Cárdenas and Fuego

Mister Cárdenas and Fuego look like two old friends sitting on a bench looking at the landscape, while they exchange jokes regulated by the routines of a lifetime.

Don Miguel Ángel de Cárdenas with horse Fuego de Cárdenas (1998)

Don Miguel Ángel de Cárdenas with horse Fuego de Cárdenas (1998)

Mister Cárdenas is plain-spoken. Determined and clear in the presentation of his activity. The story of the family (the more recent one) starts with a clever financial move of his grandfather that gave him a lot of money to invest. The capital was used to buy land and start the breeding farm. Thanks to these events at the beginning of the 1940s, the family wound up with prosperous land for farming and the opportunity to grow and consolidate the facilities dedicated to horse breeding. The activity of this business today is a mix between agriculture, breeding and competition in classic doma. A new indoor training track for dressage (the real speciality and passion of the house) has been recently inaugurated.  Cárdenas doesn’t waste too much time talking about agriculture, as for the type of horses he breeds it is enough to look at them. They are all alike, very handsome. The cobra (group of females who move in line, just like in the photos in these pages) is magnificent. Ninety-nine percent of the topics dicussed by the owner are dedicated to horse breeding for competitions. Employees move around the owner; just like in every farm the hierarchies are flat. The man who paints the fences, the mayoral dressed to the nines, the two house riders, the guy working the tractor, they are all on the same level, they all work together for the same goal. A thought comes to mind: perhaps if this was done in big corporations and in the tertiary sector where managers have often never been down to the lab, our economies would improve. In this kind of work setting, the relevant thing is the humility with which jobs are carried out.

Key points
Cárdenas breeds dapple-gray horses known for their excellent functionality. The house champion is Fuego, who attended the last Olympics in the Spanish team. Looking at him, in his stable, with his jacket embroidered with the house brand, he seems an elegant sir with a cashmere cardigan. One of many sirs, who are well combed, anonymous but neat. The story changes when you see him on the track. Even non-experts understand that in there Fuego is a maestro. It looks like he’s flying, his steps are graceful and strong. His harmony with the rider is perfect. The rider, follows Fuego from time immemorial.  On a professional level the role of the jinete with the horse reflects the dynamics of a dance duet. One doesn’t exist without the other. Even if, it should be said, the quality of the horse is essential for the success of the performance. In this sector, the profession of the rider is the one with the most rules to follow. Repetitiveness, regularity (themes and gestures), patience to help the horse grow. The horse is an animal with a great memory that needs to be stimulated with repetitive and precise gestures. It is like learning a poem: when you have learnt how times turn, what’s the meaning of the text, then you’ll remember it and never forget it.

[W  caballoscardenas.com]

Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Spring 2014