORSE AND MAN went to the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse, I, personally, was all ready to find some shenannygans that I didn’t want to see… For some reason, I  had it in my head that I was going to witness some brutality of some sort.  I’m not sure why I had that in my mind, but I was prepared.  In fact, during the prep for the event, I cruised around, by myself, with a little hidden camera.  I was there as they were unloading, setting up the stalls, cleaning tack, rehearsing, rigging, training, feeding, dressing …the whole enchilada.  I didn’t want to miss anything and I don’t think I did.  Anyway, this watchdog saw nothing out of the ordinary.  Nothing.  In fact, the only questionable devices I saw were long, decorative spurs and large, ornate spade bits.

Now, I know there are arguments both ways on these kinds of devices.  So, as a curious bystander, I spoke to several of the people there about these bits and spurs.  All of them said that the spurs are mostly part of the ornate costumes.  Hmmmmm.  As for the bits, they don’t use the big bits until the horse is properly bridle trained.  So, I asked, why use them at all if they are bridle trained.  They said it is tradition.  Hmmmmmm. I also asked about the huge spurs, again.  They told me to watch the show and see if the are used inappropriately.  I told them that maybe the horse was afraid of them because they use spurs in practice…  So, I did watch all of the rehearsals, most of the training, all the warm-ups and the entire show and I only saw one guys spur his horse.  Therefore, I felt much better about it all after spending three days there.  And, I feel the need to formally apologize for my predisposition to suspicion here.  i saw nothing out of the ordinary.

The clips I have here today are of four more events that I found fun to watch.  I hope you do,  too…  Again, I know not much about Spanish horses, how they are trained or the breed secrets.  But, I was behind the camera at this event and I was totally impressed with the show.  So, here you go!

(If you cannot open these embedded videos, I have them all linked again at the end of this post via You Tube.)


OK, this was supposed to be these two people riding mirror image horses per the huge mirror frame in the arena.  I couldn’t figure out if they were both women or if one was a man and this story was about alter egos or id or ying and yang…  Anyway, it didn’t matter because the horses were absolutely beautiful.  I guess the only thing you did know is that they were supposed to do the same thing as each other.  But, you just had to smile and nod your head for these poor people because their gorgeous mounts were not into it on that day.  Haven’t we all been there?… Not much of what they did was mirrored.  But, I was greatly impressed by one of the horse’s ability to bust-out a Michael Jackson move!  This horse could pivot around like a horsey moon-walk.  And to top that, he canters off and does a rear with his rider.  He was a talented boy!  (I’m not sure what the other horse was supposed to be doing here…) And, you gotta give it to their stylist!  OMG those manes were just beautiful!  So, I say, so what if they didn’t feel like mirroring each other on this day… these horses were individuals and proud of it!  Here is the link to the mirror horses (7 secs to load)..


I understand that lots of Gaited Horse Shows have this event.  The idea is that the last person to have champagne in his glass (while riding) is the winner.  Ha!  There is no way I could do this.  Yup, it looks easy, but it isn’t which is probably why only three horses were in the exhibition.  Anyway, the lady in the middle with the drop-dead gawjus dun horse won.  Did you see her outfit?!  I thought she was so glamorous on her matching horse… You can tell because I zoom in on her.  But, I also was kinda partial to the lady in the end position.  Her horse seemed to be saying, “Hey, wait for meeeee!”  I also really liked her outfit. She looked elegant in a Hemingway sort of way.  I’d like to wear that, walk into a Mexican bar and demand the best margarita in town, no salt and on the rocks!  Anyway, this event was fun and the audience loved it!    Here is the link to the champagne challenge (5 secs to load)!


This one was a real crowd pleaser.  I assume this is somewhat like what they do at the Spanish Riding School.  This man — in another fab outfit which looks like the male version of the lady from the champagne challenge —  was totally calm.  He was the coolest cucumber there.  I guess you have to be to work with a stallion and ask him to do the impossible.  But anyway, check out the boots!  They have fringe!  And, can you see how his legs seemed to match the horse’s legs.  They look really nice together.  Aside from fashion and suitability, this horse was having f-u-n!  I know this because I was outside with them the day before.  The horse was practicing on his own.  As I was speaking to the man, the horse was doing his routine, on his own, in the background.  I loved him for that!  Oh, and that whip seems like it might mean more than it does.  The whip location tells the horse which move the man is requesting.  Anyway, this stallion was very well behaved, had been working at this his entire life, is trained and worked like an athlete and didn’t start jumping until he was 8.  Again, I don’t know much about these horses but it did appear that this horse and this man really liked each other.  In person, that horse was stunning.  Oh, and they tie up the tail so it doesn’t interfere with the whip cues or the view of the back legs of the horse, for the audience of course!  The Very Talented Horse video, click here (15 secs to load).!


This video is exactly that… no hands!  I have to say that this horse was so cute behind the scenes.  He just was into everything!  He checked pockets, hair, everything going on around him… he was very present and in the moment.  I really liked him.  I also thought he was very tolerant.  If I had that floppy forelock hair clump in my eyes I would just go crazy!  But, since that hair clump IS his forelock, he’s probably used to it.  Anyway, the owner said this horse was always very responsive to his leg so he just decided to train him to do this.  Click here for the Look Ma, No Hands clip (7 secs to load)!


I loved this ending because here is everybody… all jammed into the arena at once.  There was so much mayhem, I was glued!  Truth to tell, if this had been a Morgan class, I’m sure someone would have been excused to the gate… but not with these guys!  They were all very well behaved, considering.  And, don’t forget that most of these horses are stallions.  I was doubly impressed!  So, even though there is confusion and you really don’t know which horse to watch (I didn’t either which is why the camera moves around a lot, sorry), there is much to see.  So enjoy the Traffic Jam video of the Spanish Horse (20 secs to load, go get a cup of coffee…)!

If any of you have information on the Spanish horses seen here and would like to impart some knowledge, please don’t hesitate to comment!


Link to Mirror Video,  Link to Champagne Challenge video,  Link to A Very Talented Horse video,  Link to Look Ma, No Hands video,  Link to the Traffic Jam video

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

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