Have you been to Jerez de la Frontera? Me neither, but I’m dying to go there, because of the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre or the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. They put on amazing shows, the most famous one being “How the Andalusian horses dance“. Not only do these horses perform ballet-like feats with the help of their dapper trainers, but they do it wearing the world-famous Andalusian leather, which is produced in places like Huelva‘s Valverde del Camino (see post here). Last year I bought a pair of Cartujano boots from Herce, a Valverde del Camino company.
Then I proceeded to let them be seriously damaged by our good old Canadian road salt. I couldn’t get the salt out, no matter how hard I tried, so I had them treated professionally and that worked. The boots now look aged or broken in, but they did not lose any of their charm or sheen. And they are even more comfortable to wear than last year. Like good wine, good leather gets better with time. So, that’s Andalusian leather 1, Canadian winter 0.
Going back to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts, here are some shots of unbelievably beautiful horses sporting their exquisitely made leather tack and dashing riders wearing the very same type of boots that they sell in Valverde del Camino, only those ones are custom made. But the leather and the overall craftsmanship are the same.
Check out these ornate boots and bridle:
Practicing the “paso fino“, the Andalusian horse walk. Below: saddles and other tack are stored lovingly and with great care.
This is not dancing anymore: this is flying. Below: show tack gets a place of honor.
Chatting off the arena in their coats and boots. Below: solid well-aged leather tack complete with bells and pompoms.
Finally, this adorable little leather souvenir that is sold through the website’s online shop.
Have I mentioned they also make world-famous sherry there?
All photographs, except of my boots, courtesy of the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre website.