Inmediately before the bull jumps into the bullring, a 6cm length harpoon is placed in his back, in order to show the people the colour of the cattle raising where he comes from and make the bull get more furious.
The breastplate is mandatory since 1928 and nowadays is up to 30kg weight. It’s used to protect the horse from the bull attack, but it’s inevitable that the crash of 500kg against almost a tonne causes damages to both of them.
“Stirrup picador crime” is defined in the bullfight books as the fact of take off the foot from the stirrup when the bull hits the horse. It makes the head of the bull crash with this 50kg forged steel item and get so many wounds, fractures or even traumatic brain injuries.
Just after the bull had been picked by the horse riders, during the third of banderillas the bullfighter puts six more colourfull harpoons (eight if the bullfighter who puts it is the killer), which can be up to 6cm long.