Several years ago, we visited a ranch in Hungary’s Puszta, “the barren land”, and discovered a way of life we had no idea existed.  The Puszta, or great Hungarian plain, covers over 50,000 square miles and takes up most of the eastern part of the country.  Although it is mostly dedicated to farming now, there are a number of working cattle ranches scattered about so it’s only natural that there are also a bunch of cowboys punching those cows.  Out here they’re called “csikos” (pronounced “chicos”) and they have a reputation for being excellent  horsemen.

One of those ranches puts on a show of the csikos’ talents periodically and we caught it.  It wouldn’t surprise me that an Idaho cowboy would find plenty in common with these guys.

Riding herd on some Hungarian Gray or "Steppe" cattle

Riding herd on some Hungarian Gray or “Steppe” cattle

csikos riding and cracking a bull whip

Some csikos prefer a bull whip to move things along

These guys are also adept at standing up while working:

Csikos riding horse while standing

a csikos riding two horses wile standing








I suppose if you must ride two  horses at the same time while guiding a couple of others, standing up is the way to do it!

Csikos riding two horses standing up









Portrait of a young csikos

A young csikos


A csikos with bull whip

An old csikos


Csikos at the door of a barn

Hungary, A "Chicos" playing a zither at a farm in the "Puszta", near Kalocsa

The Hungarian zither!

No guitars and singing cowboys here.  Listen below to hear the sound of the citera: