Gaucho, rodeo champion, storyteller, trainer, guide and head show jumping coach of Spain's Olympic Equestrian Team, the always smiling Rodolfo Coombs has worn many hats within the world of horsemanship over his seventy years. He's a third-generation horseman, a real gaucho or “Huaso” (Chilean cowboy) with a way with horses that is wondrous to behold. But he's also a member of equestrian's global elite and has been highly sought after as a riding instructor throughout Europe and Latin America. During Pinochet's reign in Chile, Coombs exiled himself to Spain where he served as the head coach for the national Equestrian Team for 16 years.
These days however, he can be found outside of Pucon, Chile, at his ranch Huepil Malal (Rainbow Horse), where he shares his decades of horse sense and wisdom with both novice and life-long riders. Rodolfo has approximately 45 horses in his stable, most of which are a Chilean breed known as "criollo" which are sturdy, well-trained and dependable on rocky mountain paths. Guests at Vira Vira have the opportunity to spend a day with this fascinating and witty character, which is a worthwhile cultural experience even if you don't intend to ride as Rodolfo is renowned for his story telling and distributes knowledge and mischief with equal enthusiasm. This short video captures just a glimpse of his expertise and charm:
In alpine meadows beneath snowy Andean peaks, Rodolfo leads riders through stunning Lakes District scenery and teaches them to adopt the Chilean style of riding; holding the reins in one hand, sitting deep in the saddle and matching the motion of the horse's gait with your own hips. First time riders especially are in excellent hands and often walk away with a deeper understanding of the horse-human connection and a riding skill set they never dreamed of as this is no docile pony trail riding experience, but one in which the rider is truly taught to understand and communicate with their horse.
At Vira Vira, discover the stunning Lakes District through "the elegance of adventure" and meet Rodolfo Coombs for yourself, one of the exceptional people behind the experience!