El Galope farm, Uruguay

The horse did not want to follow me. No matter how hard I pulled on the leash, it was more interested in the bucket with food than the prospect of an unexperienced rider on its back. I waited patiently for it to stop chewing, then gave the rope another hard tug. Finally, it looked up and, very slowly, began to move.

It was our second day on the El Galope farm and I was about to get a riding lesson. A real one, with instructions on how to brush a horse and the appropriate posture. As the horse finally came with me, I was more than happy I had decided to stay on a ranch in Uruguay.

But horses are not the only reason to choose to stay on an estancia.…