My New Friend Popeye

After Bagan I reluctantly left Myanmar for Siem Reap, Cambodia.  On my first morning after arrival I went for a ride on my new friend Popeye:

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I think I originally found out about The Happy Ranch from some Pinterest-linked article about offbeat things to do in Cambodia, and I signed up right away.  I loved the whole experience and I definitely would recommend it if you happen to find yourself in Siem Reap.  The horses were healthy and well cared for, my guide was cheerful and accommodating, and the staff was careful in matching up my experience level to an appropriate horse.  I kind of expected that Popeye would be a tired trail horse who just followed the leader, but he was anything but.  There were a few occasions where I lost my focus and suddenly we were cantering, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle and his spirit made it a fun ride.  And the scenery didn’t hurt.

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I had a three hour private trail ride through villages and countryside, with a pit stop at a temple.

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Horseback riding gave me the opportunity to see a little of the area that most visitors don’t normally get the chance to experience, but the actual riding part was just as fun.  A few times we cantered (and maybe galloped…Popeye thought that he deserved to be the horse in the lead and was willing to hurry to make it happen) down some deserted dirt roads and I couldn’t stop giggling.  And as much fun as it was to see Cambodian village life, I also loved letting Popeye stretch his legs as we zipped around an empty lot, feeling like I was flying.

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