The Working Equitation Bull

I have been asked several times about HOW to create a bull for Working Equitation, and creating the pattern seems to be the biggest hurdle, so we will address that here!
(In this tutorial, we will not cover mounting your ring or the foundation of your bull.)

There are several options when deciding what you would like your bull to look like.

The most common is a silhouette cutout of a bull, though you may also see printed or 3D versions.
For this example, we will cover the traditional silhouette version.

Your first task will be to find a picture of the bull that you would like to create.
This can be from the internet, a picture of someone else’s bull…. the options are unlimited!


Print out your bull on a standard piece of paper as large as you can make it.
Note: A high contrast between bull and background makes the following steps much easier!

Building your Working Equitation Bull


Place another blank sheet of paper over your print and trace the outline of the bull.

Building your Working Equitation Bull


Using a ruler, create a grid on top of your new tracing.

I generally use a 1 inch by 1 inch grid, but any size will work, as long as it is uniform.

Building a WE bull


Now it is time to transfer your amazing artwork to your plywood.
Note: It is recommended to use at least 1/2 thick plywood for durability and stability.

First, start by recreating your grid on your plywood, as large as you can make it.
In this example, the squares of the grid are approximately 6 1/2 inches.

Building your Working Equitation Bull


With your grid in place, now we will start recreating the bull, square by square.
Notice where lines start and stop in each “box” on your drawing, attempting to recreate this on your plywood.
A pencil works well for this should you need to erase and redraw.

Don’t worry if it is not perfect (nobody will ever notice)

Building your Working Equitation Bull


Now that your bull has been traced to your plywood, it is time to cut it out.
A jig saw works wonderfully for this!

Once cut out, it is time to paint!
Make sure to paint/seal all of the cut edges as well to protect the wood from moisture and debris damage.

Enjoy your new bull!

Certainly there are other (more expensive) ways for creating your bull!

The bull at the Andalusian World Cup was created by printing 2 mirrored images of a bull (that shown in the pictures above) directly onto extruded PVC sheets, then mounting to the plywood on either side. This not only added a “life-like” appearance, but provided protection to the wood.

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