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Anyone Bought a Trained Bullfighting Horse for Dressage?

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  • Anyone Bought a Trained Bullfighting Horse for Dressage?

    Know of anyone who has bought a trained bullfighting horse for dressage? With their amazing lateral movement, levade, and responsiveness, it would seem to be the thing to do! Would you buy one?
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    And given there is one on every corner for sale, they are easy to come by? LOL

    This may not be universally true, but I spent time with a Lusitano breeder in Brazil, and as they explained it the horses from the bullfighting lines are fast, agile, small, compact, and harder to train (more sensitive, prone to tension if not brought along carefully) than the ones geared more towards high school riding, carriage driving or all-around sport horse work (dressage, jumping, pleasure).

    That was true of the several I saw working during my visit.

    They also tend to have a smaller, tighter stride - agility being key, not fluid, reaching trot, for example.

    I would guess that in general they wouldn't be the choice of people who like the modern competitive dressage style of horse, since there seems to be a general judging bias towards the look and style of the warmbloods.

    But might be quite fun for someone more interested in baroque breeds, classical portuguese dressage and exhibition dressage, for example?

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    • #3
      I've only seen one such horse in person. He was everything tfp just said. He was also very impressive! He was so sensitive, and so well trained, that the novice riding him was shocked when he offered a passage half-pass as she was attempting a trot half-pass. She exclaimed "Did I make him do that?!" I would have loved to have ridden that horse.
      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
      http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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      • #4
        I think it'd be so cool to have a little Doma Vaquera horse. It's dressage for Vaqueros, the guys with the sticks to push cows over.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOVykh4tGzk

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxuRj...eature=related

        I can't find it, but somewhere there's a really cool little chestnut that will do their version of a canter pirouhette, but it's pretty much a 180 degree spin, and he does a ton of lead changes on a circle, across the diagonal, and then on another circle.

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        • #5
          I want one!!!!

          I have seen them work in Spain and they are incredible!!! My mare has bullfighting bloodlines and my trainer says that she is quite different from other Andalusians that she has worked with.

          If you go to youtube, there are some incredible videos of a lusitano called "Merlin". He is just amazing!!!
          Spain won the World Cup!!! Espana! Espana! Espana!

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          • #6
            Check this out !
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgG_Gwy7Ysg
            Last edited by red squirrel ridge; Mar. 12, 2010, 11:08 AM. Reason: Its Merlin

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            • #7
              From my previous training in cattle work, Ive never had a horse that was allowed "on the bit". They were trained to stay behind the bit and in front of the active leg only, a bit different pardon the pun

              I would assume so is the same for the bull fighting horses.

              Also, getting that front end DOWN and CATTY is the thing to do instead up working uphill and light. ITs a very different feeling and not at all the same musculature. Light but low, very low, and not balance from the mid but rather foot to foot...
              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
              http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                From my previous training in cattle work, Ive never had a horse that was allowed "on the bit". They were trained to stay behind the bit and in front of the active leg only, a bit different pardon the pun

                I would assume so is the same for the bull fighting horses.

                Also, getting that front end DOWN and CATTY is the thing to do instead up working uphill and light. ITs a very different feeling and not at all the same musculature. Light but low, very low, and not balance from the mid but rather foot to foot...
                I would think it would be a LOT different. These horses aren't facing off a steer and directing his movements like an American cow horse, They are trying to stay out of the way and not get gored while staying close enough to the bull to allow the rider to place the banderillas or thrust with the lance. All the while playing to the audience.
                Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)

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                • #9
                  Bullfighting Horses

                  Mike, Jean Paul Pare is very familiar with this type of horse and I am sure he could give you any and all information you might like to have. I have ridden one extensively who was from bullfighting lines although she wasn't trained to bullfight, and she was one hot tamale! All of what twofatponies said, in my opinion, is true.

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                  • #10
                    PRE

                    Isn't that the whole idea behind the PRE horses that are becoming popular? I've seen some lovely Dressage in exhibitions. There's that guy from Florida - Matt something. He is an entertainer but the Dressage in his shows is lovely and very correct (plus a bit of extra leg action - I would assume to please the crowds)

                    Anyone know who i'm talking about?

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                    • #11
                      I think that both the bull fighting horses, and the horses good at doma vaquera tend to be seriously HOT! They kinda have to be to do their jobs.

