A ride in the kingdom of the Incas

Posted on June 10, 2019

Abigail Wood

In this blog post In The Saddle guest Denise tells us about her recent riding adventure on our Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, which she says was beyond her dreams and expectations.

Denise says, “last year when I was invited to go to Peru for my friend’s 50th birthday celebration, I jumped at the opportunity. Having not been a regular rider for some 15 years, I now had a reason for getting back in the saddle and I had a whole year to prepare.

Fast forward to May 2019 and we arrived in Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire, two days prior to our ride, we needed to acclimatise as the Sacred Valley Ride is at high altitude. After a couple of days exploring this cultured city and enjoying it’s delicious food we couldn’t wait to get to the horses.

Our driver picked up our group, made up of myself, Annie, Emma, Charlotte, Josie,  James & Shirley. Off we headed to the magnificent Perol Chico stables in Urubamba, about an hour from Cusco.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

Emma, James, Charlotte, Annie & Josie, with Shirley & Denise at the front.

Eddy, who is of Peruvian and Dutch heritage, owns Perol Chico with his partner Maria. During the rides they are assisted by grooms, Fernando and Willie.

We were made to feel at home and Maria is the most perfect, friendly host who tended to our every need. Eddy, the maestro the boss, gave us an introduction to the Paso horse, going through their traditional tack and the riding style to which we would need to get to grips with over the next ten days.

Peru, Sacred Valley

The traditional Peruvian tack is handmade and designed for the comfort of both horse and rider

The horses are very well looked after and forward going. We each tried different mounts during our familiarization day and learnt to feel the Paso Llano, which is a 4 beat lateral gait. It is such a smooth action that you could be sitting in an armchair.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

Setting off to explore the Sacred Valley

The next day was our first full ride and we took in what would be some breath-taking trails. Each day was so very different and exciting. We crossed swinging wooden bridges, climbed several mountains to find hidden lakes, rode up across to the salt mines at Maras and reached altitudes of 4,800 metres where the air was so pure.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

Stunning mountain views

This was truly an amazing journey with our horses. I rode Gardelle, he was 6 years old, so young and true.  He gave me the most beautiful of rides every day and it is so nice to form a bond with them.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

Denise & Gardelle

The horses cover distances so quickly, they eat up a mountain climb. The ride is not for the faint-hearted, with some very big elevations. After 5 hours of riding a day, with some delicious lunches, which Maria brought & cooked some incredible food, we had views to behold.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

Guide Eddy with the group at a high mountain lake

There were so many highlights to this trip and I think if I could sum up the holiday it would be to say, it was a ride in the kingdom of the Incas with epic scenery. The horses are honest and give their all. Eddy was the perfect leader.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

High up in the Sacred Valley

It was also a great opportunity to see a bit of local life, as often the farm workers and children would come and say hello. Peruvian people are so friendly and welcoming.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

During the picnic lunches you may meet local people

I will definitely being going back to ride the Paso horses again one day!

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

The group out on the trail

I enjoyed every minute of the riding. Thanks for a wonderful holiday, it was beyond my dreams and expectations”.

Sacred Valley Ride in Peru, A ride in the kingdom of the Incas, In The Saddle

Denise aboard the lovely Gardelle

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Our thanks go to Denise for telling us all about her Peruvian adventure.

For more information on our incredible Sacred Valley Ride please call Abbie on +44 (0) 1299 272 239 or email abigail@inthesaddle.com

 

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