Today, as we explored the great country-side of Itu, we got the chance to learn about two different horse breeds the help to make up the horse industry here in Brazil. Our first stop of the day was at a Quarter horse farm called Haras Raphaela. This farm was spread out over 100 acres and houses anywhere from 200 to 250 horses at one time. Not only do they breed on this farm, but they also train professional barrel racers and hold many different barrel racing competitions within their facilities. While taking a tour around the stables, I noticed that there was a lot of similarities to how we house and care of horses in the United States. The barns as well as the views were breath-taking! After the tour, we got the chance to hang out in the competition arena where tons of barrel racers were practicing to get ready for a competition later in the evening. It was a lot of fun to be able to watch the racing and hang out with everyone.
Our second stop of the day was at a really nice hotel by the name of Fazenda Capoava. The owner of the hotel also owns a herd of Creole horses, which is a breed from Portugal. This horse breed is pretty small compared to the other breeds and are used in a lot of high endurance competitions. At this farm, they trained these horses for high-class competitions. It was really cool to see the cutral aspects of the breed that they still use in showing today, such as the old Brazilian saddle, older-styled bridles, and knotting the tail before competing. After touring the farm, we sat by a large fire in the hotel and just hang out for a while until dinner. For dinner, we got the opportunity to try several different types of Brazilian food. Once dinner was done, we got back on the bus and came back to the hotel. I have to say that it was one of my favorite days thus far!