RANCHO OJO DE AGUA
Now that we were more or less permanently based in Puerto Vallarta, Kay was eager to find a place where she could keep her riding skills in tune. As it turned out, the best place was the same rancho from which we had gone on trail rides in 1994 and 2004. Rancho Ojo de Agua is a relatively small stable compared to some of the others around like Rancho Capomo in Las Palmas, and Hacienda Dona Engracia in La Desembodada. But Ojo de Agua has turned out to be a great option. Unlike the other two, it is close into to town and "relatively" easy to reach by bus. And, the operator of the equitation school, Adrian, speaks excellent English.
Below, Kay is riding outside of the outdoor arena. She rides the same horse every week. His name is Gitano (Gypsy) and he is one of the lesson horses at the rancho. Gitano is a 17-year-old 1/2 Andalusian and 1/2 Quarter Horse. He is a do-it-all kinda guy. He is used for beginner and intermediate lessons and also spends some days giving "gringos" rides up into the hills surrounding Puerta Vallarta.
Inside the arena Kay takes Gitano through his paces, switching from one gait to another, doing flying lead changes, side passes and other standard maneuvers.
Here's Adrian on Princesa. Besides running the equitation school and the family owned trail riding business, Adrian is also a veterinarian and trainer. He has trained race horses in Japan.
We first met his mother Mari, back in 1994, when she took us on a private ride into the jungle mountains high above the city and the bay.
Adrian's father is a retired dentist.
Kay and Gitano with Adrian and Princesa.
Kay catches one or two buses out to the Rancho on the outskirts of Pitillal, a suburb of Puerto Vallarta once or twice a week for her lessons.
Besides being a great instructor, Adrian is a wealth of knowledge about Puerto Vallarta.
Anyone planning to visit Puerto Vallarta who would either like to go for a trail ride or take a lesson should visit the Rancho Ojo de Agua website.