Friday, April 08, 2016

CHARRO HORSES IN A BORDER AFFAIR

By guest author Hebby Roman

My latest release, BORDER AFFAIR, is one of the eight books in the contemporary western anthology, COME LOVE A COWBOY. Buy Link http://amzn.com/B01D5876UK The second book in my On the Border Series, this book takes place on the Texas-Mexican border and features a ranch that trains horses for the Mexican specialty of charro riding, as well as rodeo events such as barrel racing and calf roping, and cutting horses, too. Since charro riding is not widely understood in the United States, I wanted to explain how these specialty horses perform.



Charro riding is an event in a charreada or charrería, which is a competitive event similar to our rodeos and was developed from animal husbandry practices used on the haciendas of old México. The sport has been described as "living history," or as an art form drawn from the demands of working life. Evolving from the traditions brought from Spain in the 16th century, the first charreadas were ranch work competitions between haciendas. The modern Charreada developed after the Mexican Revolution when charro traditions were disappearing. The charreada consists of nine events for men plus one for women, all of which involve horses, cattle or both.


The participants in the charreada wear traditional charro clothing, including a closely fitted suit, chaps, boots, and a wide brim sombrero. The body-fitting suit of the charro, while decorative, is also practical; it fits closely to insure there is no flapping cloth to be caught by the horns of steers. The botinas, or little boots, prevent feet from slipping through the stirrups. Spurs are worn on the botinas.

The saddle of the charro has a wider horn than that of that of a western saddle, which helps safeguard the charro from being pitched off and from being hung up. There are two grips at the back of the saddle, in case the charro needs to have a handhold during certain trick maneuvers.




In a charreada, the most common competition is called cala de caballo or reining. Literally the demonstration of the horse rein, as the horse is required to show its talents in the canter, gallop, slide stop, spins on its hind legs as well as backing. It is one of the hardest events to master and also the most elaborately scored. The running slide, left and right spinning, rear leg pivoting, and backing abilities are tested. The charro rider and horse are evaluated carefully. Horses are judged for vigor, manageability, docility, gait and obedience. Carriage of head and tail are all critically evaluated and scored accordingly.

Charro horses also perform tricks, very similar to those of the famous Lipizzaner stallions in Austria. Trick riding such as rearing on signal, backing up on the horse’s two back feet, and spinning, have given these horses the moniker of “dancing horses.” In addition, they can be trained to prance in time to music, making them appear to dance with the strains of popular Mexican ballads.




They often are the lead feature in Texas-México border parades and rodeos. Charro horses are also used to showcase a charro rider’s elaborate rope tricks while calmly cantering around an arena. And of course, if you’re a horse lover, all charro horses are selected for their beautiful conformation and flowing manes and tails.

For you western lovers, I hope you have enjoyed this explanation of a fascinating sport, featuring beautiful and very talented horses. And I hope you will read more about charro horses in my story, “Border Affair.”


And find the western contemporary romance anthology COME LOVE A COWBOY on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B01D5876UK

 BORDER AFFAIR Blurb:

            Camila Villarreal has had a crush on Rusty Douglas since she was twelve years old. And no matter what she does she can’t stop caring for him.
            Rusty, a self-made millionaire and a partner in her family’s ranch, is recovering from a messy divorce and facing a mid-life crisis. He’s not eager to become involved in a serious relationship.
            Despite Rusty’s doubts, their mutual attraction blazes into a sizzling affair. But when Camila is kidnapped, Rusty is desperate to rescue her. Will he get her back unharmed? And if he does, can their affair develop into a lasting relationship?

Excerpt for BORDER AFFAIR:

