When I came to Medellin, I befriended a few somewhat random people on Facebook. Mostly skydivers and other extreme sport enthusiasts that were “friend’s of friends.”
One night I saw a status update from a skydiver that read something like, “Still in Medellin…loving it!” I commented and said that we needed to get a drink soon. The next day I got a call from Juan. He told me that he was leaving that evening, but he would love to at least get lunch…”Oh, do you like horses?”
I think my gasp of excitement gave away my answer before I actually said anything, and within the hour I found myself just up the hill from my house in Envigado at one of the most beautiful stables I have ever seen.
I got a quick tour of the property and introduced to some of the horses. I have been impressed with a lot of the horses here in Medellin, but these ones are of a whole other quality. They are huge, strong beasts that are light on their feet and trained to fight bulls!
I was then asked if I was ok to see something “gruesome.” So off we went to the lower arena to watch the vet work. It didn’t take long to figure out exactly what was going to happen. I hung back on the benches, until everyone told me to take some pictures! So I did and laughed with everyone else as the vet castrated a horse.
When that was over, it was finally time to ride. I watched Juan get his riding lesson, and I was super impressed with the talent of both the rider and the horse. They are trained to do so many amazing things to get out of the way of the bull as quickly as possible.
Juan convinced the owner to let me ride as well. I was super excited because I have ridden a lot in Idaho, and I was really confident. The second I got on, however, I realized I was in way over my head. I am used to riding Western Style, where horses are trained to respond mostly to bridle input. The horses here are trained to respond to saddle input, and weight changes. I had to be really careful about how I balanced on the horse because leaning in any direction is basically a command. I got brave enough to do a little cantering, but I didn’t last very long.
After the horseback riding we all went out to lunch, and I finally had my first taste of Bandeja Paisa. So yummy!
So far, that has been my best day ever in Medellin!
It’s not every day I get to see a photo of a recently castrated horse. Thanks Holly, you rock!
I’m in Medellin now. Would love to do some horseback riding. Do they offer any services? If so, how do I contact them?