4/20/13

Riding Horses in the Ocean

There are things in life that seem really exciting.  Things that don't present themselves on a regular basis.  Things that when I get the opportunity to do, I most likely will, because I might not get the opportunity again.  Horseback riding in the ocean was one of those things.  I had seen pictures that had me dreaming of what a cool experience that would be.  So here goes....

Getting on the horse

You start off by being selected for your horse by "the selector".  Not sure what his criteria is, but he calls out the horses name and then calls you.  You head over to the platform and get on your horse.  The platform does make it very easy to get on...thank goodness.  It would have been entertaining to see it done from the ground!

Riding horses with the cruise ship in the background

riding horses in the sand

Then they have you ride around in a circle, enclosed in an area, so the horses are contained.  This is basically practice time.  They give you advise on what you are doing right and wrong.  It made me feel more confident for the rest of the trip.

Riding horses along the beach

Luckily, the horses are really smart and know what to do.  However, they do want to get too close to the horse in front of them, which is very frowned upon by the guides.  The best part of the entire excursion was this leisurely walk along the beach.  It was beautiful, relaxing and easy.

Riding horses around the island

As we explored the island, we had to go up sand hills and down again.  I know horseback riders are cracking up right now, but this part was really difficult for me.  I was a little nervous and uncomfortable.  But not so much that I couldn't take a few photos.  ;)  My darn horse kept getting really close to the one in front and I wasn't real confident on how to control him.  

Riding horses in the ocean

At the very end, you change into your swimsuit and have a little jaunt in the ocean.  This was the part I was looking forward to the most.  I was surprised at how fast the horses run in the water.  I was also surprised when the horse in front of me pooped and I had to go right through it.  Bare legged through poopy water was not the dream I had of this experience. ;)  The picture below captures the dream I had.

Horseback riding in the ocean with the cruise ship behind

That is the guide, followed by my husband and kids, with the cruise ship in the background.  This is the kind of picture you see when you book a dream excursion like this.  I love that about pictures.  You put your own story on them.  I'm sorry if I messed up your dream story that could have gone with the above picture.  But I am here to tell you the real story.  Horseback riding in the ocean was a once in a lifetime experience, especially for me.  I do not feel the need to do it again.  Neither did anyone else in my family.  

Have you ever been super excited about an excursion or part of your trip and it just didn't live up to the dream?


44 comments:

  1. What a really cool experience, minus the poopy water. Although even with that, I bet you're glad you did it. The photos are great, and I'm so wishing I could dive into that clear water, again minus the poop.

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    1. I was glad I did it. I try to enjoy everything as best I can. Even with poop!

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  2. I love your honesty! It's funny how looking back on memories, even good ones, doesn't mean you want to repeat the experience! The pictures are beautiful though.

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    1. Thanks, my honesty is a blessing and a curse, depending on who you ask. ;)

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  3. I've always wanted to try this! Looks really amazing.

    BTW how did you get your blog name on your photos?

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    1. I'll shoot you an email about the watermarks.

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  4. We did this excursion on a cruise we took a little over a year ago. It was probably the most amazing experiences I've ever had!! So glad you did this and enjoyed it!

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  5. I love that last picture! It really is a picture perfect postcard you see on those excursion booklets. You seriously need to send it to Holland America. These are some great pictures. I've wanted to do this excursion too but thanks for the reality check. I may just do it once though just to check it off the list.

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    1. Thanks for the picture compliments! You should definitely do it, not everyone will have my poopy experience. ;)

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  6. We did something like this in Grand Turk and loved it. It definitely is one of those things that you dream about doing while cruising. The horses are ridiculously smart and it felt like they were on autopilot. LOL!

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    1. I know, I really was impressed with how they knew exactly what to do.

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  7. I was in Mexico a few weeks ago, expecting great food and relaxation. It was relaxing, but bordered on boring. The resort was smaller than I expected. And the food was awful. I'm glad I went, kind of like you say, but I have no need to return.

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    1. Oh, I hate that you had that experience. Hopefully your next trip will be better. :)

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  8. I guess that, when it comes to animals, people have very different experiences. Or with any adventurous activity, really. It really depends on the fears, expectations, etc. of the visitor.

    For instance, I've gone horseback riding and absolutely loved it. I'm sad to hear you didn't have the same experience, though! :(

    - Maria Alexandra

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    1. I actually enjoyed having had this experience, I was just nervous and a little grossed out. :)

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  9. It looks like an amazing experience but I think I'd pass! I went horseback riding once and I was terrified the entire time - add the into the ocean part and I might pass out and fall off the horse! ;) Having said that, my kids would guilt me into it and I'd end up riding the horse in the ocean! Glad you got your postcard picture!

