Horses Kicking up Their Heels in the Rain

Well, not quite “singing” in the rain, but after days of hot weather the horses were pretty excited to experience a refreshing downpour. About mid-afternoon a few clouds rolled in and by late afternoon the rains began. It’s always nice to get a good solid rain in the midst of dry season, and this one arrived just in time to water the plaza (a.k.a. playground, a.k.a. dance floor) for Wednesday’s Parelli Natural Horsemanship clinic with Nita Jo Rush.

Rain in Costa Rica

The best part was seeing how much the horses enjoyed the cooler, fresh air!

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Horseback Riding – It’s a Balancing Act

Houdini is a quick study and has learned to stand very still no matter what Trainer Isa is doing. He’s a perfect gentleman, though he does let her know when what she asks is uncomfortable.

Such a calm, confident fellow, Houdini even gets the hang of it when Isa rides him backwards. “These humans are crazy!”

Costa Rica Horseback Trek

One of our clients shared her photo journal of a trek she took a few weeks ago, after completing a David Lichman Parelli Natural Horsemanship put on by Barking Horse Farm and hosted at Finca Las Alturas.

With Caroline McCoy’s permission, we share part of it here…

Hello all – just back from Costa Rica and processing images which I will send over the next few days. Fabulous trip. Costa Rica is exciting emotionally, politically, ecologically, nutritionally, not to mention lovely temperate weather in January. This is their “dry season.” They only have two seasons, the wet and the dry. Wet runs from May – October.

Arrival into San Jose. This from the airplane window.

Arrival Mts from plane & arrows

We were picked up by taxi and transported to Patsy and Bob’s ranch, Finca las Alturas in Puriscal.  Everything is on a hill and quite steep.  Where the roads become too steep, and therefore too slippery in the wet season, they have been concreted, both driveways and main roads.

Patsy's entrance

Patsy and Bob had had a health food restaurant in Canada.  She was an excellent cook!!  Fresh fruits and juices every meal throughout our trip.  This was our first breakfast before the other trekkers arrived.  Patsy is at the end of the table on the left.  I flew with Jane, blue shirt, and Joyce, ballcap.

Patsy's first breakfast

Just some of the fascinating and gorgeous flowers around Patsy’s place.  Orchid types. [Editor’s note: The flowers in these photographs are passion flower and shrimp ginger, respectively.]

Patsy's Flowers

Patsy's Flowers 2

From the spacious porch, and all places we went, hang hanks of bananas, ripening.  Horses LOVE bananas, skins and all!!

Patsy's porch bananas

This bird was all over the back yard in the early mornings.  I believe it is the tinamidae.  It is an anteating bird with bright legs, a bobbed tail, and a very loud cry which raised my hackles the first time I heard it.  Hard to photograph, shy, and only came out early mornings.  Related to quail, grouse, emus, rheas and traced back to prehistoric birds. [Editor’s note: this is a grey-necked wood rail.]

Tinamidae bird

I often went swimming in the various pools early mornings, listening to a chorus of jungle birds.  This one, however, was a bit chilly for that.  Puriscal was the coolest temperatures we encountered, but still only slept under a single sheet or two.

Patsy's pool

This is Patsy’s round pen.

Patsy's Round Pen

This is the grass arena at Patsy’s where the Parelli workshop will be held.  Just that day they constructed the shade porch (in the foreground) of bamboo leaves for David Lichman to sit under.

Patsy's shade for Lichman

The horses have arrived at Patsy’s.  We were treated to a 2-day Parelli clinic.  I have been assigned to Linda – pronounced Leenda.

One of the views from Linda’s back.

Trek Day 1 View horse below

Bringing the Horses Home

Every morning Trainer Isa brings the herd in from the pasture for daily care and training. The mountainside is steep and sometimes it’s a challenge just to find the horses.

Here Isa has ridden Princesa and is leading Bella and Esquimoso. Brownie, Bella’s mom, is following close behind with Snow bringing up the rear. No one wants to be left behind!