Vaquero Horsemanship – Chantz Albrecht
The Vaquero's Legacy Continues...
Raised in California in a family where bridle horse traditions were a lifestyle long before he was born, Chantz as a young boy, learned about early vaqueros and their horsemanship, the root of what we call "vaquero style" today. He quietly watched and listened to his grandfather, the late Richard Caldwell, a 30-year buckaroo veteran and respected vaquero horseman, as he trained horses in the hackamore, the first stage in training a bridle horse. He watched as horses progressed to the two-rein stage and witnessed a finished horse working straight up in the spade bit bridle. He learned about the gear including hair rope mecates, bosals, and romal reins and how each piece of handmade gear has distinct sizes, weights and each with its own distinct purpose. Chantz was an attentive student; his grandfather a wise teacher.
Chantz took to the "light handed" style and was a natural in the saddle, riding alongside Richard at many ranch gatherings and competitions. As a 10-year old, it was a proud day for his family when he won a Junior Bridle Horse competition with his grandfather winning the Open Bridle Class. Chantz feels gratefull and blessed to have spent his childhood close to his grandfather having learned how to ride, train bridle horses and work cattle all with respect and patience.
Living in Wyoming today and attending high school, Chantz continues his love of vaquero traditions, working his horses, starting colts and roping with a riata - another skill he learned from his grandfather. His parents and sister, also skilled with bridle horses, continue their advocacy for vaquero traditions. Chantz echos the feelings of his late grandfather...there is no better method of paying respect to our heritage than to train & ride a true California bridle horse and have the artful skill of using a riata.
Chantz will be horseback at Vaquero Heritage Days 2016. Check the schedule for Saturday & Sunday horsemen expos. Learn more about Chantz & his family, visit the outdoor "horsemens booth" during the event.
(photograph by Megan Elaine Luis)