Dedicated to my dear cousin Tina B…you amaze me.
I was not meant for riding horses. My fluffy curves are just not meant to be bounced around. I admire those who make this dance look easy. I do not look like a natural on a horse, I look more like a stuffed monkey glued to the back of rabid chihuahua. Most of the time I am just trying to stay upright and look cool in my plastic tourist helmet.
I had the privilege of getting to do a day ride in the mountains near Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica with a dear friend from Australia. We had an absolute blast. The weather was clear and sunny so the views of the volcano were simply spectacular. I could smell the fresh rain and…the farts that kept coming from my dear rent-a-horse. Yum. 🐎💨
This wasn’t an easy ride. Although beautiful and unforgettable, my horse and I bonded deeply that day.
My poor horse struggled up the steep path. I’m not kidding, I don’t think I could have climbed it and here was this incredible horse lugging this fluffy gringa tourist up the mountain. She was dragging her feet with each step. I could almost hear her say “lay off the gallo pintó already”… but I don’t speak Spanish or Horse for that matter.
I figured she didn’t speak English, so I just kept telling her “bueno bueno caballo-y”, all pronounced with my authentic gringa accent. “Bean-o bean-o cab-buy-yo”. I couldn’t have been more tourist. I know she judged me in my yellow plastic safety helmet and short pants. It’s ok horse. I can be cool. If I wanted.
Tourist horse back riding isn’t the same in the USA and other countries. In the USA they own the slowest, oldest, most dócil animals possible to keep from lawsuits. I don’t think I have ever ridden a horse in at a tourist farm that could go much faster than a ‘mosey’. In Costa Rica, however, you get what they have. They might give the designated slow poke to the kiddies, but the rest of us get a 30 second tutorial on “be in control of your horse” and “let them know you are boss”. Excuse me? I have to do something? Others in our little group of tourists drew the ‘wild horses’ and spent most of the day yelling ‘wwwooo’, eating mane, and getting smacked in the face with low branches. It was awesome. You could tell the horses respected us. Where is the lap bar and Disney music…..I’m ready to Ride!
I did have an incredible time. My horse, Maya, and I got along splendidly. With the exception of her wanting to trot a lot, which clearly my body is not designed for, we had an easy fun ride. Walking over meadows. Crossing streams. Running full out when the locals drove by and yelled!
It was wonderful.
The main problem came upon me the next day. When I woke, sat on the edge of the bed, and sharp pains flashed in my nether regions! All that pounding on the lady bits left me bull-legged and in need of a rectal donut to sit upon. “Maya!” Her need for trotting has come back to haunt my under cheeks complete with a set of purple pelvic bruises. Oh goody. I’m sunburnt, misquoted bitten, and can’t walk without sticking out my bum. Yep, it’s good to be a tourist.
Do I recommend a horseback ride for the Costa Rican tourist? Absolutely! It was an incredible and peaceful way to see the mountains with the need for actual hiking. I may have been a bit tushy bruised, but it was well worth it! Next time I think I will draw the “wild” horse, just to prove I am the queen of the tourists!