Step By Step: How to Saddle a Horse like a Gaucho in South America

Step By Step: How to Saddle a Horse like a Gaucho in South America


I’m in Brazil. And this is day 11 of the Marcha which is a 750 kilometer endurance race on Criollo horses. And Fleco and I are gonna show you, kind of, how the Gauchos saddle and prepare their horses. Stay tuned and be sure to hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss out on any of the videos that are coming out. Fleco obviously has his little traditional Halter on, which is braided and I’m gonna show you step-by-step how to saddle your horse. This is in a nutshell everything that a gaucho needs: horse, equipment, got my pants, my boots. I only am missing my hat and the poncho. Gauchos wear boinas or little cowboy type hats. I’m the only one here wearing a helmet. Otherwise, I’m good to go! So because it’s the Marcha, we’re using this extra fluffy pad. We’re gonna make sure it’s even on both sides. And then we just make sure the mane is out of the way. So that’s step 1. Step 2: the saddle. It’s quite simple. You rest pretty high above the horse. I can almost compare it to a cattle ehm camel saddle. This goes over the saddle. This strap and the cinch, the girth. So it actually tightens from both sides. So I’m loosening this side and I’m gonna, step three. We want it to be even on both sides. The strap sits on top of the saddle and the girth is actually gonna go in the middle of the horse’s belly. Like so. They don’t cinch the horse here, what we’re used to. They cinch it in the middle of the belly. The cinching is similar like western, if you’ve ever done western, or tie a man’s tie. The extra on top. This is the sheepskin, it’s gonna go over the saddle. The saddle is actually… I don’t think you can ride it without the sheepskin. It is designed to have the sheepskin. So in all of the gaucho shops that we went to in Brazil so far, they sell the sheepskin pads as part of the equipment with the saddles. So we’re going to put this on. I have two layers. Again I’m doing the Marcha and so they’ve given me a fake sheep pad, which is quite fluffy. And when it’s raining, I swap and put that one on top and then this is real sheep, sheep fur. This is the one that’s going on top. So this is a bit more comfortable for myself. So that just sits on top of the saddle. Obviously, we can’t just have the sheepskin like that. So we have this leather and another cinch, which we’re going to strap around the sheepskin and over the other girth. So again, we want it to be even and come where the girl is. I’ll just check that it’s even on both sides. The Gauchos make the girths pretty tight. They’re pretty snug around the belly. In the Marcha, the minimum weight for the equipment – the saddle, bridle, everything – and the rider should be minimum 95 kilos. So the saddle is, the equipment is pretty heavy-duty! They make the cinch pretty snug around the horses bellies. They make them pretty… Yeah, they make this cinches pretty snug around the horses bellies and obviously it’s a whole lot of weight on top. So you need to make sure that it can’t move around or something like that. A lot of the Criollo horses they work with cattle. They work with cows. So just like, you know rodeos in America or Western Cowboys in America – the Western equipment – It’s got to be pretty snug. It can’t be moving around too much. You know, they’re going to be turning a lot, not so much on the Marcha, but this is, they are working horses. This extra bit on the girth: we’re just gonna put it inside the saddle, out of the way. So the Gauchos, they have a tradition to tie the horse’s tail whenever they’re being ridden. I’m not very good at this. But I’m gonna show you: they have many many different ways of doing it. I’ve tried a couple of different versions. I’m gonna show you the easiest one for me. And it will be by no means as pretty as theirs. But I’ll give you the idea and you can perfect it. We split it into three and we’re gonna braid it like a normal braid. I Just check the time. So I’m going to braid it like a normal braid. And leaves some at the bottom. And we have these two little pieces extra, which we’ve left out of the braid. And then, we’re gonna fold it. Like so. Like so. And I’m gonna bring these around somehow. I take the two loose ends and I wrap them underneath up and around, so that I can tie them into a knot. Once I’ve gotten them both up and over towards the top. So here you can see me wrapping it underneath and then back over towards the top. And I’m gonna do it three times. One. Two. Three and you pull it tight. Last step: the bridle. It has no throat latch, no nothing. This is the bit that they use I can’t say much about that. Good boy! They have a little curb chain on his bridle. And we’re done! The reins are not attached. And they just – they just go like that. The Gauchos, I’ve noticed, ride cowboy style. I tend to bridge my reins and do it like that. But. yeah, that’s how you hold the reins.

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