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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Horseback Riding Questions

    We would like to hear from anyone has has done the horseback riding in the morning on the beach. We are repeaters but have never done this. We would like to try it this year. How much is it? What should we wear? Did you feel like it was worth it? How long were you gone from the resort? Any info would be appreciated

    Thanks!
    JRW

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,157

    Default

    Pnutmon,

    That would depend on which resort you're staying at. There is horseback riding on the beach in both the Ocho Rios and Negril area. If you're going to be in Ocho Rios we'd recommend the Hooves plantation/beach ride. It's about $90/person, lasts a couple of hours and was well worth it. You won't miss a meal going to it and it's best to ride in pants with t-shirt but you'll want to wear a swimsuit underneath. On the Negril side we tried the Rose Hall beach ride. It's about $70/person but was not so well organized. Maybe the Chukka beach ride on that side of the island would be a better choice. Hopefully someone will comment on this. It's really something you should do while in Jamaica. Be sure to bring a waterproof camera so you can take lots of pictures.

    Enjoy!

    Bart & Bug

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi there,

    My husband and I did the horse back riding excursion that is offered near the resort at a plantation. On arrival we met the guides that would be taking us who were fantastic. Then we got on our horses and went across the road and went in a large circle around the hill side. The guides pointed out fruit, plants, crocodiles and told us a little history. We paid $75.00 each for this trip. We did walk in the water with our horses and I think it made for some of the best pictures of the trip. With all of this said it was a very hot day and riding around a hill side moving walking speed was a bit boring for me. Once we got back we all opted to not take the horses swimming in the water because we were all ready to head back to CSA. I am sure other people loved it but we won't do it again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    520

    Default

    We did horseback riding at CSA this year over at Rhodes plantation it was a morning ride. The plantation was about a 10min ride from the resort we were back by 1pm
    Erika & Sean

  5. #5

    Default Hygiene issues

    Hi

    I have many many years experience with horses and have competed at a high level.

    The horse riding is a lot better than we experienced on other caribbean islands in that the horses certainly were in good condition and clearly had well looked after feet.

    HOWEVER, we did find the helmets on offer pretty disgusting. They STINK of previous users' sweat and I simply could not put one on my head. The only way around it was to wear a baseball cap UNDER the helmet - that sort of helped...It's the only negative point I have.

    Perhaps I'm being too fussy.....

    Good luck!
    [FONT="Arial"]Tracy and Graham, London

    Tower Isle- August 2006
    Sans Souci - August 2008
    Sans Souci & Tower Isle - September 2010

  6. #6

    Default

    You'll also find info at the tour desk about a small family run stable called Country Western. Group size can range from 2-10 people, depending on the season. No such thing as single file-keep it to a walk. Spread out on the trail ride portion through the pasture lands and mangrove areas. Canter the horse if you're comfortable with that. Once down on the beach you can go for a nice gallop...or again, walk, depending on your comfort level. Rather than ride parallel to the shore, the horses head straight out to the horizon...they LOVE the water. You'll go out far enough for the horse to actually swim...no fear about falling off...you're only a few inches above the water line while still on their back.

    Morning rides are best while it's cooler for you and the horse. Pickup times are usually about 8:20-8:30am and you will be back at the resort by lunch time.

    Price is roughly around $65 per person..includes the ride and the transportation to the the stable and back to the resort. Country Western is in Little London - 20 minutes from Negril.

    You'll need to wear some type of shoe that won't fall off for the land portion of the ride...wear pants (hot though) or shorts...some people even ride in their bathing suits as you'll be getting wet anyway and then air dry by the time you're back at the stable. Do bring a towel to throw over the saddle to prevent chaffing...sunscreen and a hat too if you burn easily. Also, bring a camera..the guides are fantastic about getting some good photos for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    152

    Default

    We did the horseback ride and swim with Chukka tours. I highly recommend it. It took about 45 minutes to get to the location but the drive was very scenic. We paid $75 per person and booked it right at the tour desk at the Great House building. This tour was one of the highlights from our trip. To get to take the horses in the ocean was AMAZING. I will post pictures later if this site doesn't give me problems.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,417

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Road Gypsy View Post
    . . . . Once down on the beach you can go for a nice gallop . . . .
    No one in their right mind would allow an inexperienced rider to gallop. It would be dangerous for the rider, the horse, and bystanders.

    A horse has four natural gaits: walk, trot, canter, and gallop. A gallop is an all-out run. On the excursion, your horse will walk or might perhaps trot. If you're an experienced rider, the guide might allow you to ask the horse for a canter and might ride up ahead of the others with you.

