Saturday, March 14, 2009

Horses in Argentina

Glad to see a post about MMA! My boyfriend and I love BJJ. He's been practicing for 6 years and I'm a total newbie. We bought some mats to spar on at home. Its great because we can't really afford a membership right now and his old BJJ buddies sometimes come over to roll around. BJJ is great, but I think some people fixate too much on some martial arts. While its true that over 95% of fights end up on the ground, you need to protect yourself until that time comes. I'm hoping to join a MMA gym in the future.

That's great. It's nice that you two can train together!
Trying vairous MA and concentrating on what you need is the best thing to do. Also try finding a guy that knows about knives, batons and disarm techniques. The more simple the better.
Disarming gets complicated when there's +2 attackers with weapons, but against a clueless solo armed guy that gets too close it works well.

You probably won't know too much about this, and that's ok, but I was wondering how the horse industry is in Argentina? I know its a frivilous luxury and one of the first things to go in hard times. The U.S. economy is getting bad and people's horses are up for sale. Untrained horses and old horses are being practicaly given away for free. A really well trained, safe family horse will always cost at least $1500 though. Also the fancy barns that charge $500-800 a month are now offering cheaper packages to stay in business. Horses are my greatest passion. I live and breath for them and I worry about losing my girl. From what I can tell, its really the cost of hay that could be a problem. Gas goes up, so cost of hay goes up. If a demand of beef goes up, then hay would go up because more beef farmers would be buying up all the hay. If the lady that owns the barn loses her job, then she will probably lose her farm and I'll have to relocate my horse. But honestly I don't see me losing ownership of my horse since the U.S. is so big with tons of farm land and hay isn't that expensive. There are plenty of other barns in the area too. The only way I won't be able to afford her is if human food and gas sky rocket. Then she will likely join the ranks of horses headed to Mexico and Canada for slaughter due to owners not being able to feed them or place them in new homes. I'm doing all I can to save up cash and my own food stores to keep that from happening.

But I'm not stupid. I won't starve to death to keep this horse. Other Americans don't share the same mindset. This couple lost their home to foreclosure because they were keeping 46 cats and 9 dogs!

I believe I'm rambling at this point, so I'll end my little novel here. :)

Thanks Ferfal and keep up the good work!

CC and JB in Baltimore, Maryland

Horses are very popular here in Argentina.
The Argentine “gaucho” (local version of cowboy) had two most valuable posessions in life, without either one he might as well be butt naked: His horse and his facón knife ( a +12 inch knife, used for fighting and working, usually made out of broken swords or bayonets)

Horses are still important today here.

“Pato” (Duck) is the national sport.

More on Pato…

Pato is a game played on horseback that combines elements from polo and basketball. It is the national game of Argentina.
Pato is Spanish for "duck", as early games used a live duck inside a basket instead of a ball. Accounts of early versions of pato have been written since 1610. The playing field would often stretch the distance between neighboring estancias (ranches). The first team to reach its own casco (ranch house) with the duck would be declared the winner.
Pato was banned several times during its history due to the violence—not only to the duck; many gauchos were trampled underfoot, and many more lost their lives in knife fights started in the heat of the game. In 1796, a Catholic priest insisted that pato players who die in such a way should be denied Christian burial. Government ordinances forbidding the practice of pato were common throughout the 19th century.
During the 1930s, pato was regulated through the efforts of ranch owner Alberto del Castillo Posse, who drafted a set of rules inspired by modern polo. The game gained legitimacy, to the point that President Juan Perón declared pato to be Argentina's national game in 1953.
In modern pato, two four-member teams riding on horses fight for possession of a ball which has six conveniently-sized handles, and score by throwing the ball through a vertically positioned ring (as opposed to the horizontal rim used in basketball). The rings have a 100 cm (3.3 ft) diameter, and are located atop 240 cm (7.9 ft) high poles. A closed net, extending for 140 cm (4.6 ft), holds the ball after goals are scored.
The winner is the team with most goals scored after regulation time (six 8-minute "periods").
The dimensions of the field are: length 180 to 220 m (196.9 to 240.6 yd), width 80 to 90 m (87 to 98 yd). The ball is made of leather, with an inflated rubber chamber and six leather handles. Its diameter is 40 cm (15.7 in) handle-to-handle and its weight is 1050 to 1250 g (2.3 to 2.8 lbs).
The player that has control of the pato (i.e. holds the ball by a handle) must ride with his right arm outstretched, offering the pato so rival players have a chance of tugging the pato and stealing it. Not extending the arm while riding with the pato is an offense called negada (refusal).
During the tug itself, or cinchada, both players must stand on the stirrups and avoid sitting on the saddle, while the hand not involved in the tugging must hold the reins. The tug is usually the most exciting part of the game.
Pato is played competitively and also by amateurs, mostly in weekend fairs which usually include doma (Argentine rodeo).
Pato is similar to the game of horseball played in France, Portugal, and other countries.

Also Polo is a very popular sport and Argentina has some of the best players in the world, tough it’s a bit more “elitist”, Pato being what country people play.

Today the horse industry in Argentina is still popular. European royalty sometimes come here or hire local players to play with some of the best.

My wife has a vet friend, she specializing in
horse chiropractic care. She does rahter well.

In a more SHTF related issue, horses are used by “botelleerso”, scavengers that go around picking trash, glass, paper and metal to sell.
These are the lowest social segment, and many times their horses are in poor condition with 0 vet control, though there are exceptions.



Anonymous said...

Uh oh, you made the front page of :O

Anonymous said...


Do many or any gauchos go armed with firearms now or in the past? If so Pistols?

Thank you, Lame Wolf