France may seem an unlikely place to learn cowboy skills, but that is exactly what you can do at a ranch set up by an Anglo-Mexican couple, as discovers
In the very heart of the vineyards in southern France, a large sandy rodeo arena shimmers in the early afternoon light. A cowboy, lasso in hand, steps forward – rope swinging – and carefully approaches the bull. With a swift flick of his arm, he sends the rope-loop flying around the animal’s neck and deftly pulls it into place. It’s a scene reminiscent of the Wild West, where cowboys have competed for centuries at disciplines like bull riding and cow roping, and you could be forgiven for thinking you have gone back in time.
Welcome to All Around Cowboys, the ranch home of El Charro, an authentic Mexican cowboy, who offers a range of unique experiences for learners and visitors alike. Here, you can be taught to ride a horse Western style, rope a cow or set off for treks across the French countryside, whatever your age or riding ability.
Brought up from an early age in the Mexican charro (cowboy) tradition, El Charro – known as Carlos to his friends – grew up in Mexico City, where he trained his first horse at the age of 15. He has competed in over 50 rodeos, and his family are still well-known competitors back in his home country. It was the opportunity to work in Disneyland