Friday, August 12, 2011

Horseback Riding in Pucón, Chile

I've always wanted to go horseback riding. It looked like fun. In Colombia my family goes horseback riding a lot, especially during Medellin's annual Feria de las Flores in August. It's a 10 day celebration of Medellin's culture and, more importantly, the beauty of it's flowers. But anyway, in the Fall of 2007, while studying abroad in Santiago, Chile a group of friends and I traveled south to Pucón, a beautiful mountainous area with a nice river, very secluded...nothing like the busy city of Santiago.

Some of us thought it would be nice to go horseback riding so we signed up for a three hour ride. Lesson to those going horse back riding for the first time: don't go for three hours! Go for less time so that you don't end up soar for the next two days. Once it was over my legs were hurting and I could barely walk.

The first 45 minutes of the ride I was praying for my life. Now I am a short girl, and being high on top of a horse made the fall to the ground look extremely long. I of course was given the horse that didn't like to stay behind our tour guide, no, my horse felt the need to get ahead of the whole group and go his own way. I was told to control him and to stay with the group, ya like I was going to be able to do that. Luckily after a lot of pulling and tugging and "No" and "quedese" (stay) my horse managed to stay put. Then I had trouble dealing with my horses' constant need to bend down and eat grass or drink water. I leaned forward with the horse screaming and praying that I wouldn't fall. I get that he needed to eat but I would have loved some type of signal or warning beforehand.

Towards the end of our tour we came across a small river and one of the horses got scared and leaned up and back, tossing my friend my to the floor. After that I was definitely holding on for dear life. My friend was alright and we were able to get past the small river but then our guide thought he would take us through an even longer and deeper river. Immediately we said no and he was forced to find another way to take us.

Overall the trip was fun. I am thankful for the experience and glad that I can cross it off of my bucket list. But I don't plan on doing it a second time.

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