If you don’t know, as a kid I was a obsessed with horses. I rode competitively for a while in hunter jumper and dressage, and when I wasn’t at the barn, I was reading the entire The Saddle Club series (shout out for Stevie! She was so cool. Did anyone else kinda want to be her?!) and Black Beauty and My Friend Flicka and Misty of Chincoteague… or playing with my horse figurines… or studying different kinds of horses. You get the idea.
So on every trip Rick and I take I scheme to find some way to horseback ride while we’re there. Rick is a really good sport about it, in fact, he might not admit it, but I think he has a little horse fever now too! And he would tell you that my scheming is never really all that sneaky because A) I’m predictable. If we’re going a trip, I’m going to be looking for what kind of riding options there are in that area. (“Rick, Antarctica has horses, right??” j/k… kind of), and B) I get way too excited when I find some where we can ride and can’t contain myself.
So far we’ve ridden in
- Costa Rica, tied for my favorite, Esteban and his family are amazing!
- Colombia, my other favorite
- Mexico, Manuel at Tierra Chamahua, love him and the vaqueros
- In the U.S. lots of places, but most recently Colorado
- …and now add India to the list!
So the childhood bucket list item – the dream of riding Black Beauty! And I got to do it yesterday!! He was seriously, movie-worthy gorgeous horse. My Black Beauty was a Marwari horse, a rare breed only found here in Rajasthan India. One of the characteristic features are the curved in, crescent shaped ears – so cute!
They are warm-blooded horses, known for their stamina in the desert and for being very brave. They were bred as warhorses, and learned very fancy moves because they would have to carry their riders into battle against enemies who were riding elephants. So these horses were trained to stand on their hind legs in battle so their rider could reach his opponent on an elephant’s back and attack him. Now they are generally trained in dressage. They have a beautiful gate.
My wonderful horse was incredibly affectionate, smooth gaited and a bit high spirited. It was a dream riding him.
So childhood dream to ride Black Beauty – CHECK!