OUR HORSES AND PETS
Costa Rica’s horse quality is renowned. The Costa Rican Criolla is small and sure footed, a big contrast to the large American saddle horses. The Criolla is a cross between several Spanish breeds and the Peruvian stepping horses. Many reach only 12 to 14 hands with hearts and spirits that defy their size.
And they have the very special gait, the paso or Criolla gate, that makes seven hours in the saddle as comfortable as in a car, but awakening your soul as well.
Centaura's horses are very different from rental horses in Costa Rica. We've selected our horses for gait, behavior, and spirit.
TREATMENT OF OUR HORSES
We treat our horses with respect, and maintain our horses with the quality options that ensure longevity and good health (it makes sense to protect our investment, and it makes us feel good to reward good service with good care. The difference in treatment of horses is very obvious once you see horses used in rental operations).
Some very basic treatments and outward signs of respect for the animals by Centaura include:
- Centaura’s horses are regularly tested for
Equine Infectious Anemia.
This fatal disease is rampant in Costa Rica, exacerbated by a lack of testing.
- We medicate against ticks and other parasites.
- Our horses have shoes, often with rubber inserts.
- Bridles have pads to eliminate nose nerve damage;
good saddles which are
well designed to remove sore spots
- Horses receive food supplements, not only“pasto” (grass)
- Horses are curried and cleaned before and after riding.
- Centaura horses get regular veterinary inspections.
- Centaura horses go on vacation a lot -- in lush pastures, running free,
with shade trees and shelters and clean water
FITTING THE RIGHT HORSE TO YOU
When you are with Centaura you will be riding one to three different horses throughout your stay with us. You'll get to trust your mount. We will give you a horse appropriate to your size (we have a gelding standing 16 hands, and many of our Paso mares are only 12-13 hands). So when you call us, let us know your height and weight, plus your riding experience, so we can decide which horses are best for you.
Our high stepping dancer gives you her heart and soul every time you ride her. Very well trained and perfect for very experienced riders because she listens to every signal you give her via legs and reins. Costarricense de Paso (Spanish with Peruvian)
In automobile terminology, he is a Twin engine, V8, Turbo injected. He flies. Pinolero is 100 % Paso Fino and he will take you to the Moon and back.... without a sweat.
It does not take much to figure out that he follows nobody and that he likes being first.
You have to see this horse showing off in every step he does. High stepping dancer with a great smooth gait. Arched neck, ears up. All about him is looks and class. Costarricense de Paso
EVERYBODY LOVES PIÑATA. Half Appaloosa, half Peruvian, she molds to you. Great with kids, great with rodeo riders. She adapts to you, it’s like she can read your spirit. All we have to say about her is that we wish we could clone her.
Another mare that comes with a guarantee for sweetness. She simply does what you want her to do. Great with kids and beginning riders. Half Peruvian, half Costarricense de Paso
She has participated a couple of times in a rein contest, so you can imagine how good she listen to your commands. She’s high stepping and a big show off. Ibero mare (half Spanish, half Costarricense de Paso)
When we first started working with him, we though that he was not Centaura material. We were wrong....
He has grown into an amazing horse. High stepping, strong neck, Ibero horse.
Another of our mature Peruvian mares, great with kids and non riders. Great horse to build confidence with beginner riders.
What you want she does...and gently.
One of our favorite horses for young children - she just seems to know when to behave well. Mustang with Costarricense de Paso
She is a mature Peruvian mare, but she has the biggest heart in the whole stable. Unlimited energy and super smart. First time you ride her, you feel that she is too much, but in truth she is only trying to get to know you. With a little of patience she will give you an amazing ride.
She has earned her spot as one of the prime all around horses in Centaura. Half quarter, half Peruvian, she is great from kids to experienced riders who prefer not having to hold back with the reins constantly. But she will run as long and as fast as you ask her.
By far the smoothest gated horse we have, 3/4 Peruvian. He can not stay still, no matter what. He is playful and he always want it his own way. For expert riders who like valiant horses
4 year old paint horse (half quarter, half Peruvian)
Great gate, gentle ride. Because of his age, everything is new for him. So he will be wondering and watching everything that is going on around him in a goofy way. He’s a leader, and wants a leader to ride him.
Our sweet gentle giant. He is the biggest nibbler ever - put a flower in your hair and he'll softly lift it from your head.. He is an Ibero ( half Costarricense Paso, half Spanish). He might be a little bumpy (like a Thoroughbred) but you'll ride with class and elegance.
He is our all terrain horse, criolla breed, strong, sweet temper. Great for kids and to build confidence with new riders.
Dancing horse, we have him to participate in the Topes. When he is dancing he looks simply fantastic... and he knows it...Big show off. He is a mix of several breeds.
What an amazing horse, he does what you want him to do, with no signals no nothing from you -- he simply feels how you are leaning. He is also an Ibero horse (half Costarricense, half Spanish) and for his size he has an amazing soft gait.
Another of our all terrain horses. He’s a big horse so we use him for our big tall riders. Sweet and gentle.
Our Water Buffalo, but do not tell him because he believes he is a big dog...
And, believe it or not, we ride him...
High stepping mare, great for Topes. Her elevations (front and rear) are out of this world. She is such a balanced horse and a pleasure to watch when she is dancing.
What can we say about him.... he eats and eats and eats. He also sleeps a lot and snores like a train at full speed. Besides that, I do not think he does anything useful, except all the horses really like him to sleep in their stalls.
Our pony horse, she is fantastic with little kids, super quiet, patient, and so sweet. You would not believe that such a tiny horse has such a big heart.
We are still working on him, he has everything to become a great horse, probably not treated right by his past owners, he carries a lot of weight with him. Slowly he is turning around.
He has been with us since we started Centaura, and taught us a lot about how horses think. He plays games. No matter how his gate is secured he escapes, then show up in the kitchen until someone chases him out, then he runs back to his stall (yes, we have a kitchen in the stables)
Nothing makes Peluca happier than someone who will throw a grapefruit for her. Every visitor is suckered into her game, and there are infinite grapefruits from the tree next to the stables.
Playful and energetic young gelding. You have to expect the unexpected with this horse. He moves and dances all the time. You need to be a spirited rider to bring out the best in him. Half peruvian with a great soft gait.
Peruvian horse, great with beginner riders. Soft and gentle. A real pleasure to ride him.
He is not the smoothest horse we have..... by far. But he runs like he is being chased by the devil. He is fast and he used to do Rodeo barrel racing, so be ready when you want him to turn. If you are not sitting and holding correctly, you will be flying out...Half quarter, half we do not know what...probably devil, but a happy one.
He is no longer with us, but he will always have has a place in our hearts. We had to put him down because of a malformation in his jaws caused by genetic inheritance.He was a beautiful horse and a natural show off.
Same group of Jardinero and Ranchero. All terrain horse. He never looses his energy, always forward. Very mature and calm horse.
MINCHO & MENCHA
Somehow we got two sheep. They play in the stables with the pig, the dog, and the horses, and the Baah and the Beeeh are great sounds to start your morning.
Son of Nube, our 2 year old baby has a lot of future in front of him. His bloodline is as good as it gets. We have a lot of expectations for him.
Gitana runs the whole operation -- or so she thinks. She especially likes to sneak into your villa and enjoy dinner with you. Often found with Mariano (in photo) closely attached.
SHAKIRA Y MADONNA
Two Grand Dames, our Belgian draft horses pull the governor's carriage to weddings, to fiestas, to celebrate great-grand dad's birthday. We also ride them in Topé events so we can tower above all the other horses. So if you need a horse 19 hands high, these girls will do just fine.
The little version of Frijol, but Aretes really does believe she is a dog. Like Frijol, these pigs walk about the farm freely, sleep under the feet of the horses, and play with Gitana (and two Labradors who visit regularly).
PEDRO - he really runs the farm
Pedro can speak horse, and water buffalo, and sheep and pig. He's less fluent with people, but as long as you treat his friends with respect (and affection), you won't have any trouble getting Pedro to understand.