Plaza de tientas and bullpens
The plaza de tientas is undoubtedly the most important place on any fighting bull ranch. This is where the most vital moment for a bull rancher takes place – the selection of future breeding cows to continue the species and the particular bloodline. The selection of these breeding cows will determine the behaviour of future calves, which in the case of male heads, will be fought in bullrings throughout Spain. The bull rancher is passionate about the selection criteria, and holds a faithful prototype of the ideal bull, including behaviour (courage, nobility…) and morphology (size, horn uniformity…).We might also see a tienta de machos for bulls that fulfil the requirements to become sementales, or stud bulls, where they must first prove their exceptional merit in the bullring through a rigorous test of behaviour.
Another fundamental element of fighting bull handling, located next to the bullring, are the bullpens, a maze of gates and pens that act as a filter to separate the bulls. Here is where we can be closest to the animals to see them clearly, inspect and vaccinate them, or separate and prepare them to be transported.