Chilean horses, mountain horses and corraleros
The horses that are used in Chile for riding in the central cordillera – the Andes mountain range – are for the most part born in the mountains and spend their first two or three years there, grazing with their mothers.
For this reason they are amazingly footsure and pass over what seems to be tricky ground, or steep inclines, without the slightest problem. When riding up to a considerable height, the guides pause from time to time to give them breath and to adjust to the altitude, the same as ourselves.
Chilean thoroughbred horses carry visitors outdoors in the mountains and run in rodeos as well
The horses are small by European or North American standards, often around 14 hands or at most 15 hands. They are incredibly sturdy and seem never to tire. This is their terrain and they are happy with it. They can carry considerable weight without a problem. Their temperament is placid, so that they provide the surprising combination of quiet behaviour with ‘go’, with strength and speed where required. This makes for a perfect expedition, riding horses in the Cajon del Maipo near Santiago.
For riders with little experience we provide the mountain bred horses who surefootedly follow the leader and do not require much skill, and we also have some corralero horses, bred for rodeo riding. These provide a little more excitement for experienced riders for, while beautifully trained and well-behaved, they have a little more temperament, as a result of their breeding and use in rodeos.
Mules are used to transport the luggage and food on the tours.
These too are bred locally and carry incredible loads over difficult paths, apparently with ease.