Blog # 28: Be More Gaucho!

After Rio, what a perfect way to recover; riding with the gauchos in Argentina.

After my Olympic endeavours, the perfect recovery was heading for the hills in Argentina for a few days’ stay at Estancia Los Potreros.  Lou and Kevin are the perfect hosts, and their estancia is amazing. The very limited internet was also a bonus when it comes to recovery.

I’ve taken thousands of photos but am somewhat thwarted with sharing these due to the poor internet reception now I am back in Buenos Aires, but will keep trying. You’ll just have to see the article which I am writing for NZ Horse & Pony magazine. It will have the best of the photos, too.

IMG_0680I’m not sure what the highlight of this visit to Los Potreros was. Perhaps the game of polo where I was awarded the “most committed” player (in other words I was next to useless but tried hard – perhaps too hard!). There are many rules I need to learn should I ever try polo again, and my backhand shots definitely need some more work. I’ve watched plenty of polo in the past, but actually getting out there and playing was so much fun, and yes, I may have a touch of the “white ball fever.”

Super Mario = super comfortable!
Super Mario = super comfortable!

Then riding the Paso Peruano stallion, Super Mario (that’s his nickname), was such an honour, especially in the beautiful show saddle, complete with wooden stirrups.

The Paso Peruano horses are the gaited ones, they have a fifth gait, the pace or amble, and it is The Most Comfortable ever! The fifth gait is genetic rather than learned; it’s a lateral four-beat gait. It can look as though both legs on one side are moving forward together, although in reality there is a slight difference in timing of the hoof hitting the ground. Super Mario had the extravagant flicking action with his front legs, and oh boy, is it ever comfortable to ride!

While I only rode Super Mario around the front paddock for a few minutes, I did get plenty of other rides out for hours over the 6,000+ acre estancia. Yes, I have sore muscles here and there, and yes, I had The Best Time!

Now this is what you call "Open Spaces"
Now this is what you call “Open Spaces”

And then there was the food, and the lovely wine to go with it. I’ve eaten the best steak since leaving North Canterbury, I’ve eaten lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the eggs from the chickens on the ranch were divine. I won’t say how much wine I have drunk, but I can thoroughly recommend the Argentinian Malbec.

There’s lots more to tell you about it, but I’m saving that for the magazine article. But if you want to learn more about the Estancia, check out their fabulous new website which is on this link. I can’t recommend it enough and now Air New Zealand flies directly Auckland to BA, and the connecting flights to Cordoba are dead easy, you just need to book it! The airports here are lovely, and have the best wifi. Whereas the hotel wifi…. *sigh*

Now, there are a few more Buenos Aires adventures to be had, before heading home.

Adios Amigos!