Latin America has a highly developed horse culture which predates the start of our Western riding culture in the US by several centuries. In fact our “cowboy” culture and riding style was mainly derived from techniques like those of the gaucho used south of the border and originally developed long ago in Spain. Many loan words from Spanish like lariat, chaps and rodeo are proof of the connection. The Spanish conquest was greatly facilitated by the advantage horses gave them in warfare over the local Indian tribes who were much harder to control after tribes like the Comanche began to acquire horses themselves in the late 16th century.
Today there are many opportunities for first class recreational horseback riding in South America and Central America where the horse culture remains strong. You can ride some fine horses like the Criollos and the Peruvian Pasos while you visit the nesting grounds of the monarch butterflies in Mexico, the Mayan ruins of Belize, the rain forest of Costa Rica, the awe inspiring ruins of the Inca Empire in Peru, the pampas and Andes of Argentina or the glaciers of southern Chile.