Thursday, July 26, 2012

SPAIN, Part 3: Riding with the Gypsies

When we decided to go to Spain, the first thing I did was call my friend (who happens to be my husband's first wife) to find out where we should take our horse-fanatic daughter riding in the countryside. The first Mrs Brooks is a fan and connoisseur of all things riding and all things Spanish and she has great taste, so I knew she was just the person to ask. She thought Trasierra would be prefect for us, as its causal enough for kids but chic-enough to make adults happy, and there is great riding nearby.

So on our third day at Trasierra we booked an 8:30pm ride (it's way too hot to ride during the day). We were driven through a valley and over a hill and arrived at a lovely but run down farm just as the sun was lowering in the sky. We were greeted by two gypsy men in incredibly cool riding gear, who were waiting with the horses. We weren't sure if it was polite to ask, but we were so intrigued by the farm house that we just went ahead and enquired about a tour. We didn't exactly get a tour, but we were given permission to walk through the house, inhabited by one of the gypsy men and his daughter. I was so charmed. It was stylish in the most authentic and unpretentious way. A rifle sat next to a pile of beautiful old rugs which sat next to paintings his daughter made, carefully hung on the wall. It was a wonderful reminder that YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED TO HAVE MUCH MONEY TO HAVE STYLE.

Once mounted on the horses, we were lead down an old road, through olive orchards, grassy meadows and a handful of rundown old farms with charming houses in need of love. It was real estate porn at its very best.

After our ride had a hard time leaving the farmyard - too many cute puppies to play with! - but with the sun disappearing and dinner time approaching we slowly tore ourselves away from this humble, yet magical world.

The gypsy farm where we arrived to go riding. Don't you love that they have solar panels??

The humble yet stylish front hall.

It's obvious from this picture that a single man lives here. What mother would allow a gun to be left lying around like that with a child in the house?!?

I love these rugs. I imagine he pulls them up in the summer to make the house cooler.

The gypsy's daughter's paintings proudly displayed around the house. Beautiful colors.

The horses, just before we mounted them.


Our host. Don't you love all the buckles on his half chaps? The next say I made a beeline for the local tack shop in Seville, and found a similar pair. But I didn't buy them. I thought I'd look silly wearing them in the English countryside. One day I want a full Spanish riding outfit. Not sure where I'll go in it. But I want it.

Coco, in her element.

This was the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in. The whole thing was lined with fleece! My husband was mortified when I asked about helmets. "The Spanish are way too masculine for helmets," he said.



My favorite fixer upper. I love the little walled garden right at the entrance.

 Cooling down as we left.

An unlikely face off!

4 comments:

  1. wow! I love these pictures! they are fantastic!
    kisses!
    e.

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  2. Beautiful pictures - the horses and scenery are lovely. I'd take that fixer-upper in a heartbeat! ^_^

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  3. What an amazing day in a wonderful rustic setting. Looking forward to continuing the adventure with you!

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  4. Beautiful photos! Thx for sharing. I smiled at the helmet story in Spain, it it so true, We spend a few weeks in Marbella every summer and we never seem to get car seats to our children as well... but you gotta love Spain for other things:)
    Caroline

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