The Estancia is exceptionally proud of its reputation of having outstanding horses for guests to enjoy, and with a riding herd of over 80, there is something for everyone. The horses, mainly bred on the Estancia, are responsive, sure-footed and willing. The varied work that they take part in including rounding up cattle, taking out guests or playing polo, combined with the natural lifestyle they lead in an un-stabled herd environment means the horses are always fresh, interested and keen to do their jobs.
The herd is a mixture of Criollos, Paso Peruanos, polo ponies and some crossbreeds. The Estancia is currently actively breeding Paso Peruanos, a unique horse that has 5 gaits or paces (instead of 4) which provides an extremely comfortable riding experience that is not quickly forgotten. Guests are encouraged to get involved with all of the horse activities on the farm, whether that is watching the horse-breaker at work or rounding up the mares and foals to protect them from pumas.
Long Distance Trail Rides:
Trail riding has a certain excitement of the unpredictable. Set in the beautiful Sierras Chicas, Estancia Los Potreros lends itself to some fabulous trail rides through rural Argentina. Single overnight expeditions are spontaneously arranged at any time of the year, and there are fixed date departures for longer rides throughout the year. A variety of rides take you over the constantly changing geography of the region, through areas impossible to reach by car. Stay at a variety of locations from local estancias to very simple dwellings exposing you to the life of the local people. Accommodation can range from shared bunk rooms to very comfortable guest houses. Camping can be arranged if required. On a trail ride you should expect to be in the saddle between four to six hours a day with the occasional days requiring an extra push to reach the objective. These expeditions are rich in local history and offer some exceptional riding.
Riding on the Estancia:
All riding abilities can be catered for, and rides are split according to ability. Small riding groups are preferred, with normally no more than 6 guests in one ride. There is total flexibility regarding both the length of stay and the horseback riding possibilities. The horses have exceptionally soft mouths and are ridden Western style, which is very relaxed and intuitive to pick up. Tack is English, with comfortable sheepskins over the saddle.
Riding is usually centered round estancia life with occasional overnight excursions. There is no set itinerary for the estancia rides as every day the farm offers new challenges and activities. You can expect to be in the saddle for between 4-6 hours per day, consisting of either a day picnic ride or two rides (a longer morning ride and shorter afternoon ride) returning to the Estancia for lunch. Some examples of the rides offered from the Estancia: Take a sunset ride to The Top of the World to enjoy the spectacular views and look out for condors, ride to the waterfall and take a refreshing dip in the pool, enjoy a full day picnic ride to a local Dominican church and visit the local one-teacher rural school....just a few examples of the variety of culture available by horseback.
With over 6,500 acres of private land to explore, the Estancia offers plenty for even the most dedicated trekking enthusiast. Many use the Estancia as a base and return every night to the comfort of the family home.
A range of self-guided walks take visitors to high spots on the farm, or to hidden rock pools for a refreshing dip. Take a walk down to the cattle farm to see the gauchos in action, or make your way to The Top of the World to see the tremendous views over the Punilla valley. Donï¿½t forget to take your camera, and there is always a bundle of labradors to accompany you!
The location of the farm on the edge of various microclimates...on the boundary of the pampas and the start of the high country leading to the Andes, between the arid north and the lush south, as well as being on the tree line, make Estancia Los Potreros a top location for bird watching.
Argentina is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world and so throughout your stay in Argentina you are likely to try a number of different wines. Cordoba has a wine growing tradition that goes back some time. Records show that 10,000 vines were planted the year after the foundation of Cordoba in 1574. Today riders, drivers, walkers and birdwatchers alike all enjoy the Cordoba wine produced by the Bodega Caroyense. Trying the different wines is great fun and La Caroyense selects grapes from other provinces as well as the homegrown. Some of the better wines are from these selected grapes.
Half a century ago, Estancia Los Potreros had a small home production of wine. Today using modern methods, La Caroyense produce and bottle the only private wine in their cellars on behalf of the Estancia. The popularity of the Malbec and Torrontes is now spreading beyond visitors to the farm, and your gracious hosts are always keen to share informal wine-tastings with their guests.
No visit to Argentina would be complete without the chance to try your hand at a game of polo. Informal polo is played once a week on the Estancia (weather permitting) and is open for all guests to participate. The Estancia specializes in introducing this extremely fun and highly addictive sport to guests who have not had the chance to try it before. A short lesson on the ground and some practice stick and ball is followed by a game, set at a pace to suit riding abilities. Be warned though ï¿½ this could be the start of an extremely expensive habit!
Throughout the year a number of fixed date polo weeks are run. These are aimed at the beginner, novice or occasional polo player who wish to combine this exciting game with some fabulous riding on the Estancia.
During the polo weeks, polo sessions are held every day (either morning or afternoon) and consist of tuition and stick and ball practice, followed by some chukkas, each day focusing on particular skills, tactics and rules of the game. The week culminates in an in-house tournament, often joined by regular players from the local area. The other half of the day may be spent riding out in the fabulous countryside, perhaps trying out the unique Paso Peruano horse, or simply relaxing by the pool.
Visit Local Churches:
The Cordoba region is steeped in history, with a thriving rural community, thanks in part to the Jesuits. As with many communities, the area has been bound together by religion over the centuries, and now there are many examples of churches and places of worship scattered throughout the countryside. The estancia is an ideal place to set out and explore some of these national treasures, including the Jesuit estancia Santa Catalina, and the emblematic Candonga church. Amongst the more traditional are also the unusual, and some can be reached by horseback, whilst transport can be arranged for those slightly further afield.
There are three excellent 18 hole golf courses within 35 kms of Los Potreros. Caddies and club rentals are available on all courses and your hosts are happy to help with transfer arrangements to and from the courses.
Cordobo (Villa Allenda) has a magnificent 6824 yd. par 72 parkland course founded in 1922 only minutes away from Cordoba City, which hosts the Open Championship of the central region of Argentina. La Cumbre has a 5991 yd. par 70 parkland course built in 1924 which has hosted several international tournaments, and Ascochinga has a 6350 yd. par 72 course less than an hour away from the estancia.