D Ranch’s trainer, Tony Botello, was born and raised around horses in Jalisco, Mexico. Tony's family had always kept horses, and as expected, he began to ride when he was very young. In the mid 80's, Tony immigrated to the U.S. to pursue working with his beloved horses. He first worked with many other breeds including Arabians and Thoroughbreds at racetracks, numerous breeding ranches in Santa Maria and of course right here in "horse country", the Santa Ynez Valley.
Tony has found his chosen breed: the Peruvian Horse. He continues to learn more about various breeds and disciplines, enabling him to give his Peruvian Horses the best training possible. He strongly feels that there is always something new to learn and regardless of breed, he can apply it to his training of Peruvians. Tony has proved that his patient, gentle manner makes for the most able and-well trained mounts.
Not only does Tony use the valued traditional Peruvian training methods, but has adopted modern techniques, such as the use of dressage movements, surcingles, long-reining and the occasional use of a snaffle bit, to enhance his finished product. This mix of old and new are certainly apparent when watching a "Botello" trained horse in the show ring or out on the trail. They are responsive, have impeccable head-carriage and are still light on the bit. Tony is currently preparing many of our best young Peruvian stock for proud careers in the show arena and as trusted trail riding partners.
In the last few years, Tony has expanded his work to include performing with one of our stallions, DR El Jefe+, with famed equestrian Ramon Becerra. They have riden Peruvian Horses to execute la garrocha with El Jefe as a pair. They are known as “Los Garrocheros”.
La garrocha is a 14 foot pole that is used by the Portuguese in the movement of herds of sheep. But, as in many equestrian traditions, it has developed into an elegant dance of horse and rider. Tony is also now working with other horses on our ranch with la garrocha as a single horse performance.
Tony has also been a contributing editor for The Peruvian Classified magazine (now Peruvian Horse Quarterly). He has covered topics such as training a horse to bit and training for the trail.