Vaquero Day in Santa Ynez - NBC Southern California
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Vaquero Day in Santa Ynez

California cowboys, past and present, get the celebratory spotlight.



    HORSEY HISTORY: One commonality you find among people who adore horses is they tend to know a lot about horse history. What battles horses famously participated in, how equine power settled and changed nations, and, yep, they know about Seabiscuit and Mr. Ed, too (two horses from two distinct categories, of course, but given their famous names we thought tip our hat to both). One very special and very long chapter in the horse history annals is the story of the California vaquero, a rider very much associated with the settling of our state's early ranchos. But we shouldn't speak of the vaqueros fully in the past tense, however; vaqueros gallop today, and artisans and horse aficionados continue to keep the spirit of California's first cowboys alive. They'll be gathering in Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum over the Friday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 11 weekend to talk things all horse and lasso and range and rider.

    ON THE SCHEDULE: A gala and a barbecue lunch are on the roster, as is a demo on historic horse gear (we'd be curious to know if it has changed all that much over the centuries). Other talks and demonstrations focusing on different parts of the vaquero lifestyle and the care and keeping of their ponies are in the mix. The gala is ticketed separately, but a day pass on Saturday or Sunday is five bucks. Giddy up, California enthusiasts and horse historians. Giddy up.