Because Doma Vaquera is relatively new to the USA I believe
it would be helpful to those interested in the development of
the discipline to have the opportunity to have a better overview
and understanding of the requisite movements, expression and
essence which goes to make a true presentation of Doma Vaquera.
Both horse and rider must be aware of the ‘aire vaquero’.
Although the three tests are standardised, there should be a
quality of spontaneity and brilliance which flows through horse
and rider. In training it is necessary to avoid the horse
becoming anticipatory of the movements, otherwise the test can
look dull and monotonous.
The rider should present an air of pride and confidence in
his performance. The judges look for individuality and flair.
Although a high percentage of the score is made up from the
basic movements of walk, trot, canter and gallop, a rider can
tip the balance in his favor and improve his overall score by
his presentation and style.
The walk must be with impulsion. Straightness on a line and
with curvature on a circle. The mosquero swinging and moving in
rhythm with the horse.
The canter and gallop must be steady and true, with impulsion
The reins are held in the left hand with the little finger
between them. It is permissible to adjust the rein length with
the free hand.
The free hand (right) is place on the thigh with the thumb
forward in the walk and the trot. At the canter and gallop the
hand is gently closed and placed across the sternum of the
The rider may provide appropriate music (Spanish or Latin
guitar without vocals) to be played during the test.
The arena size should be 20 x 60 meters.
The judges sit at the opposite end of where the exhibitor
Junior horses (up to 5 years old) may be ridden in a snaffle
with two hands on the reins.
The tail hair is either cut square and short or tied into a
A gelding or mare would have the forelock shaved. Manes are
either cropped or braided in to small tight buttons. No colored
ribbon is used only matching colored yarn.
The horse may be shod or unshod.
Martingales, leg protectors and sliding shoes are prohibited.
Any long hairs along the cheeks and jawline should be
removed. The ears should have any long protruding hairs trimmed
level with the rim of the ear.
Removal of the long tactile feeler hairs around the muzzle is