Gil Puyat Ave corner Panday Pira
Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga
Tel +(63) 916 519-9146
Fax +(632) 852-3117
Roll em out round em up Rawhide.
That’s right folks it was the Blues brothers, not literally but the sound track from the movie playing through the music system at El Kabayo. Ok so what is El Kabayo I hear you asking and I’m glad you did because that is the focus of this article.
In our never ending quest to supply readers with information on what to do in the daytime when in AC, Shagger and I recently took a trip out on the base and discovered El Kabayo.
El Kabayo is a term which normally refers to Thotoy but in this case it is the name of a mock old western town, featuring horse riding trips. This is a fun day out especially if you take a Filipina with you and we thoroughly recommend when in AC you pay it a visit.
El Kabayo is situated along the Mabalacat gate road out on Clark airbase. To get there go through the Friendship gate and turn left, continue up the road until you reach a second set of lights and turn left again. Follow this road veering left continue past the outside air force museum and turn right following signs to the Mabalacat gate. El Kabayo is approximately three kilometers down this road on your left hand side.
El Kabayo is done up as a mock old western town and features the facades of buildings typical of this era.The buildings except for the general store and the saloon are all facades and behind the exterior walls are stables where the many horses are kept. As you enter the El Kabayo compound, walk into the general store which is in fact the office and main reception area. Enter here and you will be asked to pay 350 peso for a half hour ride on the horses.
After paying the 350 peso walk outside and you will be greeted by the stable hands / horse instructors. If you are an experienced horse rider tell them and they will let you ride around the compound for half an hour by yourself, if inexperienced which most of us probably are, then tell them and they will guide the horse keeping a tight hold on the reigns whilst you ride.
When we arrived Shagger and the girls went inside their office paid their money and were presented with safety helmets which are required usage for any riders. After this they were greeted by the stable hands who promptly told them “for a while” which in local parlance means wait here while we decide which horses are best for you.
After riding her Thotoy kabayo the night before in Neros
Ronalie thought she was ready to take on the real thing however when seeing the actual size of the horses both girls had second thoughts.
Just then Shagger had the bright idea of getting the girls acquainted with their rides by feeding them carrots.
The girls were a little afraid of the horses thinking they may get bitten when feeding the carrots so it was time for a demonstration of the correct procedure.
But no matter how the stable hand tried he couldn’t install enough trust in the girls to actually feed the horse.
Somehow they seemed unimpressed and no matter what methods of persuasion were used the girls weren’t about to start feeding the horses at least not the four legged ones.
After brief acquaintances were made it was time for the girls to mount their steeds and prepare for a ride. I thought this would be quite a challenge but the stable hands at El Kabayo had obviously been through this scenario many times before and from out of nowhere produced some wooden steps.
The girls were rather tentative at first and very unsure about these big beasts between their legs.
With all riders mounted it was time to head out on the trail.
The Shagger man seemed pretty confident as he toured the course using only one hand thus freeing up the other hand to snap photos whilst riding. Impressive move Shagger.
After she settled down and had gotten used to the riding Mr’s Mjibbo was all smiles. Later on I asked her did you have a good time horse riding and she replied “yes mahal I like it but the saddle keep rubbing my peanut”. No wonder she was smiling all the time.
It took Ronalie a while to relax even though her horse looked like it was sleep walking. In the end she was heard to say “much better I ride Thotoy because he smaller and closer to the ground”.
Shagger seemed right at home on horseback.
For the 350 peso you basically get half an hour ride. The ride is a pleasant stroll through a grassy tree lined park.
Along the way they met many locals who were quick to offer friendly salutations and they even had their own 4 legged guide in the form of the local Labrador.
Meanwhile back at the ranch yours truly was busy taking snap shots of the El Kabayo compound.
Inside the saloon is in fact a tastefully decorated eatery with large wooden tables capable of seating and feeding numerous guests.
Pictured here is an ornate saddle inside the general store.
A quick glimpse at the coffee table demonstrates the concept behind this place.
Inside the general store there are numerous merchandise items for sale.
They were going to take them for two laps around the riding circuit but Shagger seeing that Ronalie was not exactly comfortable decided to head back to the ranch. At the rides end the wooden steps magically appeared again and the girls s disembarked hastily.
Once the actual ride was over No Nose Ronalie seemed to relax and was all smiles.
But when questioned she openly admitted she preferred the Honda steed to her four legged steed.
All in all we had a great day out at El Kabayo. The girls were a little tentative at first especially Ronalie when she saw how big the horses were compared to the Shagger horse she was used to riding. However, after a while both girls relaxed and enjoyed the ride. This is definitely a fun way to spend a couple of hours with your honey-ko and it’s something different to do in the daytime.
We were in fact looking for Paradise Ranch but ended up at El Kabayo which we came across first. As a result Paradise ranch is on the agenda for our next trip.
Leisure & Trail Rides