Doma Vaquera Instruction by John Saint Ryan

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).

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.

John Saint Ryan Releases New Book “A Voice for the Horse,” with Personal Stories and Proven Theories for Communication between Horse and Humans

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A Voice for the Horse by John Saint Ryan from jsr on Vimeo.

ACTON, Calif., Dec. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire -- The internationally acclaimed author and three-time U.S. National Champion John Saint Ryan announced today the release of his new book, "A Voice for the Horse." A skilled trainer with more than 30 years of experience, Saint Ryan's new book explores the impact horses had on him throughout his life and chronicles his time learning from Tom Dorrance, who is considered one of the founders of the modern natural horsemanship movement. "A Voice for the Horse" also documents Saint Ryan's personal studies and theories for effective communication between a horse, a trainer and rider.

"More than three decades of serious study, research and teaching are brought to light in this book," said Saint Ryan. "The work I show in this book is the direct result of those experiences and my love of the horse. I have been very fortunate in having some excellent tuition and coaching from many world-class teachers in many different disciplines."

Saint Ryan has had several successful careers, but horse riding was always an integral part of his life. Born in the UK, he taught martial arts for 27 years throughout Europe, coaching 12 students to become National Champions and was also elected Chairman of the British Thai Boxing Council. During that time, Saint Ryan rode horses recreationally, while also having a successful acting career, which included being a stunt double for Sean Connery, and co-starring with Heath Ledger in the TV Series 'Roar.' In 1992, Saint Ryan moved to the United States and was introduced to the horseman Tom Dorrance, where his love for horse training flourished. Together, Saint Ryan and Dorrance created training DVDs including 'Greetings from Tom Dorrance', 'Feel, Timing & Balance and 'Visits with Tom'.

In addition to Saint Ryan's own personal stories, often humorous, "A Voice for the Horse" also provides a one-month training program, relevant for horses in any stage of training. Saint Ryan hopes the book is a way more people, and horses, can learn from his experiences and put his theories and strategies to work.

Giulia Zanone Orth, MSc of Animal Behavior, edited and wrote the foreword for "A Voice for the Horse" and said, "The validity of John's method has had a huge impact on my life as a horse person. Apart from the good feeling of discovering a kindred mindset, I also learned so many new tools from this book that I went from being a recreational rider to making a living starting young horses and untouched mustangs. I don't believe I could have grown so much in my understanding of the horse's needs without John's book."

"A Voice for the Horse" is now available and can be ordered online for $24.95, plus shipping. Everyone who purchases the new book will also be invited to join A Voice for the Horse Facebook group, which is set up primarily for Saint Ryan to help readers with individual questions and provide customized suggestions based on their own horse.

Media Contact:
Joyce Barker
760 608 3687


The Art of the Garrocha from jsr on Vimeo.


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

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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


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

Siroco GF1 sired by Indiano XV111

YouTube videos featuring Siroco

Video 1 Movement

Video 2 Dressage

Siroco GF sired by Indiano XV111

PRE Stallion born June 29 2002 (IndianoXV111 x Tar-Sa-Sia). This stallion is self confident, assertive spectacular and super balanced. At 15.3h he has exceptional movement with an amazing extended trot. He is not spooky and quiet enough for an amateur with trainer. 

Sirocos pedigree thru his sire Indiano xv111 shows some of the purest and most admired qualities of that line of horses who trace directly back to the pure Cartujano horses. Indiano XV111 is a Spanish born treasure, representing the Romero Benitez bloodlines of Spain. Indiano was twice Champion in Spain. The legacy of genetic quality of this horse will be a great addition to any breeding program. 

Siroco GF was started under saddle correctly at age 4 he is a truly well balanced horse with a great diversity of skills. Now at age 10 you can ride him as a dressage horse in the morning and go test the bulls a la Garrocha with him in the evening. Featured in the DVD 'The Art of the Garrocha'. Excellent ground manners and handled daily without a stud chain. He was shown at the Regional Finals in 2010 and won First Place in the Doma Vaquera.

Proven breeding stallion, live cover available. Three of his get are available for viewing at the ranch also. Siroco has also been used as a lesson horse for Intermediate and Advanced riders.

Siroco is offered to the right home for $25,000 - negotiable.




John would like to thank
Jose Manuel Martin de Leon

for his assistance in composing this web site.

for more information visit: