Ivan took Ryan, Angela and us into the countryside north of Sevilla to a farm that boards horses and is a riding training venue. We would call it a riding academy in Canada. They were having an event for charity to support the riders and their travels to other facilities. It was packed! Very good turnout! There was a community vibe about it like we’ve seen at wine festivals in small towns in Germany and I experienced at our local fair in Brentwood Bay, BC., where "everyone knows your name", well Ivan's anyway.
Here is Ryan and Angela's blog on it, they take great pictures! www.jetsliketaxis.com They also took note of names of where we were and our hosts, read about it there, no sense in repeating. Did I say REALLY great pictures!
We had beer and food at tables in the riding ring, our chairs kept sinking in the sand floor. The food was home made and excellent, they ran out and then brought more in.
There was an auction, see Ryan's comment about the dress, but there was also this saddle. Those things in the middle are the stirrups.
|Padded front and back, comfy!|
Then we sat around a ring for the bull fighting training session, we had wanted to do last year but wasn’t available to us then. Some are quite privately done, others like this one are an advertised for charity event. The bulls certainly didn’t give up easily, chased the capes with vigour. I am not commenting further here on this strong tradition in Spain. I wrote about this last year and now having seen the training sessions would still not go to a bullfight but was enlightened to see the training process.
The skill of the toreadors was incredible, and fluid, almost like a dance with the bull!
|This fellow was very good!|
Various levels of skill in the toreadors, as well, the best or eldest, got the first go and then when the bull had gotten tired, next. They started off the “fight” by having a blindfolded horse with very thick padding, rider on top, teasing it by poking it with a stick.
The bull would butt the horse in anger which increased his ire or frustration. There were two bulls one had longer energy and more fight than the other.
Then back to the food and beer tent for more tapas, then the real fun for me was shown. Girl riders, about teen age, on their horses doing increasingly higher rounds of jumps. There was one small girl on a small horse that made it through, plucky kid, plucky horse! The proud smile on her face was a delight to see.
Men on large horses, individually, took their horses through the paces of walking sideways, backwards, horses are not used to doing that so it was also skillfully done.
Then a young fellow dressed in Andalucian costume did the same with his but also had the horse stand on it’s hind legs and actually sit down. This kid and horse were incredible!
|This fellow also judged the jumping class|
The whole show was wonderful, in the what a day, in a local community!
It’s been since I left 4-H, a farm program for teens, or attended the country fair many moons ago, that I’ve been in that atmosphere of parents and professionals teaching children how to work with animals and husbandry training skills. Just as important the ability to perform with confidence in a ring with spectators, always was my biggest challenge. The animal is sometimes unpredictable despite all the hours of training, it may get spooked by a loud noise or sudden movement. My first year in a show ring my steer ran amok in the ring and even got phlegm in the judge’s hair, sure didn’t win that one!
We estimate that there were likely over five hundred people in attendance, hard to know because the property was large and there were people everywhere and only two, yes, two toilets, men and women’s, one each causing 30- 45 minute waits. I guess they hadn’t quite planned that part for such a successful event.
Angela, Ryan and I were all snapping pictures until their camera died so I credit Angela for some of the later pictures and she did a couple of videos, I knew the camera was capable of but didn't know how, doh. Angela is a good photographer, especially with movement which I’m not. Once again I failed to be able to load the videos, note to self - learn for heaven's sake!
The day was a truly extraordinary experience! Another with our guide and friend Ivan, and Ryan and Angela, our "on site" professional photographer and media expert. Thank you!
Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat