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Back in the saddle of cowboy culture

October 04, 2005

Regarding "The Vaquero Way" [Sept 27]: Times photographer Myung J. Chun's evocative photos -- redolent of the mysterious and ancient connection between horse and man -- soothed my jangled senses into a state of pastoral reverie, the like of which I haven't seen or felt since I was a young man working my uncle's ranch in the foothills of Alberta, Canada. I am no longer that young man of 16, but those photographs brought back an idyllic time in my life. I feel a dimmed chamber of my heart was opened and reclaimed.


Dana Point


"The Vaquero Way" suggests that working cattle and the art of dressage have very little to do with each other. On the contrary, the art of working cattle was invented by Spanish-speaking vaqueros in Mexico more than 300 years ago. The Spaniards who taught vaqueros to ride taught Spanish military horsemanship, i.e. cavalry techniques. So, the first vaqueros rode war horses using military riding techniques, which they then adapted to fit the job of working cattle in the New World.


Managing director,

Vaquero Heritage Foundation


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