We spent much of the day yesterday at the park/football ground, enjoying the annual horse show. The show is all about horses, horsemanship and fun. All the horses are groomed to within an inch of their lives, and many of the men (and some women) wear the traditional Andalucian riding outfit. I don’t know anywhere else in the world where men would look good in those outfits – they wear flat hats, short jackets, and impossibly tight trousers. They look good on the very small, slim Andalucian men, but elsewhere? I think not.
The equine world is well-represented at the show. Highly polished pure Andalucian horses, small cranky donkeys, and mares with their mule babies, who are often very poorly behaved! Manuel says mules are quite hard to train, because they are smarter than horses, and more stubborn, too.
We arrived quite early, and the horses were just arriving. They whinny and call to each other, and all are in a state of high excitement.
Our friend’s granddaughter was there with a friend – believe me, they were the only 2 wearing polo outfits! Harriet (the granddaughter) is an expert polo player at her school, and her ease on a horse made us very jealous. They borrowed horses to ride throughout the day, and seemed to have a great time.
Also there was our friend Cristobal and his girlfriend Natalia. They are both expert riders, and this year Cristobal was determined to win the trophy. He had groomed his horse until it shone, as you can see in the video. He also had gone to great expense to buy the riding clothes, completing the authentic Andalucian look. It sure beat his last year’s outfit of jeans and open shirt, with beer in hand!
I think it’s great that this small rural village works so hard to keep the old traditions alive, and the younger generation seems to still participate whenever possible.