Andorra on all fours (that is, on horseback)
Andorra is a country that strives to be traveled in every possible way. That is why one of the oldest ways of transport could not be missing: the horses, which were used since ancient times to climb valleys and tread mountain passes. Far from the straperlista and cowboy aspect of the ride on the back of an equine, today is a cool activity for the whole family in which many things are discovered.
ANDORRA IS A EQUINE COUNTRY
The normal reaction of a foreigner when he thinks of this country usually evokes images of snowy peaks or bare peaks. And, at most, the odd Romanesque town of slate and tear stone. But what is not in mind is the amount of horses that live on its slopes, grazing during the summer on the ski slopes. It is already the idyllic orgasm, with green pastures, anarchic streams that feed on the thaw and beautiful foals running around your ball. In fact, in the forests of natural parks there are dozens of copies in semi freedom They look and live wild. Friend, you are in their territory.
A 'Pyrenean cowboy' © Agustí Albareda i Castellà / Horse Andorra
THE HORSE IS THE IMPROVED VERSION OF A 4x4
"Can a horse climb all that?" This is the most common question that is often asked in the different centers teams of the Pyrenean valleys. The most logical thing is to think of a horse ride in the style of Brad Pitt in Passion legends: on the plain, with the sun setting in the distance and a cloying music theme. But the truth is that It is a very useful species to save the hardest ramps. The horses raised in Andorra survive on the summits thanks to some powerful hindquarters that activate to their maximum power when the rider bends down and frees weight at the bottom.
In the toughest ramps we must put faith in the matter, because it seems impossible that the animal can easily overcome the slope. And yet the very blessed does it. In the comparison with a 4x4 they win because they do not consume so much and are not usually driven in the city by wealthy mothers who love to park in a double row. Andorra's horses they are usually the product of a mixture of mountain races raised to their free will, although in the Horse Riding Bou they prefer to focus on raising the Austrian breed Hafliger Tirol, very accustomed to the demands of height.
Can a horse get here? © Aldosa
ETERNAL ENVY TO CHILDREN
Andorran children are superior. In winter they have mandatory ski lessons. In summer, mountaineering and climbing and in their spare time they usually cover riding schools in a kind of attempt to commune as much as possible with their surroundings. Therefore, from their earliest childhood they know how to talk to ponies and how to treat large specimens. The result: the fearful adult usually suffers absolute humiliation, so it is best not to underestimate the stunning tranquility and professional management of the youngest.
The Andorran children, the great horsemen of the country © Javier Zori del Amo
A HORSE TAKES YOU WHERE NOBODY ARRIVES
Now where do these excursions go? In Andorra there are different equestrian centers such as The Tarter, Bou House, L'Aldosa or The flat They offer different options to explore its steep paths. All these routes have a common denominator: they get where another vehicle can't go. In fact, many of the horses used for these expeditions are rented by hunters and mountaineers in order to load material and supplies to the highest and most inaccessible valleys.
Almost every Andorran path is susceptible to being colonized by horseshoes, although the most beautiful (and accessible and easy) adventure is organized by the Comú de la Massana with Hípica L'Aldosa. The excursion consists of climb from Arinsal to Pla de l'Estany, seeing the spectacular valleys of Comapedrosa. A distance of 3 kilometers in which an accumulated slope of more than 600 meters is saved until reaching the Joan Canut shelter.
Horses are also used to carry food on long journeys © Javier Zori del Amo
Resting in the lake © Aldosa
But not everything is horse riding epic and wild adventure. A less daring and more parsimonious and cultural alternative is to do the Iron Route on the back of a horse. Horse Riding The Tarter Organize this activity in summer, offering a different point of view of this walk full of art and curiosities. Why have you never enjoyed sculptures by artists like Saturo Sato or Rachid Khimoune on a horse? At the very least, it offers a different point of view, higher and more neat.
* You may also be interested ...
- Andorra without skis in seven steps
- Curiosity Shop: Toy Andorra
- Gastro Rally of Andorran wine
- All articles by Javier Zori del Amo
The Iron Route of Andorra © D.R.