    I rode for many years and had my own horse; the only time we galloped was when he was spooked by something and took off like a shot. It took me a bit of time (probably seemed longer than it actually was) to get him under control, and it was a bit frightening.
    Last edited by Pamela; July 9th, 2010 at 07:31 AM.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  9. #9

    Default

    As a rider who has owned horses in the past, I have to agree with Pamela. No reputable stable that wants to stay in business and not have countless accidents would let people go galloping all over the place. Even a canter is dangerous, as it's faster than the average inexperienced rider is comfortable with, and can lead to a gallop, whch can lead to a runaway horse. Oh, and they seem to use English saddles in Jamaica (correct?), which have nothing to hang onto like western saddles. Riding abreast rather than single file can also lead to horses wanting to race each other. That's a big part of why beginners ride single file, nose to tail with a ride at the front. Most people haven't a clue how to steer or control a horse. Horses know it and some will even try to rub people off on trees. It's usually only old, tired, sour or sore horses that never want to at least canter a little and have a little fun.
    Horses will be horses. They have a mind and can certainly be unpredictable, but risks can, and should, be minimized.

    I read the post from Randymon that riding has been suspended from CTI. I respect Couples decision to maintain a safe environment for guests, but it is a shame, as we were looking forward to it. Sure, it's just a walk through the plantation, which may seem dull to some, but really it's more about the nature trekking aspect and seeing the countryside that interested me.
    It seemed to be so low key and safe, so I was surprsed they had a safety related "unpleasant incident". If it was a dangerous horse, I hope they get rid of it. If it was careless/incompetent staff person, I hope they get rid of him/her, or find a new stable so we can get back in the saddle!

  10. #10

    Default

    Pamela and Jamaicamecrazy,

    You're right...no one in their right mind would allow an inexperienced person to gallop (have never yet met nor seen someone leery of, or new to riding want to go all out.yet there may be someone like that, anything is possible.)

    However, the guides at the stable I mentioned very much do know what they're doing...and they are very much aware of the actual riding ability of the guests that go out. A client can always claim to be "experienced"....but the experience is noted right off the bat as soon as one is around horses...where you stand in relation to the horse itself while waiting, how you approach the animal and interact with it, how you mount, how you sit the saddle, how you hold the reins - the works. Should the guides note that one is not as "experienced" as professed, they are right there next to you when you want to break away from the group, and will discreetly move so that giving the horse it's head is not going to be possible, then set the pace that will be fast enough. If necessary, though polite enough about it, they will flatly tell you you're not ready to be the cowboy / cowgirl you think you are...ride alongside so that a canter may be enough to 'feel free'....yet still you'll have come back feeling as if you had the time of your life.

    Their horses are also well matched to the rider, the horses are not even saddled up generally until you arrive and the match up process between horse and rider started - call it customized if you will.

    NO ONE is given a 'firebrand' horse if there is the slightest doubt you are not a 100% bonafide rider. But, by the same token, someone who is experienced is not penalized with a 'gentler' (quieter, calmer) horse when a true (less regulated?) ride is wanted.

    When and if the gallop is done, there is no one in the way....there are no "bystanders" to run over...you're on a private beach, not even fishermen with boats here. The other horses/riders not interested in a canter or gallop stay back for a cold drink of jelly coconut water or soda while the saddles (Western, one or two English saddles) are being changed for the swim pad used for the water portion of the experience.

    Those who want to try riding for the first time...or who don't ride often...or just aren't in the mood for anything 'frisky' - all will find the ride 100% enjoyable and to their style and speed.

    It's a matter of communication...both before the ride and once at the stable...which is highly possible, recommended, and in my opinion, comes naturally and genuinely when dealing with smaller family run places as opposed to establishments that cater to the masses and with large group sizes. If one is really an experienced or 'more professional' rider and wants more freedom, a time is set up when no one else is in the group...you have a private ride time all for yourself....again, the benefit of dealing with small companies who can cater to the client....not the client having to "fit" the establishment's dictates.


    I too have had horses...and where the terrain was open, though over trails and open fields, never on a beach...yes...when the vibe took us both, the horse was allowed it's head. I only rode bareback and with a hackmore...had to 'teach' myself how to ride in a saddle here and having the horse use a bit...hate both, but unless I ride on my own, if I go riding with people here on vacation, I go with what the stable prefers in deference to their safety policies when dealing with hotel / resort guests / non-residents.

    I still stand by the stable / family's practices and safety standards, as well as their respect for clients and animals alike.

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