During spring break, I was granted the opportunity to travel to Uruguay to tour and learn about the agricultural systems of the country. While there I was able to tour El Paraiso, a 10,000-acre ranch near Trienta y Tres that specializes in Cow-Calf, rice, soybean, and horse production. I had the honor while there to tour parts of the ranch on horseback which proved to be an exhilarating and physically challenging experience. The buckskin mare that I rode had a large personality and an even larger drive to push the limits, always trying to race through the pastures we were in at a break-neck pace. This experience was my first when it came to riding horses, but now I understand why those who ride horses regularly are so eager to get back to doing it.

To start, the experience itself was unlike any other outdoor activity I have taken part in, including hunting and riding atv’s through similar terrain. The ride was uncomfortable at first because I did not know how to properly keep my balance in the saddle, but I quickly learned to maintain stability at quicker paces. Once we got to the cattle, we had to bob and weave through trees to round them all up and push them away from the trail so that others could come by in trucks. On the way back to the ranch headquarters, I allowed my mare to stretch her legs in order to keep both of us comfortable and let her burn some energy off. After reflection upon this activity I realized I have a strong desire to get into riding horses. This experience was one of the highlights from my trip to Uruguay.