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The Formando

Posted by Ben Beckendorf on

"The nearly 70,000 acre Chaparrosa Ranch west of LaPryor in South Texas is a good example of staying in ecological balance while operating a commercially successful cattle and farm business that impacts on the natural resource of the land.

It’s a big place and they have a lot of cows, and they need cowboys, and cowboys need horses - but they catch, bridle, and saddle their horses a little differently.

Instead of roping horses out of a traditional remuda, Chaparrosa horses are trained to back up to a taut rope or fence in their particular pecking order and stand abreast. At the order of corrida boss Cocque Gonzales, from six to sixty horses will line up and stand attentive waiting to be bridled. This practice, called “formando”, originated in Mexico and allows the vaqueros to catch and bridle their horses quickly and quietly for the day’s work.

The Chaparrosa is the only ranch I know of that performs the formando, and they do it every morning at daybreak and again in the afternoon. Once, you have seen the formando and gotten past the thrill of the performance itself, you begin to wonder why every ranch that uses several horses on a regular basis doesn't use this method of selecting and saddling the day’s horses."

-Excerpt from Charles Beckendorf Texas



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