Chapter 1: Meeting the man who trains the iconic Andalusian horse

Neil looks back on one of his most memorable journeys.

We’ve seen the world – and we will see it again. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep in touch, reminding you of why we travel in the first place. For us, travel has always started with a dream. A dream of somewhere else and of some time else. That’s why we’re going to look back at the trips we’ve made in order to feel the thrill of the trips we’re going to take. Place by place, face by face – we’re looking back to look forward.

Here, Neil revisits one of her most meaningful travel experiences.

It’s easy to hop over to Spain for a casual weekend. But what does it mean to actually live like a local? Who are the people – charming, brilliant, fascinating – who actually make it? We’d heard, through our contacts in Spain’s gorgeous south, that we couldn’t miss the people who, for centuries, have trained the famed Andalusian horse. We wanted to see the world through their eyes – fulfilling our We Are Human beliefs by meeting the people who are truly the substance of the places we travel to. Naturally, we saddled up and headed out in search of our very own rider.

So, world, meet Antonio. First, we’ll let him explain why Andalucia is so unmissable.

What first drew us to Antonio was his undying dedication to caring – from his traditional stables, A Campo Abierto – for these miraculous animals. Even the horse-wary among us were carried away by his infectious passion and years of knowledge. It beat watching the more choreographed equestrian displays put on for tourists in the region’s cities. We were right in the midst of things – hay, hooves, and horses. All of it.

To put it another way, we were hearing it right from the horse’s mouth.*

In Andalucia – and for Antonio – the horse is life. As he explained to us, while saddling up the 7 year-old former Olympian mare that he was taking out: “I need to ride. It’s a feeling of freedom – here, where you can smell and feel the nature around you.”

And it was down to him to get us to grips with this most majestic of animals – and of his undying curiosity about the surrounding people who feed this local obsession. After days of rising early, riding, and filming, we were absolutely sold.


Watch: Chapter 2: Yarra and the red valley of Rioja

Ready to explore Spain yourself?

One of Europe’s most fascinating countries, we’ve been travelling across Spain endlessly over the years. Every visit uncovers something new about a country rich in culture, history and cuisine. Let us show you what we mean and take you to a Spain few people ever get to really see.