Meet the bull who thinks he’s a horse, and who’s even known for his show-jumping skills.
Sabine Rouas met Aston five years ago when she started helping out at a nearby cow farm.
She formed a close bond with the newborn calf, then called M309, and convinced the farmer to let her buy him.
43-year-old Sabine raised little Aston alongside her pony Sammy, now 10. She began noticing the baby cow was picking up the tricks she was teaching her new horse.
He quickly mastered trotting, galloping, stopping, going backwards, and turning around on command. He was even responding to Sabine’s voice, just like a horse.
Despite weighing 1.3 tonnes, it took just 18 months to teach him to leap over one-meter high horse jumps in the dressage ring—with Sabine on his back.
Now the pair attend fêtes and horse shows around Europe where they get to show off Aston’s skills.
Sabine, from Verdun in France, said, “I joke that he’s the man in my life, but we are really close.
“I have had him since he was a baby, taking care of him since the very early days. I think that bond is one of the reasons behind his talents.”
As for the audience’s when Sabine rides Aston at shows? “We get a good reaction. Mostly people are really surprised and initially they can be a bit scared because he’s big—much bigger than a horse.
“Even people working in farming are sometimes really scared around him. Most people, even farmers, don’t like to get too close to cows with horns. But once they see his real nature, and see him doing the exercises, they often say ‘oh he’d really quite beautiful’.”