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"Horsing Around"...
The Equestrian World of Tauck

Posted by Rich Mancini on 4/30/2015
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Culturious, Family Travel, France, National Parks, Patagonia, Peru, South America, Tauck Events, Vienna, Yellowstone, Europe

I am certainly no expert on horses. I appreciate their power and beauty, and enjoy watching them at races, rodeos, equestrian events and in Westerns. But the fact is that I’ve only been atop or in close proximity with horses a handful of times in my life. And I recently realized that most of those moments have occurred on Tauck trips. So I thought I’d take a look at some of the diverse, and often unique, equestrian experiences – hands-on or otherwise – that Tauck provides its guests around the world.

costaricarichWe’ll start in Costa Rica, where I experienced the first horseback ride of my life on a Culturious group travel trip a few years back. It was a slow, steady, lovely ride through lush sugarcane and coffee fields on a hacienda in the country’s Central Valley. I’ll bet that as a newbie, I was never out of the sight of our guide, but I’ll still never forget it… or my mount, Gomero, an old trouper who knew just how to handle a novice like me!

Costa Rica: Currently, Tauck guests visiting this richly biodiverse Central American nation (whose name literally means “rich coast”) can go for a trail ride through sugar and coffee plantations in the interior (Costa Rica Adventure), or on a hacienda set on the slopes of Rincon de la Vieja volcano (Costa Rica: Jungles & Rainforests).

  

viennaVienna, Austria: Here, in the grand old city that had been the
capital of Europe’s Habsburg Empire for centuries, you can enjoy
an exclusive VIP visit to the city’s famed Spanish Riding School –
itself sporting traditions that date back centuries – featuring a
behind-the-scenes glimpse of the world-renowned Lipizzaner Stallions, famous for their performances of haute école classical dressage, at the school’s Hofreitschule and stables… with a champagne reception, of course!
Imperial Europe

hungaryHungary: Also on the Culturious trip Imperial Europe, you’ll
head out from Budapest into the Hungarian countryside to a horse farm on the Puszta (the great Hungarian plains), where you’ll attend a daring equestrian show featuring costumed horsemen displaying the riding skills and traditions of Hungarian betyárs – mounted “Robin Hood”-like highwaymen who roamed the region’s steppes two centuries ago. And if you’re an advanced rider yourself, you may have an opportunity to go
for a horseback ride across the windswept plains and wetlands
of Hungary’s Kiskunsagi National Park.

 

franceFrance: About 200 years ago, Napoleon I created a national system of horse-breeding farms (Haras Nationaux) across France; today, Tauck river cruise guests can tour one of these centers, the Haras National de Cluny in Burgundy, and see a dressage demonstration of equestrian skills taught at the country’s national riding school. And a visit to a private family-owned ranch in la Camargue offers an exclusive raseteur (cowboy) demonstration by the gardians and their prized black bulls, with a festive Provençal lunch.
French Escapade: Paris to Monte-Carlo

 


peruPeru: On a private ranch in Peru’s Urubamba (Sacred) Valley – tucked into the Andean rainforest not far from the ancient city of Cusco and the “lost” Incan citadel of Machu Picchu – a barbecue lunch and a demonstration of the skills of smooth-gaited Peruvian Paso horses awaits (Empire of the Incas: Peru & Bolivia and Mystical Peru). Tauck Bridges guests can head out for a horseback ride through small villages in the countryside.

 

 

argentinaArgentina: Tauck takes you to the Pampas to experience Patagonia’s “gaucho” culture several ways – at a historic
cattle and sheep ranch, Estancia Cristina, with its museum dedicated to the life and folkways of the ubiquitous Argentine cowboys known as gauchos; and at a private “gaucho
fiesta” at San Antonio de Areco outside Buenos Aires, where gauchos demonstrate their considerable equestrian skills including acrobatic riding, herding, horse-dancing, ring-racing
and horse-whispering.
Patagonia

 

qatarQatar: Let’s hop over to the Middle East and the sovereign nation of Qatar on the Arabian Peninsula, which Tauck guests can visit for the first time in 2015. In Doha, the country’s capital city on the Persian Gulf, a private tour of
a local equestrian center offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at the world of fabled Arabian horses, with a
close-up glimpse of these prized steeds.
Dubai & the Arabian Peninsula

 


kentuckyKentucky: Back in the States, Tauck guests have headed to the Southland to attend one of the world’s most renowned and exciting annual horse-related events in inimitable Tauck Style – an exclusive VIP experience viewing the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby. This 5-day Tauck Event also features in-depth exploration of the world of Thoroughbred horses in Lexington’s Bluegrass Country, with visits to private horse farms, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Keeneland racing complex and other venues.

 


wyomingWyoming
: Travelling with Tauck under Wyoming’s “big sky” has much to offer horse-lovers, as you explore both the history and culture of the American West, and get a real taste of ranch life. I experienced this cowboy country combination with my family a couple of summers ago on Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks – including an authentic ranch experience with working cowboys, a horse-whisperer demonstration, a trail ride and a ranch overnight; a performance of the Cody Nite Rodeo (another first for me) in Cody, the “Rodeo Capital of the World”; and a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, interpreting many facets of Western culture, including the horse.


And many Tauck trips offer still more opportunities for horseback riding, from included trail rides to other available experiences in most of the U.S. and Canadian national parks they visit, from Zion in Utah to Banff in Alberta. Plus, you can travel by horse-cart through the sandstone city of Petra, Jordan, or Ireland’s Killarney National Park… by horse-and-buggy through Old Hanoi… or by horse-drawn carriage through Michigan’s Mackinac Island, Maine’s Acadia National Park or the Hungarian countryside… along the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia or Dublin… to visit Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle or Spain’s Seville Cathedral… the list goes on. Whether you’re a lifelong equestrian or a relative newcomer to the joy of horses, you’ll find much to smile about.

 

 

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