Following years of abandonment, where erosion has been intensified by the near disappearance of agriculture and traditional livestock farming, we are currently immersed in the active recovery of the land, primarily avoiding overgrazing. Through careful planning to rotate the bulls through different enclosures, the manure, leftover fodder and seeds spread by the bulls’ hooves help to rapidly regenerate the soil, giving us broad ranges of pasture and grazing land in our first year of operation. This has brought about large, comfortable spaces for a leisurely stroll, surrounded by animals, with areas to relax and take in the natural surroundings, from sunrise to sunset.
Our ranch is characterised by rough, uneven terrain formed by the streams and brooks that run through the property. These waters, together with the dry winds from the south reveal the limestone and alkaline soil common to the southeast of Madrid, forming rolling hills ending in deep ravines and riverbeds. The landscape is comprised primarily of holm oak and kermes oak, with scrub grass covering the flat areas that are more exposed to the wind. The cooler northern slopes are covered with broad fields of thyme and other aromatic herbs. The road leading to the ranch is lined with almond and olive trees, which are very common in the area.
The climate in the southeast region of Madrid is mild, with long, temperate and rainy autumns and frequent early morning fog. Winters are cold, dry, and with little frost. With the arrival of clear spring days the ecosystem on the ranch quickly comes to life, with pasture coming up until the beginning of July. August is the hottest month, with maximum temperatures of 38º C (100º F).
The ranch is divided into large, independent enclosures where the bulls are pastured depending on their age and the time of year. The enclosures are closed off by heavy wooden planks and wire fencing, and each enclosure is devoted to a different task: reproduction, breeding, growth…They are easily accessible by mangas, or livestock trails, allowing handlers to feed and handle the bulls quickly and safely. The ranch is situated at the top of a hill, offering spectacular views of the pasture and dehesa scrublands.
Our fighting bulls are handled in the traditional fashion, a time-honoured custom that has changed very little since the 19th century, and which we are proud to continue. Seeing the fighting bull in the field alongside oxen and horses is one of the most gratifying images we can find in the Spanish countryside.
Bull handling is done with the invaluable help of two irreplaceable allies: the ox and the horse. The foreman uses the bull stall for easy, stress-free handling. Our ranch has eight tame berrendo-coloured bulls that aid in handling the fighting bulls. They are led by the head bull, which is called “Relojero”. The foreman and the herdsmen lead the tame bulls to the enclosure, where they join the fighting bulls and guide them towards the gate.