Horseback riding, Sunday 4/10
Today, a small group of us went to a beautiful horse ranch in the middle of Port-au-Prince. The proprietor, Paco, is Dominican but has lived in Haiti for 21 years; he competed in horse jumping and has several trophies. He started the horse ranch about ten years ago- it was a place for recycling glass and he cleaned it up. Now it is a tranquil and lush retreat amidst the rubble of Port-au-Prince.
Paco was serious about horseriding and teaching. If you didn’t have perfect posture, you would hear about it. He taught me to trot, which is good because my experience with horses was limited to trail rides. During my lesson, he held the leash (?) and I rode around him in circles. “UP, down, UP, down!” he would command. It was hard to get the rhythm right at first, then he wanted me to close my eyes and put my arms out to the side! I actually did it. Turns out you have to hold on with your legs. By the way, what a cardio workout.
After we finished riding, we watched Paco ride around and do some jumps on the course. There were two cute little girls, about 3 and 4 years old, who entertained us while we waited for our driver. Paco is passionate about horses, and has a big heart for children. He holds summer camp for special needs children, and uses the proceeds from lessons like ours to fund the school tuition for several local children.
Future BAR volunteers, if you get the chance to go horseback riding during your stay, I highly recommend it!