Gabryel Gutierrez: NDA’s ‘Vaquero’

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Brady Kurowski, Staff Writer, Journalism

Almost three years ago Gabryel Gutierrez won a horse in a Facebook raffle, an interesting tidbit learned in journalism class when Gutierrez mentioned he was sore from helping a friend “break” his horse.

“Some are hard to saddle,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez has been riding horses since the age of eight when he began riding his dad’s horse.

Gutierrez now takes on the full responsibilities of his three-and-a-half-year-old Western quarter horse mare “Star,” the horse from Facebook.

“I board my horse at Dollar Hill,” Gutierrez said. Dollar Hill Equestrian Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, can hold up to 38 horses with 26 heated stalls and 12 unheated stalls.

While Gutierrez is at school, he has somebody at Dollar Hill feed Star.

“I ride and feed her in the afternoon,” Gutierrez said. He rides Star six days a week.

“I ride her for about an hour and a half to two, . . . I either ride her in the arena or on the street since there is not much traffic there,” Gutierrez added.

Gutierrez is also responsible for the health of Star, such as brushing and cleaning her.

Gutierrez has been in the process of fully breaking in Star for about a year.  

“I break in horses the Mexican way,” Gutierrez said. The Mexican way, as he described it, is known as a kinder, more gentle way of breaking in horses.

“I use a bosal instead of a bit,” Gutierrez stated. A bit which goes in the horse’s mouth tends to hurt the horse and make its mouth bleed. A bosal is like a muzzle that goes around the horse’s mouth.

“Imagine if you had a knot by your chin that made you move where the reins of the bosal went,” Gutierrez said.

“The Mexican way uses saddles with a bigger horn,” Gutierrez said. The horn allows the rider to hold more rope and serves as a helpful tool for balance.

He also likes to share his love of horses with his family and friends by sometimes letting them ride Star.

“I have a hat with boots and spurs,” Gutierrez said. Gutierrez is one true cowboy, or “vaquero,” as Gutierrez is proud of his Mexican culture and is fluent in Spanish.