The horses

"When God created the horse, he said to the magnificent creature: I have made thee as no other.
All the treasures of the earth shall lie between thy eyes.
Thou shalt cast thy enemies between thy hooves, but thou shalt carry my friends upon thy back."

The horses at El Rancho Criollo

At El Rancho Criollo you will only find Criollo's, Argentinine ranch horses and mestizo horses from South America
The horses live in large herds on the pampa (Argentina).

Because of climatological circumstances and by rambling trough the continent the Criollo has a large variety of colours. At the ranch you will not find two Criollo's of the same colour.

The Criollo originally comes from Spain. The Spanish conquerors brought Andalucien horses, Berber horses, Arabian and Portuguese horses to South America. These breeds created a new breed by mixing on the Pampa's; the Criollo breed.

The Criollo horse is used to live outside and we have a lot of pasture available at the ranch. Our Criollo horses are not kept in stables as they feel uncomfortable inside. The ranch has a run-in shed and land that offers shelter and food during summer and wintertime. The shape of the horse is a strong compact body with a short wide forehead. The enormous stamina/endurance makes these horses extremely suitable for long distance riding through rough countrysides. The horses have a very good adaptability and are calm and reliable. The riding style is western on one hand only!

Gaucho saddle

"With his bridle and saddle, the Gaucho is someone; without them, he is just a man."

To speak of the Criollo horse is to speak of the Gaucho, the Pampa and the difficult conditions it imposed on the horseman. He always lived outside, sleeping on his recado, which served as both saddle and bedding.
Bij El Rancho Criollo kun je kiezen of je op een westernzadel of op een origineel gaucho zadel wilt rijden.

How to ride the horses - Way of riding

The riding style is western with one hand only and long reins. Also the voice plays an important role. The horses are very manoeuvrable and they react in the same way as the neckreining way of riding.
The way of riding is both simple and relaxed. Move your hand with the reins as if you are working with a joystick. Rein hand is moving forward. The more the hand goes to the horses head the faster the horse will move. The rains will always be long, also during gallop.

Three ways to move forward

  • Move your weight in forward position. Most of our horses will already start galopping as soon as your weight is in a strong forward position.
  • Use your voice. Short and powerfull shouts. The horse will feel the need to move.
  • Move your hand in a more forward position and the horse will go faster.

It very important to look ahead and not to the ground. Looking all the time to the ground will be a sign for the horse to start eating.

We do not use our legs! It is even forbidden to use them. There is no need.


The horse responds to a neck rein when it has learned that a light pressure of the right rein against its neck on that side means for the horse to turn left, and vice versa. Likewise, moving the hand to the right means for the horse to turn right. While making the turn you keep your reinhand in forward position and move your weight in a visual turn. The rains will always be long.

To stop

First you move your weight backwards. Next, use your voice in a low tone (hoooooh). If your horse is slowing down you're ok. If your horse does not slow down, only than use the reins and pull slowly and use your voice. If your horse slows down; loosen the reins.
We do not ride backwards and we do not use whips or spurs.
Arrangemens for horseback riding.
Book on time.
El Rancho Criollo - Chambre d'hote
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