There are Portuguese and Spanish forms of bullfighting that are done primarily on horseback, and are considered an equestrian sport. The idea is to show the skill of horse and rider together, and also the skill of them as a team in, uh, “fighting” the bull.
The horses, generally Lusitanos or Andalusions, are trained in dressage, clearly upper level. Imagine your dressage mount listening to you after being gored, and continuing to circle the bull and move off your leg with impulsion and collection. Imagine your dressage mount going anywhere near an angry bull dripping blood.
I believe this is a Portuguese Cavaleiro, acting as a rejoneador. Anyone out there know for sure?
Spoiler: Beware. It’s gory. As I understand it; bull gores horse, cavaliero (who used horse to mercilessly tease injured bull) takes this as an insult to his horse’s honor and retaliates by leaping off and verbally deriding bull. On the ground, with no protection. No, this does not have a happy ending.
Most cowboys could predict this. (Bulls are only momentarily stunned by being insulted back.)
I believe traditional bullfighting using varas is torture. (I’m sure PETA would have a field day with my philosophy: play nicely with your bull, or kill it humanely and eat it, don’t stick weighted lances into it and then run around to show off your skill when the bull gets MAD.)
Dressage and cows. The interesting point of this video: dressage is the training base used for horse and rider in a dangerous situation. It makes sense, since dressage was originally developed for military – fighting – use. The idea was to have the horse so gymnastic and ‘underneath’ you, that you could perform any maneuver instantly…and it just might save both your lives. Clearly, the cavaleiro is not a dressage queen.
Wouldn’t dressage be a useful training base for some of the western sports? Pickup riders come to mind…when you need to help a cowboy with a bronc or bull, a horse that responds like this one would be an amazing asset.
Tip of the helmet to Wendy, of Wendy’s Horse Adventures, for passing this on! We had a bull thing going on here prior to the Spring Break kid hurricane, and this fits right in.