Finca Soley is an interesting place. Isa and Milton rent the property which is about 22 hectares (just over 54 acres). Isa is from Germany and Milton grew up in a large family on a Nicaraguan horse farm. They have 2 young daughters (Basilia almost 4, Molly almost 3). There are currently 13 horses, 3 cats, 5 dogs, and assorted chickens and roosters.
The farm is on rented land about 20 minutes from the town of Turrialba. The area is very rural and anything that hasn’t been cleared on the farm is jungle.
Students of all ages come from all over the world, mainly Germany, to learn natural horsemanship…learning to care for and ride the horses in the most natural way using psychology and the physics of how bodies work. The students pay a weekly fee to live at the farm, work on the farm, and learn/ride the horses. The weekly fee includes all of their meals and access to the washing machine.
Each student has a “project” horse, one that they work with primarily and another project such as teaching English to the students in the local schools. I’m not sure what all of the options for the projects are. Students generally stay 1-6 months. There is a Spanish class available one afternoon a week which is included in the fee as well (they can pay for additional classes if they want).
The farm appears to run pretty smoothly. They have daily meetings to discuss what needs to be done, one or more students are in charge of cooking the food for a given period of time, and I’ve not seen any conflicts between anyone.
In our case we are renting a room in the bed and breakfast part where we have a private bedroom and bath. (Students are housed dormitory style in the lower level of the same building.) There are 6 rooms available for the B&B although we have been the only guests most of the time that we have been here (lucked into the slow time of the year). We get an awesome breakfast each morning included: usually scrambled eggs, fresh fruit (bananas fresh off the stalk, pineapple, mango, watermelon), gallo pinto (rice and beans), oven fried potatoes and squash, toast, muffins, fresh juice, milk, and coffee.
Generally I enjoy my time here although it is more humid and has more bugs (especially roaches and mosquitoes) than I would like. These things come with the territory since there is jungle around here.
We hear lots of birds every morning. As we started out on our walk this morning we saw about 6 green parrots flying over the trees. We also hear the geckos and frogs. Pictures of the farm and area: