"The Colonial Hacienda ride meets expectations. Riding fit, forward going and well loved horses across scenic countryside and staying at historic haciendas whose list of previous guests includes Frida Kahlo and key figures in Ecuador's colorful past. Sally and the Ride Andes team go out of their way to ensure rider safety and comfort, matching riding ability to the horses and monitoring girths and tack along the ride. Not only a terrific horsewoman, Sally has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history, flora and fauna of Ecuador. I really appreciated the fact that you took the time to respond to all my email queries, the level of detail provided on everything, and your recommendations and booking of the other elements of my trip, [cloud forest], Galapagos and [hot springs], as well as the care and concern you showed after I injured my leg [BEFORE arriving in Ecuador] and I wasn't sure I would be fit to ride in time. The cloud forest lodge was an excellent suggestion, and I had my own guide for the 2 days who was very knowledgeable. The Galapagos boat was also a good suggestion and I ended up with a cabin to myself as there were only 8 people on the boat. The itinerary and food were good and the crew and guide also made the trip worthwhile. … The hot springs was a super finale to the trip, and your driver took good care of me and my luggage."
"What worked for me:
(In no particular order:)
The shorter ride on the first day to acclimatize and get used to the horses and tack.
The local flavours and foods at lunch, right down to the cooked lupins and Ecuadorian chocolate.
Tasty non meat options provided everywhere and the planning that had obviously gone into making this seamless, together with daily checks on what each rider would prefer for various elements of the picnics.
The great riding and wide open spaces of Cotopaxi national park.
Terrific choice of haciendas, packed with history and welcoming owners/hosts with great stories to tell.
Insightful and interesting details of the culture, flora and fauna on the ride.
Lunch at the rose growing estate and hacienda was a highlight.
The care and attention given to the wellbeing of the horses and the safety of the guests, constant checking of girths and tack, and soundness of the horses. Advice on zig zagging up and down hills, riding with one hand on the reins, help with mounting, dismounting etc.
Excellent fitness/condition of the horses and tack.
The wool and rain ponchos, saddlebags and water provided, all perfect for the conditions.
The McLellan (sp) saddles and sheepskins made for the most comfortable ride ever.
The effort and care that went into matching horses and guests.
I really enjoyed Capuli and the Chagra horse, Apache, was one of the most responsive horses I've ever ridden.
The friendliness and helpfulness of the volunteers, workers and chagras. … always extremely helpful and kind and nothing was too much trouble. … were also very welcoming and helpful, even with the language barrier.
Visiting Otavalo market and the village weaving centre."