Chances are, unless you grew up in Spain, you are unfamiliar with what a garrocha is and you may be wondering why it’s become an “art.” Originally, these long lances or poles, were used by Spanish vaqueros (cowboys) to steer and control fighting bull stock. In fact, one person claims it’s where the term “cowpoke” originated from.
The garrocha’s use has evolved into a tool for a very beautiful display equitation – “The art of garrocha.” Horse and rider both need be in amazing shape in order to handle the 12-14-foot pole, while maintaining a look of grace. It takes amazing balance on the part of the rider. (www.garrocha.com)
It takes years to train a horse for the art of garrocha, just as it does dressage or reining. While often performed on Andalusians, Lusitanos, and other Spanish-type horses, Patrick King performs a lovely display in the video below on a Sorrel Overo Paint Stallion named Ima Rock Solid Hobby, owned by Evergreen Farm.
King is known for his amazing horsemanship as well as his compassion toward rescue horses. According to a Facebook post, Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue says he has helped train and save some of their most challenging horses. What do you think of this discipline – do you want to learn the art of garrocha?