Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever have a chance to ride an elephant- my spirit animal! Not riding in a circle at a county fair type riding, but like, really riding an elephant “Mahout” style through the jungle and into the river to help give him a bath! Dream come true! I got to spend an entire day learning how to ride and care for the elephants from the Mahout riders, the trainer/keepers at the @fourseasons Tented Camp in Thailand.
The Mahout riders are more than just trainers, they have a very special bond with their elephant partners. They are the soul riders of their elephants and treat them like family, even to the point of living together. The word “mahout” is a Hindi word that literally means “elephant keeper”. I am so beyond grateful that they let me be a part of that soul bond with the elephant as if I was a true mahout rider.
As part of the day-long training session, they outfitted me with the uber comfy mahout trainers uniform and taught me how to communicate with the elephants through certain Thai words and commands so that I could help guide him on our ride through the jungle. I also learned the rescue story and history of my elephant named Coke.
Our ride through the jungle at the end of the day ended at the river for a quick swim and bath for all- Definitely my favorite part! Of all the places I’ve ever been, this was by far the most special and amazing experience! Number one on my bucket list? Going back!