History of Horseback Riding in Argentina
Horse riding in Argentina has strong roots in the gauchos, who had their heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries. Often referred to as the cowboy of the Pampas (a region of grasslands in South America), gauchos were a social class of wandering horsemen. Most of them had mixed Native South American and European ancestry.
Gauchos are still around today, and they often assist in horseback riding adventures, showing tourists how the horsemen of the past used to do things.
Along with the deep history and culture of the gauchos, Argentina’s culture of horses has a profound love for the game of polo. The sport originated in Asia around 2000 BC, and it was brought to Argentina in the 19th century by Englishmen who had discovered the game in India.
The first Argentinian polo match took place in 1875. Back then, it was mostly played by British aristocrats, but polo clubs became increasingly popular, and the Federación Argentina de Polo was established in 1921, causing more and more native players to join in.
They were eventually invited to European tournaments, where they brought back a trophy. Argentina’s stellar polo status was cemented when the country beat the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1924 Olympic Games. With horses so prevalent in its history, it is no wonder Argentina excelled at the sport.
Gauchos, polo, and all things equine continue to be a major part of Argentina’s culture.
Argentina is well-known for the Criollo, a native horse breed in the country. These horses are considered by some to be the world’s most dependable horse. They are famous for their great endurance levels, which are linked to a low basal metabolism.
The criollo has its origins in 1535 when 100 stallions were brought from Spain to the Rio de la Plata in South America. Five years later, the Spaniards abandoned the area, leaving 12-45 horses. Left to themselves, the horses adapted. They became capable of living in extreme heat and cold, able to survive on little water and the dry grass of the Pampas.
Criollos make this destination unique among places to ride horses throughout the world. On your vacation, you’ll be able to get up close with these animals and see what makes them so special.
Horse Riding in Argentina
Horseback riding in Argentina provides many different kinds of adventures in nature. No matter your skill level, you can traverse the deep valleys and towering mountains. The Andes Mountain range divides Argentina and Chile, and the mountains in it grant visitors the opportunity to see majestic terrain unlike any other in the world.
On your equestrian experience, your itinerary will take you to thrilling sights such as the Tupungato volcano. Tupungato is one of the highest peaks in the Americas at 21,555 ft (6,570 m). Its Huarpe name fittingly translates to mean “viewing point of the stars”. This massive lava dome dates back to Pleistocene times, and it last erupted in 1987.
You can also see the Cordon del Plata Mountain range, a sub-range of the Andes. This range not too far from Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, has become more and more popular over the past several years as climbers and hikers use it to practice for their ascent of Aconcagua.
As you follow the trail, you may come upon the great Arenales Valley, which is surrounded by striking orange granite walls. This valley offers stunning views, and it’s one of the best places for climbing in central Argentina.
Mountains, valleys, and volcanoes aren’t the only views you’ll see. The Andes are home to nearly 600 species of mammals, 1,700 species of birds, and more than 600 species of reptiles. Some animals that are often spotted are guanaco, river ducks, and the Andean condor.
The guanaco is a species native to South America, closely related to llamas. It is one of the largest terrestrial mammals indigenous to South America.
Known as the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere, the Andean condor is a site to behold. It has a wingspan of up to 10 ft 10 in (3.3 m) and a weight of 33 lb (15 kg). Generally, it is considered the largest bird of prey in the world. If you’re lucky, you may just spot one of these beautiful creatures.
This beautiful country has a lot to offer, and a horse riding holiday is a wonderful way to see it all. Horse Tours Club offers worldwide horse riding tours, ensuring quality and safety for its customers. Book your Argentinian horseback tour through Horse Tours Club today!