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Functionality and usages: They do it all!!!
The Menorquina horses are Baroque horses with a rank and majestic silhouette. The Pura Raza Menorquina has, as part of its characteristics and natural build, an innate predisposition for collection. The corridors of Menorquina horses are raised, smooth and offer a very comfortable sitting for the rider. They are very easy to collect and offer their elastic movements in a very comfortable trot and canter, where the rider can relax whilst riding the horse. Therefore, the training of the Menorquina during exercises of the classical equitation is a logical step.
The way of working with and training a Menorquina is based on or is derived from the classical principles for the dressage. The Menorquina horses are almost always trained in Menorca using the “Doma Menorquina” (Menorcan dressage); it has very many similarities with the High School Dressage, where the typical feature of the Menorquín, actually its “benchmark”, is “es Bot”, or rearing and running on hind legs. This is an important part of the much enjoyed and popular village festivals held in Menorca.
The Menorquina does not only walk on two legs, but they are also very suitable for English dressage, carriage rides and they are particularly suitable for traditional Menorcan festivals. Also, they are reliable partners for the recreational rider. The forest rides through rough terrain, including the comfortable Menorcan saddle, are a true experience
Doma Menorquina (Minorcan dressage school)
The Menorquina horse is mainly used for traditional village festivals in Menorca, where this horse is the protagonist. These festivals that contain religious and knightly nature, originated in the XIII-XIV century, when knights’ tournaments were organized. Even though during the XVII century, these tournaments disappeared in the rest of Europe, these traditions and protocols are still held in honor and are still alive today in Menorca (albeit with some modifications). The best example of these festivals are the " festes de Sant Joan ".
Following on as a direct result of the devotion to these knight festivals, the Menorcan horse riding style or the "Doma Menorquina” (Menorquina dressage) was derived from this tradition. The Menorquina dressage distinguishes itself by holding the reins (2 or 4 reins) on the left hand, through the combination of rein- and sours aids, through the combination of the "flair" and movement of the typical party horses, through the dress of the rider and the horse and through the use of the Menorcan harnachement, such as the Menorcan saddle, bridle, bit and whip.
The following are significantly and typically Menorcan:
Short and collected trot,
- Allow the horse to turn on its hind legs, or do reverse pirouettes, in order for protect the horse’s mouth from the public during the festivals.
- “es Bot”, or rearing on command on the hind legs, where the position of the head and neck remain in the acceptance of the bridle and in contact with the rider’s hand
- « es bot de caminar », or rearing on command and walking on its hind legs
- the passage
- the piaffe
- the pirouette
Nowadays, there is a Doma Menorquina regulation and competitions are held within a federation association. We could write so much about the Doma Menorquina, but this is not the purpose of this site. If you are interested, there is a book "Doma Menorquina» ISBN: 84-606-3303-9 (unfortunately, you can only order it in Catalan). If you are interested in learning more about Doma Menorquina, let us know. We organize several multi-day courses and clinics in Menorca.