Costa Rica Horse Festival
For me, traveling on horseback is all about getting to see and experience things in a totally new way. Riding in a Cabalgata in Costa Rica marks at the top of my list for exciting things to experience on horseback. In the above video, you can watch a behind the scenes look at the filming of the Costa Rica Cabalgata, part of the Equitrekking Costa Rica TV episode.
Monica and Esteban are a husband and wife team who run a horseback riding adventure company in Costa Rica. They took me to the Cabalgata and other spectacular destinations on horseback. I learned that they have participated in hundreds of these festivals.
During the spring and summer, every town in Costa Rica hosts its own Cabalgata, a big horse day, when hundreds and sometimes tens of thousands of locals join together to ride their horses through town and neighbor’s nearby farms. It’s a big trail ride during which you enjoy food, music and drinks (on horseback). This is top people watching territory as many locals get together to tell stories, relax, and indulge in an adult beverage or two… or three.
My favorite memory is of a grandmother dressed in business attire, riding in high heels with her purse in hand, while two little boys rode together bareback at a gallop. I was worried that my horse Perla would be spooked as a motorcycle whizzed by me on the road, but Perla was unfazed. These Costa Rican horses truly seem bombproof! You pay an entrance fee to ride in the Cabalgata and that money goes to the local schools and churches, so you are riding for a good cause. What is most special about these festivals is that no matter who you are in the community, everyone rides together and celebrates their community, horses and life.