            “I worked my ass off, getting him to canter,” Rusty said. “And you can’t be bothered to watch.”
            “I was watching,” Camila protested.
            “No, you weren’t. What’s so damned interesting in the dirt? Mining for gold or something.”
            “Oh, Rusty, get over it.” She wiped her forehead with the back of her arm. “I was just resting my eyes.”
            “Really?”
            “Yeah, and do you mind catching him before he gets tangled in the tether and manages to lame himself.”
            “I can see being your assistant is going to suck,” he muttered loud enough to hear. “And we can’t keep calling this horse ‘him’.” He stretched his arms wide and cracked the switch again, driving the sorrel into a corner of the corral.
            He bent over and grabbed the rope.
            The breath stopped in her lungs. Por Dios, was he one gorgeous hunk of man. Forget his age or that he’d lost too much weight. Just looking at Rusty made her heart go pitter-patter. So much for a girlhood crush that refused to go away.
            “What are you going to name him?”
            “Huh?” She’d lost the thread of concentration, wishing she and Rusty were in bed together, rather than hollering across a dusty corral. “Oh, name him. Hmmm. How about Calypso?”
            He ran one hand over the stubble on his jaw. And she wished she could run her tongue over his jaw and neck and lower. Wished she could explore every inch of him with her mouth and tongue.
“Not bad. I like it,” he said.
            “I’m glad you approve.”
            He pulled the gelding forward by his halter, stopping on the other side of the fence. “Calypso, meet your new trainer.”
            She fished a slice of apple from her pocket and handed it to the yearling. “Never too soon to start rewarding him for good behavior.”
            Calypso lipped the apple slice and crunched it. She stroked the white blaze running from his forehead and tapering off at his muzzle. He had three white socks, too.
            Rusty hooked his free arm over the fence post and gazed at the yearling. He stood within inches of her but towering over her by a half a foot. He was so close to her, she could smell his perspiration and the earthy man-smell of him. His down-to-earth scent was far more arousing than the expensive cologne he usually wore.
            He patted the horse’s neck and said, “Well, what do you think? Does he have possibilities?”
            “Yeah, sure, but he’s too young to pigeon-hole as a barrel racer or cutting horse or whatever yet.”
            He pursed his mouth. “You’re probably right. Hard to tell until they’re under saddle.”
            She gazed at the thin line of his pursed mouth. Hard and masculine, just the way she liked a man’s mouth. All these years of dreaming about kissing him and they’d shared nothing more than pecks on the cheeks.
            He was looking straight at her. Did he feel the same pull, the same attraction as she did? Or did he still see her as a child?
            He stared at her for a long time, his gaze riveted on her mouth. Was he thinking about kissing her, the way she’d been thinking? She hoped so.
            He patted her hand on the fence rail and said, “I’m going to walk him around ‘til he cools down. Chuy will help me get him settled in his stall. You should get some rest, put your leg up. Okay?”
            She nodded and closed her eyes, wanting him so bad, she hurt.

BORDER AFFAIR is included in the anthology COME LOVE A COWBOY, which is available at Amazon here: http://amzn.com/B01D5876UK



Hebby Roman, Author
You can find more about my books at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Hebby-Roman/e/B001KI1L0O/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1456359596&sr=1-2-ent
For beautiful pictures of charro horses, visit my COME LOVE A COWBOY Board on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/callofmuse/


9 comments:

Hebby Roman said...

Caroline, thank you for hosting my blog on charro horses, as featured in "Border Affair," one of the eight stories in our anthology of "Come Love A Cowboy." Your blogsite is beautifully done, and I appreciate the pictures you included of the gorgeous charro horses.

Margo Bond Collins said...

What a great post! Charro horses are new to me; I loved learning about them!

Thanks for hosting Come Love a Cowboy today!

andreadowning.com said...

Hebby, great post! I love reading anything about horses and this was new to me so many thanks for that.

Keta Diablo said...

Hello Hebby and Caroline,

You know I always enjoy the many images of horses you post on Pinterest, Hebby, so it stands to reason, I'd love your article about Charro horses and their form of rodeos. Their manes and tails are spectacular!

Thanks for sharing this with us,

Hebby's story, BORDER AFFAIR, in Come Love A Cowboy, is also a spectacular read. We hope you enjoy it, along with the entire boxed set.

~Keta~

Carra Copelin said...

Great post, Hebby and Caroline. I learned something today. I'm looking forward to reading Border Affair. Hebby you are an excellent writer! Wishing you much success with Border Affair and to all with the box set!
Carra

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

I'm familiar with the outfits and wide-brimmed sombreros, but I never knew the story behind them. Thanks for telling us about Charro horses. I look forward to reading your story even more now.

Hebby Roman said...

Thank you, Keta, I know you love horses, and who can blame you--they're such beautiful creatures.

And Carra, I appreciate you coming over and reading my blog. And such kind words, too, about my writing. I'm blushing!

Thanks, Patti, I do hope you enjoy the story. I know I enjoyed yours. All the stories in CLAC are awesome, IMHO. And as many have said, so varied and interesting in their own separate ways.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I loved learning about charro horses, Hebby. Thank you for sharing this informative blog post with readers.

Hebby Roman said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed my article, Caroline. It is kind of fascinating about these horses, so few people know about them because they're mostly featured in parades on the Mexico border or Mexican rodeos. Of course, our western rodeos evolved from the vaquero tradition of a Mexican rodeo. Vaquero is the Spanish equivalent of cowboy.