Birthday Re-Do Underway – Step 1 : Horseback Riding!! – Cuenca, Ecuador
Today we finally went horseback riding! We had hoped to do it on my actual birthday, but couldn’t get an appointment. Then we were foiled by rain on Tuesday, but today, today was our day! We have been determined to go horseback riding in South America because we are planning on a 16-day horse trek in Mongolia in August. Aside from a very short ride up a hill at the end of our wonderful Monteverde finca adventure, neither of us has ridden a horse before and we need the confidence we can make it. It’s all a little crazy, but this whole trip is a little crazy, so why not!!??! (BTW: anyone want to join us in Mongolia? It’s gonna be awesome!)
We were both a bit nervous and not excited to go in the rain. As it turned out, the rain stopped not too long after we saddled up — thaaaank goodness! I was assigned a horse whose name is “Lazy” in Spanish and they use him with four year old kids. He was PERFECT for me! I would describe my horse as one who “saunters at his own pace…marches to his own drummer…is not in a hurry“. Aaron’s horse was just a touch faster — apparently it is the horse used for five year olds. We were out for a little over two hours and went about 12 kilometers — up and down the hills on a dirt road…with a million dogs, puppies, cows, bulls and sheep along the way. It was really beautiful! Bucolic is the right word. Juan Padilla, ranch dog extraordinaire, joined us the whole way. I love him and want to take him home with us…along with Doyle. We had a really good time, despite our earlier trepidation, and I even uttered the words, “maybe we should stay in Cuenca one extra day so we can go again“. We’ll see about that! Oh, and if you’re curious, yes, we are stretching and I took some ibuprofen to fend off the worst of the soreness. More birthday re-do events to come on future posts!
Our ride was with Centro Ecuestre Bellavista which is in the town of Tarqui, just outside of Cuenca, and we would highly, highly recommend them! Along with doing rides for travellers (we decided 2 hours was a good start), they also use their 48 well-kept horses (48!!) for training kids, doing rodeos, jumping competitions, etc. It’s a beautiful set-up and a wonderful break from the city. Sebastian, the owner and our guide, was SO helpful and accomodating. He really understood we were total beginners, giving us gentle horses and taking us on an easy ride. Here’s the photographic evidence: