Nabucco and the Canadian "bear food".
Horse trekking in the Engadin
Surefooted over hill and dale with Nabucco
No, we don't listen to operas on the road. Nabucco is the name of one of our horses from the San Jon stable. Like all the other horses born at San Jon, he has been given the name of an opera. But what is more impressive is how Nabucco and the other horses carry us over the passes seemingly effortlessly. Every step is right, even when it gets tight and steep over hill and dale. As a rider, you can enjoy the wonderful landscape from the back of a horse without a care in the world.
"It doesn't always have to be Canada!"
This is the slogan of San Jon, the provider of the horse trekking. Our three Canadian fellow riders must have been curious about this. So they decided to put it to the test. And they are thrilled! "Yes, the landscape is really very similar in parts," they admit. "But here, unlike in Canada, we can ride on well-maintained trails and come across small, hearty Engadine mountain villages every now and then. We don't have that at home. Just incredibly delightful!"
Bear visit in the national park
On the way we learn that bears visit the national park region from time to time. Even though we're not riding in the park itself, it's kind of fascinating. "I've heard that when a bear is hunting, it always goes for the middle of a herd of animals. Is that true?" asks a rider who, ironically, always rides in the middle of our group herself. Our bear-experienced Canadians give the all-clear: Bears feed mainly vegetarian and on small animals like birds or rodents. They have never heard of them hunting a horse. So we can continue our ride quite relaxed and enjoy the marmots that curiously look out of the ground.
Anyone who thinks that such a day ride through the mountains is simply "comfortable and relaxing" will soon be disabused of their beliefs. Of course, the altitude is overcome effortlessly on horseback. The horses of San Jon are persistent, sure-footed and good-natured, which is why basic knowledge of horseback riding is sufficient for trekking. However, if you are not used to being in the saddle for several hours a day, you will notice by the second morning at the latest that riding uses muscles that you were not aware existed until then. On the road, of course, taking care of our horses is also part of the job. It always comes first in the evenings, too, before we ourselves put our feet up in the simple but cozy inns.
Autumn in all its facets
Admittedly, on the first day we have to dress really warmly, just a few days before there were up to 10 cm of snow on our way. But: as we all know, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing - and so we don't let it dampen our spirits. Already on the second day the weather shows itself more conciliatory. The snow on the mountain peaks in Val Mora glistens in the warming autumn sun while the clear mountain streams rush out of the valley. Autumn presents itself in all its glory on our way back. Under a steel-blue sky, the colorful play of nature in the Ofenpass area and Val S-charl really comes into its own.
High on horseback through the national park region
Somewhat exhausted but deeply impressed, we arrive back in San Jon on the last day and review the trekking in our mind's eye. From Scuol, the first stage led via S-charl through the highest pine forest in Europe, the God da Tamangur, and the Pass da Costainas to Tschierv. On the second stage we rode through the wild and romantic Val Vau with its beautiful waterfalls to the untouched high valley Val Mora. As if in another world, feeling infinitely far away from civilization, we enjoyed the ride through the picturesque mountain world, which ended in Buffalora. Over the Ofen Pass, during the last stage, we reached the ski area of Minschuns, from where we climbed the Fuorcla Funtana da S-charl and started the way back to San Jon. The happiness of this earth - we found it.