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    1. Your comment cracked me up! Horses are very big creatures and therefore a little scary...I agree.

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  10. Oh my gosh, the horse pooping in the water; yeah, that's kinda gross. lol Love how you weave the story. I'd love to ride along the beach some day on a horse.... not sure about actually in the water, though. So beautiful there! I still can't get over how beautiful that water is.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week's issue.

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  11. I really thought I'd left you a comment on this post. I know I cracked up when I read it. I'm sorry- probably not what you wanted to hear but I just know that if I were ever brave enough to jump on a horse and head off in the water, the exact same thing would happen to me. I just know it.

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    1. You left in on my Google + account post. It cracked me up!

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    2. Thank you. Now I don't feel crazy. I just KNEW I'd left a comment. :)

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  12. It looks dreamy to me - I'd love to ride through beautiful turquoise water like that!

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  13. Okay, the poop would have grossed me out too but to do something like that would be totally worth it! Were the horses swimming or only running?

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    1. They got pretty deep, like only their heads sticking out of the water, so I 'm not really sure. Seems like something I should know, but I was more concerned with my life and the poop! ;)

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  14. Looks like fun and the water beautiful (except for the poop). The only time I did this sort of thing everyone elses horse rode into the water but mine would not go in past his knees - obviously he had issues!

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    1. Oh no! I hope they refunded your $$!

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  15. HAHAHAH! Looking at just the photos alone I'd say "Wow! That's an awesome trip and I'd love to do that one day" but now that you are talking about horse poop in the water... I change my mind!

    I do like horseback riding on the beach though. Done it a couple of times but they've never gone into the water and I'm glad they didn't! ;)

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  16. I am blown away with how incredibly blue that water is. Did you book this as a shore excursion through the cruise line or was it something you stumbled across once you were in port? So you didn't do some sort of circus trick and ride the horse standing up on the saddle when you saw the poop coming?

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    1. Yes, it was a shore excursion. And yes, I did almost stand up on the horse, I didn't mention that part! ;)

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    2. I have found that through the years, the things that were not planned are sometimes the most fun. My husband and I seemed to always be looking for something usual - a gift, an item we left at home or a particular restaurant someone told us to visit. Those moments end up making our trip - we always find unexpected things or people. Those are usually the happiest memories! Love the photos from your trip!!

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    3. Thanks, Diane! I agree with you, sometimes those unexpected moments are the best!

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  17. My husband and I went horse back riding as part of an ecotour in Costa Rica. I was terrified for a good part of the trip. I wish my horse had only been interested in the horse in front of him. No, he was interested in trying to brush me off against trees. While you went up and down sandy hills, we went up and down muddy hills and down the steep, slippery bank of a river we had to ford. I really did not see how my horse was going to thread his way through the rocks when the space was just big enough for maybe one hoof at a time. I finally just closed my eyes and held on for dear life, hoping that my horse did not have a death wish. We had another opportunity to horseback ride to a waterfall the next day. I let the guide know that I was planning to pass, thank you very much, but he insisted that this would be a very easy ride and that it was "muy, muy plano". I speak Spanish and in case I didn't, he was indicating with his hand that the path was very flat. Wrong!!!! After an hour of slogging up hill on the poor horses who were almost to their knees in mud, we all refused to ride the beasts back down.

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    1. Oh goodness...that is awful! I hope you had some great experiences on your trip as well. :)

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  18. This does look fabulous. It's so interesting to hear your honesty about the experience. I'll never forget when I took my family on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.I though this was a once in a lifetime experience and I wanted it to be the best it could be for my family. It was a HUGE expense but I thought it was worth it. However, EVERYONE in my family but me got violently ill on the ride! So here we had spend so much money and everyone had such a terrible time. LOL!

    Happy to have you at "Oh, the PLACES you've been!"

    - The Tablescaper

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    1. That's awful! Sometimes those things we are so looking forward to turn out the worst. Then there are those surprise wonderful experiences that make the trip amazing!

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  19. That looks amazing. Everyone has to poop somewhere... haha

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  20. Chukka Cove in Jamaica is great for this

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  21. Can I get information on this? Where you did it and all of that. Trying to plan a vacation out there!😊 Thank you

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    1. This was a booked excursion through Holland America Cruises on their private island in the Bahamas.

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  22. Can I get information on this? Where you did it and all of that. Trying to plan a vacation out there!😊 Thank you

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  23. Hi Sonja,

    I've never heard of riding horses in the ocean. I'm kinda chicken, so I don't think it'd be a dream of mine, especially through poopy water! Thanks for playing today.

    Please come back and tell me what you think of my post.

    Happy Blue Monday!

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