A precision drill team based in Washington State called Escaramuza Erandi displays the heritage, skills and bravery of charras, a term for horsewomen in Mexico.

A drill team event called escaramuza tests the skills, bravery and horsemanship of horsewomen known as charras. Wearing ornate Adelita cultural dresses, the women ride sidesaddle in an arena and complete pirouettes, sliding stops and tight crossings. Success depends on team work, long hours in the saddle and smart, athletic horses.

Paola Pimienta, a member of the Escaramuza Erandi team, says the event is much more than just a weekend activity, as it requires plenty of travel, practice and scheduling coordination.

“It’s a heritage thing,” says Pimienta, who is also the U.S. National Queen and Charrería Ambassador. “It’s tradition and culture. Being a charra, it’s more than a sport. It’s a way of living.”

Escaramuza Erandi drill team.
Paola Pimienta competes with team Escaramuza Erandi. Photo by Andria Hautamaki

Pimienta hopes to raise greater awareness for esacarmuza and promote how the sport teaches team work and honors Mexican horsemanship traditions.

Check out the January 2022 issue to read “Charras of the Cascades.”

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