Volunteering at a driving steady in Ecuador is a dream for me.
Patti McCarthy is spending a month volunteering on a horse ranch in Ecuador, and is stuffed with enthusiams albeit the arduous work she is placing in day-after-day. Learn her weblog on her volunteering vacation and possibly you’ll get impressed, too!
Driving day-after-day, working the horses
As an extension to our two week household vacation in Ecuador, Kathy kindly organized for me to remain on for a month as a volunteer together with her long-standing companion for all horse driving holidays in Ecuador.
While you set off on a horse driving journey it’s straightforward to overlook – or to not even take into consideration – all of the preparation that has gone into providing you with a protected and cozy journey on a powerful, wholesome and bullet-proof horse, however two weeks in to my 4 week stint I’m actually beginning to respect it!
After a lot of heavy rain in March and April made the roads extraordinarily slippery, we’re citing the health ranges of the horses by driving them out day-after-day, often driving one horse and main one or two others.
We frequently journey twice a day, and work the horses on a spread of various terrains to organize them for the multi-day rides. Their house is at 3,400m and most of our every day rides contain a steep up or a steep down sooner or later!
Roads could also be gravel, cobbled or simply mud, with some uneven gullies which the horses are very expert at scrambling up. There are additionally pretty grassy gullies to journey by (typically shared with llamas) and invariably numerous animals tied to the aspect of the street (principally horses and pigs) which now we have to journey round.
Lots of the cottages appear to have between 5 and 10 canines too, who all rush out barking like mad as we go, however the horses are fully unfazed by it – they’re fully bomb-proof! Simply as effectively, as motorists in Ecuador usually are not like British motorists.
In England, individuals have bumper stickers proudly proclaiming “I decelerate for horses”, however in Ecuador they not solely hurtle previous, but additionally sound a fanfare on their automobile horns and name out greetings on their well past 😊
Well being and every day care: arduous work and a fantastic sense of reward
In addition to driving, we in fact must look after the horses’ well being too. They’ve common visits from the dentist and the farrier, and we spend time each week oiling their hooves, treating any minor cuts and grazes with aloe vera and bathing their eyes with chilly camomile tea if they’re irritated.
We groom and decide hooves, trim manes and tails and clear and restore quite a few saddles and bridles, all of which have further bits of tack to keep away from the saddles slipping forwards or backwards.
Not surprisingly, I fall into mattress exhausted each evening, however I’m loving my time right here! The horse are pretty, the countryside is gorgeous and there’s at all times one thing to see, whether or not it’s a brand new calf or foal or an area Ecuadorean in conventional gown out waking her pig.
And coming out to the retailers has a complete new which means now, because it includes tacking up a horse and driving 8k to the store; it’s important to REALLY need that bar of chocolate.
Driving vacation appropriate for all ranges
Our driving holidays in Ecuador are a unbelievable expertise, with extraordinarily effectively stored horses and fabulous routes to select from.
All stage of riders are welcome, as are households. We are going to be sure you get what you need out of your rides and may prepare for difficult rides, in addition to constructing confidence do you have to be a novice. Novices will probably be working within the ring earlier than heading on a tack in order that we will guarantee you might be assured and cozy, on a horse that fits your stage.
Get in contact for a particular expertise
Thanks, Patti, for sharing your expertise with us.
At Andean Trails we at all times attempt to do our greatest to make any vacation a particular one and are at all times eager to look into doable choices for our clients – so in case you are considering of a visit and would love some “out of the field” concepts, do get in contact and we’d love to assist.