Riding Horses on the Beach in Jamaica
Riding a horse on the beach has been #1 on my life bucket list for as long as I can remember. I love trail riding in New York, but there’s just something so majestic about riding a horse along the sand with the open ocean next to you. I can happily say that I was finally able to cross it off of my list this year!
Chukka Triple Play
My family and I went to Montego Bay, Jamaica so naturally I scoured the internet until I came across Chukka. FUN FACT: Chukka means ‘play time’ in the Jamaican language Patois. Chukka Carribean Adventures is a tour company that offers a wide range of adventures including, you guessed it, horseback riding on the beach! I convinced my entire family to tag along and we decided to go with their triple play package – ATVing through the junlge, ziplining through the trees, and a horseback ride and swim combo.
Ride on the Beach
First, let me start by saying the guides at Chukka are AMAZING! They were all so friendly and a pleasure to get to know during our adventures. We grabbed our Troxel helmets and they matched everyone up with a horse. The guides paired me with a beautiful, yet moody mare named Shakira. We did a few practice circles around the mounting area ring and then rode off through the horse paddocks which they explained was land from the old sugar cane plantations. The paddock trails lead down to the beach which is covered with Mangrove trees. The entire experience is surreal. I love a good trail ride, but the tropical scenery at Sandy Beach does not disappoint.
Once you ride back to the horse overhang, it is time to switch horses and ride off into the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Switch your helmet for an around the waist life preserver, and your leather saddle for a bareback saddle. (Ladies, if you are bringing a gentleman with you, request a horse that does not have high withers. The original horse Jay was placed on would not have been a pleasant experience for him.) The ‘swim’ portion of the excursion is very short, the horses work hard and they are careful not to overexert them. I really didn’t know what to expect during this part. I am sure you, like me, have at least pawed into a pond or stream with your favorite equine, but actually swimming with them is an experience I had not had. Spoiler alert – The horses clamp their teeth and smile while making this very awkward noise to keep the water out. I couldn’t keep from laughing, and Jay was behind me panicked that we were hurting them. While their sounds were a bit unsettling at first, the guides explained what was going on and we were able to enjoy the rest of the time in the water. While it wasn’t the majestic experience I was envisioning (I was concentrating on not floating off into the sea), I can honestly say I felt like a blissful, carefree kid again giggly and laughing the entire time.
If you ever have the chance to do a ride and swim combo in a beautiful Caribbean setting, do it. I cannot say enough about the entire experience of it all. It is without a doubt an experience I will remember forever.
Have you ever gone horseback riding on the beach? I want to hear about it! Let me know where you went and what you thought below.