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Establo San Rafael, Costa Rica

I spent five weeks at this beautiful place nestled in the mountains of central Costa Rica, on a work/trade internship learning about natural horsemanship. Also operating as a B&B, this place has so much to offer from great company, hot weather, tranquil hammock time and of course – everything horsey! As a beginner to natural horsemanship, this was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience to spend all day, every day in the company of 10 beautiful Costa Rican horses and ponies, learning how to interact with them in a natural cruelty-free way. Truly the best way to start off my big adventure, I had the best time at this place and was very sad to leave, although I will definitely be going back! The owners Brenda and Abel are truly wonderful people, and with Brenda’s horse knowledge and Abels cooking, you are bound to have an amazing experience! I believe that working with animals is good for the soul and I found it to be a very healing experience where I learned a lot about myself, while forming some special bonds with a few horses in particular. Fenway the goat was definitely a highlight – the friendliest goat you will ever meet! And custard the chicken who used to come up to my bedroom door every morning for a morning cuddle. I really enjoyed getting into the liberty work with a cheeky little pony called Aldeano, and going on beautiful mountainous trail rides around the neighbourhood. The pool was also a fantastic way to cool off in the sometimes-unbearable Costa Rican heat! I truly got a feel for the Costa Rican ‘Pura Vida’ while at Establo San Rafael and plan to return one day soon. But for now, off to my next adventure in Central America.

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