Horseback riding(Reads: 549, 18-Ene-2011)
Chile has a long tradition of horseback riding, from the time of the first ¨conquistadores¨ up to present day. There are horseback-route experts and ¨arrieros¨ (muleteers) available to teach visitors throughout the entire length of Chilean territory, particularly in difficult areas such as mountain routes.
Horseback riding Recommendations ( source Turistel, a Chilean tourist guide book)
If you are travelling to the Aisén area (Carretera Austral) it is a good idea to rent horses from arrieros, since they are already used to the saddles and are tame. Don`t wear bright clothing or loose waterproof layers since these can frighten the animals as they blow in the wind.
If you are going to undertake a long journey and do not know how to ride a horse, you are advised to take lessons, which are available in various places. In any case, during these journeys the horses normally walk, they don´t trot.
As you mount the horse, obviously without harming it, you should show firmness and that you have control, if not, the horse will do what it wants with you. To achieve this a few strong pulls on the reins are enough.
Always check the saddles at each stop, so that they are appropriately adjusted.
The halters and reins should be firm and the horseshoes in good condition, so that the animal won’t be not harmed.
It may be advisable to hire horses from a company, in the case of long journeys through places like Aisén, since they are used to dealing with the arrieros. These characters are vital, as they are responsible for bringing the horses that transport loads, they take care of fixing the saddles and feeding and herding the horses after each break. Besides, they know the local routes and the steps to cross rivers better than anyone.
Warm clothes, boots and a good saddle, we recommend the Chilean saddle, which has wooden stirrups, to be used with special riding boots.
Places recommended for horseback riding
Most of the places recommended have accomodation and also offer horse rental and horseback riding lessons. According to Sernatur records ( Chilean National Tourist Service), rental costs range from $1 500 to $3 000 per hour, whilst a day trip costs approximately $28 000.
· San Pedro de Atacama
· Santuario de la Naturaleza
· Cajón del Maipo, Cascada de Las Animas
· Cajón del Maipo, El Morado
· La Campana, Olmué / Granizo
· Valle de Aconcagua, Reserva Ecológica San Francisco de Los Andes
Río Los Cipreses
· San Fernando, Hacienda Los Lingues
· Radal Siete Tazas
· Puerto Varas, Parque los Volcanes
· Cochamó, Campo Aventura
· Valle del río Puelo
· Valle de Futaleufú
· Costa Oeste del lago General Carrera, Campos de Hielo Norte
· Paso La Leona
· Cochrane, Monte San Lorenzo
· Torres del Paine / Cerro Castillo
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