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Vaquero Style Horsemanship contains historical and factual information and is a companion book to Hackamore Reinsman and Reinsman of the West – Bridles and Bits. It consists of articles dating from the 1950’s through the 1970’s including personal letters on specific training problems. The articles provide more clarification and explain in greater depth Connell’s first two books, Hackamore Reinsman and Reinsman of the West.
Articles included are: Explaining Reining, The A-Fork Saddle, Swinging in the Rein, Starting Horses – Vaquero Style, Cowboy Talk, Ground-Pulling with the Hackamore, Teaching the Stop & Turn, and many more.
This book is an 8.5″ X 11″, 144 pages, including photos and illustrations.
Reinsman of the West
Illustrated by Ernest Morris
Ed Connell’s book gives the why and the how of making a spade bit horse out of the hackamore horse, using the methods of the old California Vaqueros. This book takes the mystery out of the spade bit and shows, among other things, that the spade in the hands of a man trained to use it is easier on a horse than even the commongrazer or snaffle bits. This book tells how to choose the right bit and how to use the bit to get the most out of a horse. The use of other bits is covered as well.
Reinsman of the West— Bridles and Bits, the second half of the training process, covers:
* About Bits
* Fundamental Principle of the Bit
* Summary of Bridling
* Purpose of the Double Rein
* The Importance of a Good Start and Finish
* Worn Bits
* Santa Barbara Spade Bit
* Half Breed
* Snaffle Bits
* Training Marks of Distinction
* Carrying the Bit
* Start of Using the Double Rein
* High Nosed Horse
* Misuse of the Romal
* Straight Up in the Bridle
* Knowledge and Know-How
* Horse Sense
* And much more
A must have for anyone interested in the Vaquero tradition!
(softcover, illustrations, 119 pgs.)
Excerpt from the book:
Carrying the Bit
This is the first, and most important step in bridling a horse. He has to learn to carry the bit in his mouth and at the same time to hold it in place. The horse hast to learn this himself. He ha to learn to carry the Spade, Half Breed, and Chileno bits. These bits should all weigh about the same, somewhere around a pound and a half. A little more, or a little less than a pound and one half will not make any difference.
This is very important to remember: it is through the weight of these bits that the horse learns to carry and hold them in the right manner. He learns to hold his head in the same position as the bridle hangs in his mouth. At the same time he is learning that while he carries his head in this position, there is no pressure against the bars of his mouth from the mouthpiece of the bit.
This is the start of the Spade bit head set and the bridle head set for the Half Breed and Chileno bits. It is also the start for putting a light-working mouth on a horse. The bridle head set is what puts the arch in his neck either when worked fast or slow, and it will be there permanently if handled correctly all the ay through the bridling process.
The secrets of the California hackamore men are made public in this book. The knowledge of this almost vanished art is made available to every horseman! Heretofore jealously guarded as a trade secret of a handful of skilled descendants of the old California vaqueros. Ed Connell, one of the most skilled of hackamore experts, hands the horse world its rarest gift in history. The complete hackamore training method has been set down in writing.
Hackamore Reinsmanis a valuable reference manual for the professional horse trainer as well as the amateur. Complete coverage of handling the reins … both snaffle bit and hackamore methods; the turn on the hind feet; the set and turn; the sliding stop; starting the colt on cattle; the spin; foot position; riding a balance; correcting bad habits; keeping the horse light; and every other phase of making the finished, flashy-reined cow horse.
Profusely illustrated with more than fifty accurate line drawings by Randy Steffen.
This is a book no horseman can afford to be without!
(softcover, illustrations, 105 pgs.)
Excerpt from the book:
The fine points of handling the hackamore have been handed down from generation to generation by the early Spanish Californians, who took great pride in their horses. They maintained the art in the business of breaking horses on the American continent. It is fast dying out except in a few places that still keep up the old traditions and system of handling horses.
Today’s old timers who learned the business from the early Californians are about all one, or are too feeble to ride anymore, and young people coming up who are working with horses have not had the opportunity to learn first hand from the people who have the knowledge.
If horses were in use today as they were a few years ago, there would be many good horses and many good horsemen, but now the topnotch horsemen are few and far between.
In recent years, due to the influx of people from other states, the methods of handling hoses have been changed all over the country. Where a few years ago the hackamore and snaffle bit were used in different states and localities, the grazer bit and new devices have replaced them, and vice versa.
Considering all the fast methods and new equipment used at the present time and comparing the new with the old, the best all-around horses for rein and cow work are still being made with the old time methods. Although it requires extra time and patience on the part of both riders and management the results are worth it.
The secret of making this kind of a finished stock horse lies in the way the reins are handled.
Timothy Gavin –
This series is an excellent resource for any trainer. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read them, I still learn something each time. They are timeless.
Tim Briggs (verified owner) –
I had a set of Hackamore Reinsman and Reinsman of the West years ago but had given them to a friend. I purchased this set to re-read them. I have since read each of these books twice and anticipate reading them several more times. Each time I learn something new or some tidbit of information is better understood. These books are extremely relevant to the vaquero style of horsemanship and provide a wealth of information! Highly recommend reading these books.
I make my living training horses and have had these books in my library for decades, even though they were printed in the fifties the information is still relevant today I find myself reading them at least once a year a must for any serious horsemans library.