Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Horses on the Beach on Grand Cayman

I love horses. Guilty. Oh so guilty. It's still on my list to take riding lessons. If I could, I'd just spend a nice summer working on a horse farm. Scooping poo and brushing and getting to know these majestic creatures who wear their hearts in their eyes. Sigh. Maybe someday.

For now, I settle myself on being around them as often as possible. During a cruise I took with family for my dad's 60th birthday, I signed up straight away to ride horses on the beach for an excursion in the Cayman Islands.

Grand Cayman is a vacationers paradise - ease of travel,  gorgeous weather, bright colors, beautiful flowers, and white sand beaches. There are plenty of things to do on the island so it makes for a perfect trip all on its own. I was only there one day during a week-long cruise so I didn't waste any time. I soaked up the sunshine, grabbed some street meat, and walked the town with family. That morning, however, it was just me, a family friend called Kerrie, and our group of horse-riding tourists.

This wasn't my first time riding horses on the beach, I'd also done it in Rosarito, Mexico and some trail riding in Cuba. Every time I've gotten to ride, I've been stuck in a line trotting along at a slow, steady pace. This time I was tired of it and got bold. I lied and told the tour guide that I'd ridden lots before and asked could I take my steed for a quick run up the beach on my own. What do you know? He said yes! After the group went along on the normal tour, he gave leave for me to take off. I kicked her belly, and my horse took off at a full run. It was faster than I expected, and bumpier! But, I held on and the wind whipped around and we made great speed all the way to the fence so far up the beach I couldn't even see the group anymore. It didn't matter, the horse turned around and rode right back. I cannot wait to get to ride at full speed again. I still can't believe I did that without having any idea what to expect. I totally could have fallen. I guess I just trusted my grip on the reigns and a false comfort from watching horses in films. I don't think I'd want to run much more without having some guidance to proper form. I'd hate to be putting the horse through more struggle by doing it wrong. Whew. It was so fun though. Now, my love of horses is just stronger.