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Days of Yore ~ Spring & Summer 2007
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Memories of LAMAAN
by Marci de la Torre © 2003
(Reprinted with permission from Marci de la Torre's post to the ArabianPreservation Mailing List August 30, 2003)

It is such a small world and this post brought back many memories of happy times with my Lamaan (Zadir x Rabika by Rabiyas), full brother to Zabika.

Lamaan was born in 1959 (Zabika in 1961) and was sold by Cal Poly to a Doctor in Mexico when he was just a baby. He was approx 15 hands, chestnut, blaze & 4 tall stockings. Probably would be considered a sabino today. Lamaan was slated to be a breeding stallion for the doctor. However, fate had different ideas.

Lamaan was trained for 4 years as a reining horse on the doctor's ranch and excelled. (Note: In Mexico a well-trained "caballo de rienda"óreining horse has had much dressage training. His cues are heavily off the leg and they use extremely light contact with the mouth. On a finished horse, a rider can set a horse into a sliding stop by just shifting their weight. Then they can back him the length of the arena with the reins dropped over the saddle horn, just using your legs). I tell you this because this is how Lamaan was trained.

Lamaan 1967
LAMAAN circa 1967
Photo courtesy of Marci de la Torre

He came to the attention of our friends, the Vergara-Ochoa brothers in Guadalajara. Alfonzo and his brother, "Loli", fought the bulls Portuguese style, from horseback - they do not kill the bull, only place the banderillas. They were in partnership with Conchita Cintron, a very famous lady bull fighter from Portugal. She came from Portugal to their ranch each year and trained horses for the Vergara-Ochoa brothers to ride, as well as trained them in the Portuguese "art" of bullfighting. They negotiated the purchase of Lamaan from the doctor put him in further training at their ranch - another 4 years which amounted largely to dressage training. Lamaan again excelled! One day, when he was out in his paddock, one of the bulls broke through the fence and hooked Lamaan in the testicles, very effectively castrating him.

His future as a breeding stallion gone and with Lamaan now approaching 11 years old with the start of Ringbone, the Vergara-Ochoa brother came to us to buy a stallion. They offered Lamaan to us as a partial trade against the purchase price. So, in 1968 Lamaan came back to California. I remember this so well because we got stuck in the quarantine barn at Caliente Race Track, Tiajuana, Mexico, for 30+ days. They locked him into a new quarantine barn that had not passed inspection by the State of Calif. The day we went down to finally pick him up, they drenched him with some sort of bug spray (out of a hose) as a parting shot. Before putting a very bedraggled Lamaan in the trailer, I let him free walk and trot on the end of a lunge line to work out some kinks. Remember, he had been locked in that stall for more than 30 days. When he picked up the trot, it was big. bold, ground covering and simply took my breath away. I was looking at a natural, God-given Park Horse.

When I got him home, I started to work him in the cutback saddle. With all the exquisite training he had had, he collected so beautifully. That year, 1968, he was shown at one show at Pomona (his entire show horse career). My friend, George Chavez, showed him since I was pregnant at the time. We showed in the Park Horse class, competing against and beating the wonderful *Blue Mantle. That was Lamaan's only show and *Blue Mantle went on to be the US Nat'l Champ Park Horse that year.

Lamaan 1968
LAMAAN (1968 with George Chavez)
Photo courtesy of Marci de la Torre

Lamaan was my trail horse and my best friend. He taught my daughter, Lisa, how to ride. My ex-husband used him in his trick-roping exhibitions. He loved life and was game for any endeavor you asked of him. Lamaan was the best trained horse I have ever ridden and he has been the yardstick that, so far, I have been unable to duplicate. Backing him the length of the arena without using my hands was something I used to love to show people (say "unbelievers").

Thanks for the memories.

P.S. Eons ago I was invited to spend a week in Guadalajara, riding with Conchita Cintron. To ride, literally, with "no hands" while your horse maneuvers around a big bull at, sometimes, great speeds and agility, is an experience and a half. The words "partnership" and "trust" are totally redefined. (08/30/03)

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30685 Calle Chueca
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