Getting to know Jemma Williams, Horse Trainer at Las Olas Ecuador
Originally from Ireland, Jemma Williams, an Equestrian and mother of 4, came to Ecuador 8 years ago looking for some nice weather and to follow her interest in learning a different language and culture. Fortunately for us, horses have always been her passion!
“I’ve been interested in horses ever since I was 5 years old and I’ve grown up with them. I’ve had horses in Ireland, always enjoyed long distance riding and that sort of stuff and here since being in Ecuador I have had an equestrian center in Cuenca which is still running, where I’ve been working with nursery-school children and giving individual classes in the afternoon”
Jemma is now in charge of the equestrian facility at Las Olas Ecuador which includes 50 acres of pastures and training areas. The Las Olas Equestrian Center will provide 72 stalls, a training ring and a covered arena as well. She works a few hours each day with 28 horses currently to keep them in well-toned shape and get them accustomed to children and people.
Managing horses during hot weather can be a challenge, but at Las Olas Ecuador the climate is mild all year round and it never reaches extreme temperatures. Also with the Equestrian Center being nestled in the Pajonal hillside pasture alongside the Pacific Ocean beach, it gets a really nice ocean breeze which refreshes both horses and riders alike.
“They seem to have adapted pretty well in the beach. The horses that are from here are easy to keep in good condition, they do not need to eat that much to stay in good shape. And the horses that came from the mountains adapted really quickly so they seem to be easier to keep here in this climate rather than in the cold weather. But we have other problems that we have to deal with, like ticks and things that this type of weather brings. Riding in the mountains is harder because of the lack of oxygen, here from that aspect it’s better. Most of the times the weather is very good, then we have the advantage of being right on the beach and ride in the ocean and take the saddles off… The horses love it too, they get down to the beach and they move their feet in the water, they roll in the sand. We are using the ocean as a treatment as well for problems with their hooves or with their legs or anything like swellings. Salty water helps for inflammations and the waves that binds against their injuries.”
“Another important aspect of the work here is the food. We have to buy in all the food because there is not enough pasture yet, so we have to manage that daily as well and make sure the horses are well looked after because of the climate. Whenever they sweat it gives them another skin problems so there is things that we have to do on a daily basis. Their hooves get dry because of the dust and the heat. So there is quite a few different adaptations that we have to do.”
There certainly are a number of tasks associated with keeping the horses at Las Olas in tip top shape, but Jemma and her staff are up to the job and tirelessly working for the well being of all of them!
The Equestrian Center provides a breeding facility as well, where there are various different breeds of horses; “Paso Colombiano”, which are the horses used for trail riding and Hanoverians from Germany, that are typically sport horses, among which, five are pure breed. Our stallion is a Licensed Hanoverian which means he had to go through a licensing test with very high benchmarks for the horse to pass, which is why there are about 400 of them in the world!
The stallion at Las Olas is the sire of all the foals born here, bred with Arabs, English, and Holstein horses. This variety of horses allows our owners to benefit from a wide number of activities
“In Las Olas Equestrian Center, owners can do almost anything they can imagine. They don’t have to ride to be able to enjoy the horses. Just from being close to them, people can get so many benefits, being in touch with them gives you a sense of tranquility, it’s relaxing… they just make you smile!
“People can play with the horses, do natural horsemanship, they do not need to ride if they don’t want to, they can enjoy activities on the ground such as feeding them, grooming, getting them to do things. If they are more active they could ride and go into the ocean, go on trail rides, jumping, dressage… We have cross-country, endurance as well. And depending on the demand we could have Polo in the future…”
So whether it is a ride to the beach to watch the sunset or a taking a relaxing trail ride through our private nature reserve, thanks to Jemma, the Las Olas Equestrian Center will be a spectacular experience for horse lovers and nature lovers alike.
Call +1 (888) 406-8660 or contact us now to find our how you can be a part of Las Olas Ecuador today!