The third of pikes takes place after the first one with the ‘capote’ and is a fundamental part since it is where the bull’s bravery is really measured
There are two fundamental objectives in the third of pikes (‘tercio de varas’); on one hand, discover the conditions of bravery, temperament and behavior of the bull. In this part we appreciate if it is meek or brave, if it has fixity or on the contrary it is distracted. And on the other hand serves to save the bull for the fight and death, by brief, well placed and dosed ‘puyazos’ (jab with the pike), thus subtracting power and correcting the defects of his attack.
To execute the third of rods the first thing is to put the bull ‘in luck’, which means in the correct place, work of the bullfighter with the cloak (‘Capote’, the pink cape). Once placed, the bull shows if he fixes his attention on the horse as something that must attack. The ‘picador’ here also has to fight, which in the bullfighting of the seventeenth century was called “provoke the pike.” To bullfight on horseback is to fire the bull on the horse by means of a set of terrains. The ‘querencia‘ (haunt) or the ‘chiquero’ (bullpen) is the zone of meekness and the ‘contraquerencia‘ is zone of bravery. A good ‘picador’ finds the point where the bull will start and, while provoking it, has to wax it. The two lines painted on the arena are land indicators, not obligations. The good ‘picador’ leaves the shelter of the boards and goes to the media.
The picador must throw the pike while still offering the chest of the horse, and hold the pike and the bull before the animal hits the breastplate, since the picador is offering the side of the horse.
The animal has to go to the horse with joy, galloping and blindly, and must put the face down in the meeting, in addition to force the onslaught with their hindquarters.
This luck, when done correctly and also the bull responds bravery, is very exciting and gives many clues of the animal’s subsequent behavior in the rest of the fight.
Happy week, bullfighting lovers!