The Maremma cowherd


The Maremma cowherd are the shepherds on horseback typical of the Tuscan Maremma area. They usually ride the Maremma horse and have a particular outfit composed of fustian trousers, leg loops, velvet jacket and a black hat. They protect themselves from the rain with a large coat, called “pastràno” (which recalls the ponchos of the gauchos). In their hands they hold the “mazzarella”, a stick used to stimulate oxen and horses.

In the past, they were numerous but, today, few are those who try to keep alive the customs and the secrets of this trade. Between the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century the cowherds crossed the impervious and marshy areas of the Maremma to lead oxen and grazing horses, checking that none of these were lost in the thick Mediterranean scrub. They were the only ones who knew how to move and how to survive in a land so wild that it was inhospitable.

Today, a lot of associations have arisen with the aim of enhancing and promoting the figure of the cowherd. These associations make equestrian performances to the public, also in groups, in competitions of skill, in the training of the foals and in the market (branding).

Contact us to know the updated calendar of events concerning the Maremma cowherd and the days of meeting with the public.

Tel. +39.0564.24116 – Email.

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