How not to “hold your horses” at Estancia Los Potreros…

It’s gone from chasing aliens to chasing gauchos in my Argentinian travels today, although I’m not sure which are easier to catch. Probably aliens, to be honest. The gauchos here at Estancia Los Potreros speed across the rolling greenery so fast that most of the time I miss them. Actually, this is partly because they’re fast and partly because my horse is usually facing the other way and it generally takes me about ten minutes to steer it in the right direction.

I’m not a good rider. But still, Lou and Kevin weren’t about to let something as silly as that get in the way of things. No sooner had I finished my breakfast this morning (bacon and eggs and warm toast – now that’s how eggs should be served, thanks very much) than I was chapped up to the max and sitting on a horse. I was like Christina Aguilera without the hotpants – honest. I looked just like her.

Off we trotted to the Polo field for our first lesson; me, two couples from the UK and one lady called Heidi from Boston. Oh, and the guides who are all lovely girls from Britain, one of whom rides in Spalding, where I’m from. Small world! And the gauchos, of course, who quite frankly are in a league of their own. I’m serious. Picture this.

Looking behind me I see a group of smiley people from England who are all game for a spot of Polo as long as they can stop twenty minutes in for a cup of tea. Ahead of me… well it’s rawhide, it’s Clint Eastwood on fire, it’s Luke Perry, Butch Cassidy, Heath Ledger (rest his soul) before Jakey G got all up in his… well.

It’s all man.

Even if you’re not a very good rider, like me, I would highly recommend just getting into the estancia way of life here at Estancia Los Potreros, especially with the added luxuries of tea, cake, one of the best asados ever for lunch at Lou and Kevin’s house, and getting to watch a young gaucho from behind as he canters along with five horses. Mmmmm. That’s mmmm to the food, not the gauchos.

OK, it’s both.

Back to the game. I’m used to sucking Polos (I’m British after all) but apparently I also suck at Polo. I did manage to hit the ball a few times as I plodded slowly up to it at a rate that would have made a slug roll his eyes, but “The point of the game is to have fun!” Kevin enthused. There was no “hold your horses!” about today at all, actually. It was all “GO, GO, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BECKY, and would you like a glass of wine?”

We definitely had fun (and lots of wine). And I learnt a very interesting story about what happens when a brand new horse stands on the top of a hill during a thunderstorm, too.

I’ll save that for the book.

Roll on tomorrow! I could get used to horsing around like this.