Mankind has carried poles on horseback dating way back to the use of spears and lances for hunting and battle. And who can forget the Knights in shining armor, galloping wide open with their jousting poles raised. Through time, civilization demanded more efficient and compact weapons, that were easier to carry on horseback, and then inevitably, founded a more efficient means of transportation as well.
The History of the Garrocha…
The Garrocha, is a pole that is used by the Doma Vaquera. It is especially handy with the wild bulls, used for bullfighting. The length of the pole gives protection and the limited flexibility of the pole is important, as they can use the pole to poke the bulls to try and provoke a fight or flight response from them, thus using this reaction to gage their suitability in the bullfighting ring. As you can imagine, it would be important for them to develop a high degree of skill when using the pole, which has developed into an art form in itself.
It is doubtful that most of us here in America, will ever use the Garrocha to tend to wild bulls, but the art of using the Garrocha is proving to be useful for improving our horsemanship skills as well as our horses level of training. And quite honestly…it is great fun.
Learning to use the Garrocha can improve your horsemanship skills and increase your horses level of training which will intensify the harmony between horse and rider.
The movements you use with the pole can be modified to suit any breed of horse or style of riding. Add some of your favorite music and some American style and you will have a fun and useful way to improve your horsemanship!
If you ride Western, some of the movements you can add to your Garrocha routine will be:
Rollbacks, Spins, Lead changes, leg yielding, Small and Large Circles
If you ride English, some of the movements you can add to your Garrocha routine will be:
Pirouettes, Lead changes, Half Pass, Piaffe and Passage, Circles
If you would like to learn more about how to use the Garrocha, and how to introduce the Garrocha to your
horse safely, as well as where to purchase a pole suitable to use as a Garrocha, we have a DVD available for
sale. Click on the DVD link below to see a preview and to order DVD.