Alejandro Severino, generally known as Rigo (from his second name, Rodrigo) is the centre of our operation.
The horses were originally bought for riding in rodeos, and the majority are ‘inscrito’ or thoroughbred corraleros although we have one or two much quieter horses for beginners and children. Head guide Rigo had worked for many years as an arriero for a big local tourist company.
Some people whom he had met on a trip to England asked him to organise a special trip for them, suited to good riders but older people needing more comfort than the usual camping overnight trip moving on each day. This was so successful that he started to do a few small trips each year, mostly for people who already knew him.
Then we put up a website and things began to move a bit faster. Now we have people from all over the world, the majority for day trips from Santiago, but some for longer camping expeditions going out both from El Toyo, near Santiago, and from Bano Morales where he was raised along with his cousin, Octavio Nunez. As quite small boys they looked after goats on the mountain, and went riding together on ‘chukaro’ or untrained horses, secretly at night in the mountains.
Rigo and his son Angelo winning the rodeo and leading the victory parade behind the ‘capataz’ in El Toyo
Rigo’s chief passion is rodeo riding. Rodeos in Chile are a test of skill herding and managing a steer in a particular highly skilled way. When younger Rigo was always a champion in the amansadura or bucking bronco competitions, held for fun after the main event. He loves the mountains and feels most at ease there, enjoys his work with tourists and takes a pride in showing then the best of his country and his beloved ‘cordillera’.