Brazil offers diverse landscapes and makes for a beautiful backdrop to these horse riding adventures. This is a rare chance to sample the real gaucho world, and make no mistake, these trails are the ultimate in authentic gaucho experiences. The hardened gauchos and their agile beloved “Criollo” steeds make a formidable combination whilst working their lands. The “Gaucho do Brasil,” the legendary South American cowboy, refuses to break with tradition. This is part of what makes the gaucho way of life the liveliest equestrian culture in the world! The Brazilian gaucho lives in the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and many are descended from the large numbers of immigrants who arrived in the 18th & 19th centuries, most of whom were pioneers from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Holland and Belgium. The locals of Santa Catarina will welcome you in traditional style.
The “Criollo” horse is as legendary as his rider - an intelligent animal with unequalled stamina, great turns of speed and agility and one who is a joy to ride. If you are dreaming of a unique equestrian adventure and a thoroughly exhilarating riding holiday... well this is it! Thousands of acres of rolling hills are the ideal playground to test the temperament of your horse. There are a choice of well trained mounts to suit your needs. The Criollo (Crioulo in Portuguese) is the native horse from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It may have the best endurance of any horse breed in the world next to the Arabian and is most popular in its home countries, being known for its hardiness and stamina.
Your primary guide on these rides, Paul, was born in Flanders and in a previous life was a farrier. He has travelled the world leading trails and shoeing horses in many countries including Singapore, Australia and South America. Paul has ridden horses in fifty two different countries and is perhaps one of the most experienced trail riders in the world. Paul first came to Brazil in 1989 and it was love at first sight. The beauty of the country, the great horse culture and the hospitality of the Brazilians proved too great a draw and he now lives and works in the southern state of Santa Catarina, home of the South American gaucho. After years of experience in organising and guiding equestrian holidays and riding expeditions around the world, he now only concentrates on his own Brazilian trail rides. He usually guides the riding trips himself, ably supported by his trusty gauchos, and assures you of the best horse trek in South America. Paul speaks six languages and has a great sense of humour, his love for life is evident if you take up one of these trails.
Here you will ride in real gaucho saddles. Gaucho saddles are designed so that you can spend comfortable hours on your horse and on the seat is a thick sheepskin. The terrain consists predominantly of open grassy fields which is a dreamy landscape for both horse and rider. There are opportunities everyday to enjoy a good trot and canter and the riding style is the relaxed Gaucho style, similar to western and trail riding.
Much of Santa Catarina is covered in rich forests. There are many spectacular sights such as the Catarinese mountain range - the only place in Brazil where it snows every year. The sighting of the Right whales which visit the coast between July and November is not to be missed, not to mention the great festivities that are on offer such as the Oktoberfest - the world's second largest beer festival. Now also on offer is the spectacular Pantanal Safari where you can explore this ecological paradise on horseback. This truly is a breathtaking Brazilian adventure, one which leaves amazing memories with all those who experience it.