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Tony Rath's
 
THINGS TO DO > HORSEBACK RIDING
Hillside Ranch in Blue Creek Hillside Ranch in Blue Creek

When the terrain looks questionable, but the area worth exploration, a horseback ride is the answer. A sure-footed horse can easily traverse steep or muddy landscapes and give your hooves a much-needed rest. The Chan Chich area has guided horseback rides that depart daily from the Gallon Jug stables. Trained horses lead visitors through the Gallon Jug farm area, forest roads and/or adjacent jungle trails. Rides to nearby Mayan ruins or more distant sites (e.g. Puntal de Cacao) can be arranged. Most rides last approximately two hours, but longer rides with a pack lunch are also available.

Hillside Ranch in Blue Creek Hillside Ranch in Blue Creek

The Mennonites of Blue Creek also offer a unique horseback experience. Saddle up and explore unexcavated Mayan mounds (soil-covered homes and buildings) and the expanse of the farmlands in the distance. At sunset, assist the cowboys rounding up the cattle and steering them into the corral. Nearing the gate, flocks of cattle egret fly upward as the herd rushes through as per their daily routine. Some cattle head straight to the corral for the night, others stray to nearby sections of the pasture for further grazing, and newborn calves wander oblivious to the daily routine. Cows will sometimes leave their calves behind and later come back looking for them; herders must make sure none of the cattle stray into other pastures. This trip is a serious job for cowboy-hopefuls!

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