LIFESTYLE

Saddling up with Mexico's famed cowboys
There is perhaps no better representative of Mexico's varied cultures and history than "charros," or cowboys, and their horses, which are specially trained for "charreria," the country's version of a rodeo.
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In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, a charro or Mexican cowboy, attempts to bring down a bull by pulling his tail while riding on a horse; a move called "coleadero" or "steer tailing" during a "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, in Mexico City. For the charro, his horse is as inseparable from himself as it is from the history of Mexico. We were conquered by horses, we gained our independence with horses, we made our Revolution with horses and we continue to love horses, said Daniel Flores Yeverino, 73, who began learning the skills of a charro when he was about 5 years old. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, a charro performs a "piales en lienzo", an event in which the horseman must rope a horse by the hind legs during a "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, in Mexico City. Charreria is Mexico's official national sport as well as being part of the pride and tradition of the Mexican culture. Some events, especially what is known as horse tripping has been questioned by animal rights activists. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Oct. 4, 2014 photo, a man rides on his garbage collection cart pulled by Tiburon, that according to his owner is a former horse trained for "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, in Nezahualcoyotl, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Horses can live another 20 years after their charreria days. Unfortunate horses may end their lives pulling rickety garbage carts through city streets or, at worst, a slaughterhouse. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Oct. 4, 2014 photo, pulling on Tiburon's reigns to stop him, a man rides his garbage collection cart in Nezahualcoyotl, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. According to his owner Tiburon is a former horse trained for charreria, the Mexican version of a rodeo. Horses can live another 20 years after their charreria days. Unfortunate horses may end their lives pulling rickety garbage carts through city streets or, at worst, a slaughterhouse. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, Mexican cowboy or charro Dario Flores prepares to ride his horse Blue Diamond, during a practice session at a corral in Mexico City. Since their arrival aboard Spanish ships in the 1500s, horses have been part of the story of the New World. In Mexico, there is perhaps no better representative of the countryĆ­s combined cultures and history than the horse trained for "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Sept. 24, 2014 photo, charro Daniel Flores, 73, holds a book on horse breeds, at his home in Mexico City. Just as "charreria," or the Mexican version of a rodeo, is a combination of Old World and New World influences, the horse preferred by charros is itself a combined breed: the American Quarter Horse, which descends from European thoroughbreds and the "native" horses derived from the various stocks brought by the Conquistadors. Other breeds such as Arabians are viewed as too high-strung for the demands of charreria. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, therapist Columba Ortega pets Pollito, a 20-year-old veteran horse retired from "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, as Tomas the sheep watches, at a corral in southern Mexico City. The former charro horse works with Ortega to help children who suffer from emotional trauma or physical disabilities. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, Pollito, a retired 20-year-old charro horse, gets a shower at a corral in southern Mexico City. Horses can live another 20 years after their "charreria," days - the Mexican version of a rodeo. Unfortunate horses may end their lives pulling rickety garbage carts through city streets or, at worst, a slaughterhouse. The lucky ones, like Pollito, find second careers in breeding or as therapy horses. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, female horsewomen or charras prepare for an Escaramuza, a women's precision equestrian event, at a corral in southern Mexico City. Until recently the "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo was an all male event. The women compete in teams of eight, performing daring and precise exercises with musical accompaniment while riding sidesaddle. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, Dario Flores practices "cala de caballo," or "horse reining" on his horse AG Commander, at a corral in Mexico City. "Charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, is Mexico's official national sport which consists of several equestrian competitions wearing specific attires as well as elaborate saddles and other horse trappings. It is a big part of Mexico's national identity, art and culture. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Sept. 24, 2014 photo, charro Daniel Flores, 73, sits next to Tehuis, his 34-year-old horse, at a corral in southern Mexico City. For the charro, a Mexican cowboy, his horse is as inseparable from himself as it is from the history of Mexico. "We were conquered by horses, we gained our independence with horses, we made our Revolution with horses and we continue to love horses," said Flores. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, charro Dario Flores prepares his attire and gear in preparation for a practice session at a corral in Mexico City. There's meaning behind every component of the costumes worn by charros, made with layers of leather, colorful fabrics, adorned with intricate silver buttons, embroidery, sequins and or beading. Even the sculptural iron spurs are decorated with tooled and stamped silver. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, a charro wearing an embroidered holster with a gun stands in front of a horse and rider during National Charro Day in Mexico City. An embellished display of skills once necessary to ranch life, this Mexican version of a rodeo features horses - agile, well-tempered and intelligent - able to execute the commands of their charros, the horsemen whose traditional riding suits and wide-brimmed sombreros are part of the cultural iconography. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, charro Leonardo Flores, stands on his horse Canelito while showing off his roping skills; a move called, "florear sobre el caballo," during a practice session at a corral in southern Mexico City. "Charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, usually consists of nine scoring events that include horses and or cattle. It is Mexico's official national sport as well as being part of the pride and tradition of the Mexican culture. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, 4-year-old patient Saul Valverde kisses Andariego, a 19-year-old veteran horse that retired from "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, at a corral in southern Mexico City. Andariego now works as a therapy horse, helping children with special needs. In Mexico, the career of the charro horse usually runs about 10 to 12 years. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, charro Dario Flores adjusts his spur as he readies for a practice session at a corral in Mexico City. "Charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, consists of several equestrian competitions wearing specific attires as well as elaborate saddles and other horse trappings. It is a big part of Mexico's national identity, art and culture. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, 4-year-old patient Saul Valverde rides lying on the back of Andariego, a 19-year-old veteran horse retired from "charreria," the Mexican version of a rodeo, at a corral in southern Mexico City. Andariego now works as a therapy horse, helping children with special needs. Horses can live another 20 years after their rodeo days. The lucky ones find second careers in breeding or as therapy horses. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, charro Eric Fierro, 16, practices for an upcoming charreria, the Mexican version of a rodeo, on his horse Gavilan at a corral in southern Mexico City. Since their arrival aboard Spanish ships in the 1500s, horses have been part of the story of the New World. In Mexico, there is perhaps no better representative of the country's combined cultures and history than the horse trained for charreria. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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In this Aug. 31, 2014 photo, Mexican cowboy or charro Daniel Flores, 73, holds a photo of his younger self, dressed in full charro attire with his three sons; Dario, from left, Daniel and Leonardo, at his home in Mexico City. There's meaning behind every component of the costumes worn by charros, made with layers of leather, colorful fabrics, adorned with intricate silver buttons, embroidery, sequins and or beading. Even the sculptural iron spurs are decorated with tooled and stamped silver. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Saddling up with Mexico's famed cowboys

There is perhaps no better representative of Mexico's varied cultures and history than "charros," or cowboys, and their horses, which are specially trained for "charreria," the country's version of a rodeo.

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