Tour Length: 7 Days
Dates offered: Late Fall 2019 TBA
Ireland’s Equestrian magazine said he is “more horse than human.” In France, the media say “he has written the bible on horsemanship.” From standing room only University lectures on equine behavior and essential handling skills, to training the trainers in horsemanship, riding, driving, Mounted Police training, Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Coaching, Chris Irwin is the most innovative leader working with horses today.
Come and take advantage of this one time opportunity to become one with the horse… Irwin’s approach to working with the individual and the horse states:
“When a horse consistently experiences that you make it feel better than it does on its own – then it focuses on you more and more, and WANTS to be with you. In the most logical definition of “natural” this is how we tap into the horses’ intuitive need for “survival of the fittest.”
Day 1 – Arrival in Liberia Airport/Casagua Guest Ranch/Cantina Ride
You will be picked up at the Liberia or Tamarindo airport and transported to Casagua Ranch to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. Spend time getting acquainted with the owners – Kay and Esteban (friends of Pat) and the Vaqueros of this beautiful working ranch. Depending on your arrival time, and in the afternoon, mount your horses for Casagua’s famous “Cantina Ride” – enjoying early dinner at Chilitos! The ride will take you along the old Spanish ox cart trails, passing through ranches, beautiful wooded countryside and small villages. Along the way you will see Howler Monkeys, colorful tropical birds and other wildlife, while getting a glimpse of the traditional Sabanero, cowboy culture, of the Guanacaste people. Upon your return – out to the ring! You will be introduced to the world renowned horseman – Chris Irwin – and given a chance to get to know him. He will present a brief discussion and overview of what the clinic will encompass and provide a demonstration of his work with horses in order to prepare you for the upcoming experience. This ends your first day in Costa Rica with the anticipation of working with Chris and the ranch horses the next morning! Put your feet up and realize you have “arrived.”
Day 2 – Casagua Guest Ranch/Chris Irwin Clinic
Wake up to the birds and wildlife outside your Casita. Enjoy a full ranch breakfast and a cup of coffee on the veranda overlooking the ranch and mountain range.
After breakfast, you will have a demonstration and a full day work session in the ring using natural horsemanship techniques with your own horse. Chris will lead you through his deepest and most detailed process on how best to think horse, speak horse, and play horse games by horse rules. Students will learn how to authentically earn respect, trust, focus and willingness from their horses. From this training, you will see a new reality of body language emerge in your horse…horses yawn and express their relief and appreciation for the change in the students approach. Level headed, calm and collected horses swing forward with curled tails, relaxed ears and soft eyes. Chris’s approach – “When a horse consistently experiences that you make it feel better than it does on its own – then it focuses on you more and more, and WANTS to be with you. In the most logical definition of “natural,” this is how we tap into the horses’ intuitive need for “survival of the fittest.” After the clinic, you will enjoy a gourmet dinner – prepared locally – at the Bauinia – a well preserved secret of the locals in the area. Returning to the ranch after dinner, you can take advantage of an evening stroll of the grounds or sit on the veranda sharing your experience with the other guests while sipping on a drink of your choice.
Day 3 – Casagua Guest Ranch/Chris Irwin Clinic
Guests are “Up and At ‘Em” for another delicious full ranch breakfast before getting ready for their second full day in the ring with Chris. Chris will continue working with you and your horse – tapping into his definition of “natural” relating to your horses “intuitive need.” Chris will help you understand and learn to control your own responses to the challenges coming from the horse, through techniques demonstrated in the ring. In doing so, he will help you tap into – “the Spirit in horses who must naturally resist human attempts to control them with force.” After learning these techniques, you will understand that most horses give themselves willingly and gratefully to people who learn this. At the end of the day it’s off to Mar Vista – a restaurant that sits atop a mountain overlooking the beautiful coastline of Brasilito and Flamingo – to enjoy dinner, sunset and a well-deserved drink of your choice. During this time you will have time to reflect on what you have learned and decide if you want to take advantage of a private 2 hour lesson with Chris the next day. Returning to the ranch to rest and relax ends another full day – satisfied!
Day 4 – Casagua Guest Ranch/Private lesson/Ride to Cartagena or Beach
After breakfast, for those who do not want a private lesson with Chris – we will meet our horses in the village of La Garita and ride back country roads through the dry tropical to the beautiful Pacific beaches from Puerto Viejo to Playa Conchal and Brasilito. Lunch will be served at a beach restaurant. Times will be based on the tides. Watch for monkeys, butterflies, and sea birds on this beautiful stretch of Guanacaste beach. If the tides do not cooperate – you will leave on horseback for the small town of Cartagena, an old cattle ranching town and travel the Old Spanish Trail through large haciendas and small villages. Watch for howler monkeys, birds and interesting dry forest vegetation. Lunch en route in Cartagena, then ride through beautiful ranch country with a chance for canters along the tree lined back roads. After returning to the ranch and getting cleaned up, come out to the Rancho for a party and watch your farewell dinner being cooked the “old way” over firewood on the fogon and clay oven. Watch Bartola and Kay cook dinner “Costa Rican” style out under the Bodega. There will be time for sharing, farewell photos and camaraderie with your new found friends.
Day 5 – Transfer to La Fortuna/Arenal – Tabacon Hot Springs Resort
Up early to enjoy breakfast at the ranch, guests will transfer from Casagua Ranch to Arenal via private taxi. During your ride, you will stop for lunch and enjoy great views of the Costa Rican countryside, Arenal Volcano and mountain ranges. Upon arrival to Arenal and the town of La Fortuna you will be taken to Tabacon Hot Springs Resort where you will be staying for two nights. The Arenal Volcano is an unavoidable presence while traveling within this part of the country. Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape makes it a sightseer’s dream, while its abundance of outdoor activities makes it an easy place to check things off your “must-do in Costa Rica” list. Until 2010, it was Costa Rica’s most active volcano. That eruptive cycle – which began with the infamous eruption of 1968 – ended around October 2010. Arenal entered into an indeterminate resting phase. For the time being, visitors will be unable to watch the much-loved explosions, although that could change within a matter of months or years. Upon arrival you will check in, relax and soak in the hot springs on site, eat dinner, maybe walk around the town of La Fortuna…your choice.
Day 6 – La Fortuna/Arenal – Tabacon Hot Springs Resort
Upon booking this tour, you will be given several choices of activities to choose from in Arenal for the day. There are still mountains to be hiked, lakes to be fished and rivers to be floated in as this is one of the country’s most scenic and accessible areas. Arenal Volcano also offers its visitors boat/canoe tours through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge (all day), hikes in the rainforest, canopy tours, white water rafting tours, fishing in the Arenal Lake and much more. Or just take advantage of soaking another day in the hot springs – your choice!
Day 7 – Departure
Depending on departure time, breakfast or a packed meal to take with you for the flight home. Shuttle transfer from Tabacon Hot Springs Resort is approximately 3 hours to the Liberia airport and is arranged to ensure ample time for check-in. Please plan your return flights for the afternoon. Check in at the international airport is at least 2 hours prior to flight time.
Day 8 – Extended Stay Guests
If you are not ready to leave Costa Rica and want to stay a few extra days, Cimarron Adventure Travel is prepared to personally work with you to plan an extended time with us (separately priced). Just let us know – we have great ideas on how to best see this beautiful country – all based on personal experience!
Learn more about Chris Irwin here: www.chrisirwin.com
Tour Pricing & Booking
$4,100.00 double occupancy
Fees based on double occupancy
All inclusive – horse for clinic, clinic fee, meals, transportation, taxes, tips. Air travel into and out of San Jose – not included.