Art of the Garrocha Facebook

Doma Vaquera is one of the styles of equitation in Spain, another being Doma Clasica (classical equitation).

Doma Vaquera is a style of horse riding which enables the rider to carry out daily duties on horseback on a working cattle ranch. It was especially developed out of the use of the horse for handling the fighting bulls of Spain and grew out of decades of daily work with them in the open countryside.

The style of riding, tack, dress and discipline of the working horses evolved into what we see today. It is still being used on working ranches, in Doma Vaquera competition and more recently, Doma de Trabajo (working equitation).


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The Art of the Garrocha

Modern Doma Vaquera competitions provide a challenging test for both the horse and rider. Practicality and precision are married together as the rider must be aware of the true nature of these tests which are performed in a 60m x 20m arena. At advanced level the requirements include all the maneuvers a horse would need to make when facing a fighting bull such as explosive gallops from a standing start, skid stops, lateral yielding and canter pirouettes.

art of the garrocha


For the first time, the traditional Art of the Garrocha is completely explained and demonstrated by John Saint Ryan in a step by step process.  Now you can work in your own time with the traditional method John teaches at his Clinics.  This DVD will teach you how to develop the skills necessary to practice this wonderful art of horsemanship as originally taught to John by such experts as Jose Manuel Martin de Leon.  This DVD, for Beginner to Intermediate, includes:

  • Exhibition Highlights from the National Championships

  • A brief history of the Garrocha

  • Exercises on Horseback with and without the Garrocha.

  • How to introduce the Garrocha to  your horse safely.

  • The Basic exercises at the walk and trot.

  • The Intermediate exercises at a gallop.


   One realizes while watching this DVD that working with the Garrocha is not just
for one discipline of riding. The principles and exercises presented here can help with improving balance, refining the aids, and achieving better communication with your horse no matter what style of riding you do. John Saint Ryan thoughtfully includes different breeds and training levels to emphasis this point. 
Katy Sommers DVM

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Winner of Regional Finals 2010


John Saint Ryan came to the USA 14 yrs ago with an English background of Classical Riding, he subsequently immersed himself in the western style of working with horses studying under the tutelage of the Masters of this work Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt.

His passion and interest in Doma Vaquera stems from a visit to Spain almost 20 yrs ago.

He has concentrated on the discipline of Doma Vaquera with great success.

Here is a list of recent titles awarded:

PRE 1st Place Bull Fighters Class 2007

PRE National Champion Alta 2006

IALHA National Champion 2004 Basico

PRE National Champion Intermedio 2005

IALHA National Champion 2005 Alta




John would like to thank
Jose Manuel Martin de Leon

for his assistance in composing this web site.

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