Latest news: Finca El Gallinero is now Outback Spain. Go there now - enjoy your visit!

Gevevieve with the gang By the time we moved to Spain, we had fallen for horses. In Ireland, we had got to know the Connermara ponies living fairly freely around us. Then, when Geneviève was preparing to go to a ranch in Argentina, through the WWOOF organisation, she took lessons in conventional riding schools, on stabled horses. Once in Argentina she did lots of trail riding, on horses who spend most of their time running free. Soon, we went back to the ranch together, and Brian got started with ranch horses, and hooked! What a difference, between horses who live in little better than solitary confinement, and horses who live in a herd, with freedom of movement over large tracts of land, never stabled, worked no more than a few hours a day, for a few days at a time. Still, we weren't happy with the amount of hardware used to control the horses when riding: bits, spurs and whips, just like in the riding schools. There must be something better than that.

Okapi and BrianThere is. We knew it in our hearts. We found some books that confirmed we were on the right trail. As soon as we had a roof over our heads here in Requijada, we bought horses, gave them as much space as possible, on rough grazing, and got to know them. We searched for more books, and videos. We tried out things we imagined ourselves and things we read in books and saw in videos. We searched for people experienced in horse training without hardware. We did (and still do) courses for trainers, and we got to where we wanted to be from the moment of discovery in Argentina: riding a horse with no bit, no spurs, no whips and (for training and short rides) no saddle. This applies as much to young horses, with no previous training, as to older horses "broken" in the conventional manner.

That was the beginning. The years come and go, each packed with discovery and experience. We have been teaching people to ride, and horses to be ridden, and helping both to understand each other, and we never stop learning. Apart from riding, we have been training horses to draw (plough, sledge and cart) as well as carry loads on a pack saddle.

Our inquiry into the nature of horses is constant. We observe, experiment, study the professional and scientific literature, go on courses as well as give them, have experts in horse care come to Requijada to teach us more...

All our efforts are focused on improving the relationship between horse and human, so there is a good deal and good fun for both.