Inspired by
El Domador Sanchez
1967, watercolor on artboard, 39 1/2" x 14 1/2"El Domador Sanchez, 1967

Ghosts at Noon Came Riding, 1967

I walked into a Mexican village.
Adobe and foothills surrounded
my awareness
of a tall cowboy with whip in hand.

In broken Spanish, I spoke to him.
I could see weather etched on his face.

Good or bad, or maybe both,
There he stood.
He spoke to me in English.

He worked with other vaqueros
who crossed the border each year
Under shade and portals of night.

He was more than a vaquero.
He was a domador,
a horse trainer,
who knew his trade as
he knew himself.

"I started my life," he said,
"as a small boy trying to ride
sheep, goats, and ponies."

"My father was as I am:
proud and unfailing."

The domador's horse
was as muscular and authentic
as he.
There were adventures
they had shared.

I wondered,
What do I need to know
to be a domadora?