Buckaroo John's Blog — Vaqueros

Vaqueros, Cowboys and Buckaroos

Posted by John Brand on

Cowboys of the old west were referred to as "vaqueros." (The Spanish word "vaca" means cow.) The term "cowboy" was rarely used back in the old west. It is more commonly used today. The word vaquero pronounced by American cowboys, was "bukera" and finally "buckaroo." For a period of time anyone working cattle, whether in Texas, California, or elsewhere was known as a "buckaroo". It wasn't until the late 1860's when the Texans began to drive their cattle north to the new railroads in Kansas that the term "cowboy" came into widespread use. Vaqueros were poor, owned no land, probably not even...

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Horse Training by the Californio Vaqueros

Posted by John Brand on

The Californio Vaqueros were proud of their horsemanship and horse tack. They took great care to hand braid their horse hair mecates and romel reins. The Vaqueros hand braiding techniques are still used today.  The rawhide bosals, riatas, quirts, headstalls, and hackamores are all part of the Vaquero "tool box" that were used to train their horses.  The Vaqueros trained their horses for 7-10 years, starting at 4 years old, to react with very little pressure from the rider. At the end of training, the horse and rider would be one.  The three stages of the Vaquero horse training were as follows: The...

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