Dec 30

Horseback Riding in Costa Rica

When Matt first put me on a horse while at his family farm in North Dakota, it sensed it was free—I had little control over its reigns. It galloped across the prairie as I clung to its mane, ducking beneath an apple tree limb.

But my son is a good horseback rider, which left him frustrated when Nauyaca Waterfalls’ Horseback Riding Tour put him on a slow horse due to his age and me on a fast one. (Both horses, used to inexperienced riders, stayed under control.)

He got over it.

My daughter rode with a guide. She’d come to love her guides. The sun exhausted her—no matter how much we lathered her up, her skin still seemed to burn. But Costa Ricans light up when a child is near, and their appreciation delighted her.

While howler monkeys called out and birds chirped, we trekked uphill through mud and streams for 45 minutes to Don Lulo’s house for a Costa Rican lunch under a canopy. Our children, surprisingly, had acquired a taste for beans, and hungrily ate. While Matt and I enjoyed coffee, our children wandered through its mini-zoo and tried to catch Iguanas, which easily slipped under rocks.

Then we rode another 25 minutes to the waterfalls where we roped up our horses and walked down wooden steps into the canyon to cool off. Our eldest climbed halfway up the waterfall and jumped.

Our children are much braver than I am.