                      There appear to be a number of the 'tres-sangres' in the doma arena...E.g. LusoXTBXArab....or Hispano's - LusoxArab.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I talked to my dressage instructor today who has ridden a trained bullfighting horse. He said the main issue regarding using one as a dressage horse is establishing the bend in the lateral movements. They are trained to move laterally without worrying about the bend. Therefore you will not get a dressage trot half pass, but a leg yield or full pass. Also they are VERY responsive to the seat and leg aids and very light on the bit. Riding one that has been trained for bullfighting he said is like riding a schoolmaster - once you know where "the buttons" are, then it is quite an experience.

                        He also said you can find them for sale as some do eventually become frightened of the bull and will not come close enough to one to be useful in the sport.
                        Last edited by Mike Matson; Mar. 12, 2010, 08:07 PM.
                        "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike Matson View Post
                          I talked to my dressage instructor today who has ridden a trained bullfighting horse. He said the main issue regarding using one as a dressage horse is establishing the bend in the lateral movements. They are trained to move laterally without worrying about the bend. Therefore you will not get a dressage trot half pass, but a leg yield. Also they are VERY responsive to the seat and leg aids and very light on the bit. Riding one that has been trained for bullfighting he said is like riding a schoolmaster - once you know where "the buttons" are, then it is quite an experience.

                          He also said you can find them for sale as some do eventually become frightened of the bull and will not come close enough to one to be useful in the sport.

                          Cool, but I bet they still are out of my price range.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            PiggiPoniis--Matt Mclaughlin?

                            I have ridden a retired bull fighting stallion. He was very nice, one of my favorite mounts. He did have good lateral movement too. He was smart and liked his people. He was sensitive but not as docile (more high strung, more stallion behaviours) as other Andalusians I have worked with, I don't know if it was his lines or his bull fighting training. He was good to ride dressage but showing was not as successful because he would get so wound up (heightened awareness)--but I think that can be attributed to his history in the bull ring.

                            Still, a fun horse that gave me an excellent experience.
                            I LOVE my Chickens!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gypsymare View Post
                              I would think it would be a LOT different. These horses aren't facing off a steer and directing his movements like an American cow horse, They are trying to stay out of the way and not get gored while staying close enough to the bull to allow the rider to place the banderillas or thrust with the lance. All the while playing to the audience.
                              Hmm

                              In penning, the horses move VERY fast.

                              Both of my trainers for cattle work were from South America. The horses were NOT on the bit. They are trained not to touch it, and if that hand lifts to back at hundred MPH.

                              Not very good for the dressage horse.


                              But Im not stoppin anyone
                              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                              http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mike Matson View Post
                                I talked to my dressage instructor today who has ridden a trained bullfighting horse. He said the main issue regarding using one as a dressage horse is establishing the bend in the lateral movements. They are trained to move laterally without worrying about the bend.
                                It does make one wonder, considering how fast and effectively they move laterally (merlin in one of the videos above can move faster laterally than the bull can run forward), how important the bend really is. Or maybe the lesson is that when it comes to pure speed and agility (not necessarily the qualities emphasized by dressage) the bend is, in fact, not very important.

                                BUT - in that same video you _can_ see (around :55 for example) that the horse does bend a little toward the inside.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                  Cool, but I bet they still are out of my price range.
                                  According to my instructor, that's not necessarily the case. A trained bullfighting horse that is not bullfighting needs to be sold. Just don't let them know you are an American if you want the best price.
                                  "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Megaladon, thank you for sharing your experiences on one!
                                    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes - Matt McLaughlin is who I am thinking of.

                                      You meant real bullfighting horses - not just bullfighting breeds. I don't think he or those horses have done any real bullfighting. I happened across him at Equine Affaire once and was shocked @ how solid his riding and training was. Expected it to be a joke.

                                      I do see that many of the working cow horse people are starting to mix in the Spanish Stallions, so I think there are more similarities than it might first appear.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Mike Matson View Post
                                        According to my instructor, that's not necessarily the case. A trained bullfighting horse that is not bullfighting needs to be sold. Just don't let them know you are an American if you want the best price.

                                        Good, because I am not...we are talking Spain, right?mOr Portugal?

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