Monday, February 16, 2015

Ignacio Alfredo Casafus, World Horseman

World Equestrian - Horse Trainer, Riding Instructor, Equine Ethology and Bio-Mechanics Expert - Ignacio Alfredo Casafus is an avid horse-lover and professional horseman. Traveling the world, Casafus has been schooled by Oscar Scarpati, Lucy Rees, and Maneul de Rosa. He knows every end of the horse – from farrier work to dressage.

At an early age, Casafus joined the rodeo circuit in Argentina, racing barrels and breaking horses. He later became acquainted with Oscar Scarpati and studied under Scarpati in Argentina for three years.  In 2004, Cassafus spent time in Ireland breaking and training 18 polo ponies for Mark Selway, Polo patron. He is an equine freelance professional that has a knack for embracing the entire world of horses…


When was your first encounter with a horse?
I was only 6 months when my father sat my on a saddle. I grew up in a milk farm near Buenos Aires city, surrounded by horses and cows.

Training polo ponies must be exciting. Besides expert training, what makes a great polo pony?
Just like with all good horses, not only polo ponies, character; personality and athletic skills are needed to make good quality horses. We need strong-tempered horses who can resist the pressure of training and travelling. 

Does nutrition play an important role in creating a champion?
Yes, of course. Since their birth, horses must incorporate all the right vitamins, minerals and specific amino acids. They must be in shape, not too fat or skinny. From my point of view, right before breaking or training start, horses must be fed with high energy and low starch meals. Most horse breakers don't feed horses properly when breaking. The problem starts when the owner takes his horse home and feeds him for the first time with high energy meals- this will cause the horse to change his reaction. 

You are an expert on horse care and bio-mechanics. You are familiar with Wobbler disease, for example. What is Wobbler disease and how do you treat it?
As per dictionary definition, Wobbler disease is a term referring to several possible malformations of the cervical vertebrae that cause an unsteady (wobbly) gait and weakness in horses. In my experience, despite Vets'opinion, wobbler disease is inherited. I dismiss this kind of horses.

Do you have a favorite  anecdote to share?
Yes. Thanks to an Anglo-Arab rodeo horse named Loco, I can say he started my professional career. I was 13 when I met him, and it took me 2 years to ride him almost as a normal horse. After 15 years, he died home after covering hundreds of mares. Therefore, I only have words of appreciation for him wherever he might be...

What should I look for when acquiring a new horse?
Although most people think the opposite, I look first of all at the eye expression. The first thing we must know is the purpose of the horse, and depending on the discipline meant, we can look for certain morphology, movements, and character. 

What advice do you have for novice riders?
They must know this is the most beautiful profession in the world, but if they really want to reach the top, they have to live for it. Specialization is the key, and not to be tricked, that is my advice. In order to become a great horse breaker, you have to break hundreds of horses per year, not just delivering clinics and reading books. We only become horse breakers by breaking horses. Think as a horse and you will be able to train them.

What does horsemanship mean to you?
Just what the word means = horse/man relationship. It is a dialogue between horses and men. Answers from our horses will depend greatly on our signs, and on the surroundings. Each horse/moment/scenario are different.  We must be conscious on all unconscious acts. 

Connect with Casafus…

Casafus’ bio includes breaking and training different disciplines as employed by (to name a few)…

 -Marion Hughes, Show-Jumping Rider, Ireland
-Michel Robert, World Champion for France
-Nicola Mahoney, Dressage International Rider, England
-Heinz Bley, GMBH Agrar-Crawinkel, Germany
-Don Angel Peralta, Bull Fighter (rejoneo)& Writer, Rancho El Rocio, Spain
-Joaquin Olivera Pena, nine times Champion, Doma Vaquera, Spain
-Francisco Pahla, Bull Fighter (rejoneo) and Dressage Rider, Spain

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