We did a 2:30pm horse to beach ride at Braco Stables in July 2016. We paid for the tour ourselves and have not been compensated in any way for this review. If you want the main points, skip to the bottom. Otherwise, read on.
Braco Stables is about 5 minutes west of Mais Oui Villa, 15 minutes east of Falmouth’s cruise ship pier, and about 45 minutes from Montego Bay.
At first, it seemed like we were all just standing around for no good reason waiting for the tour to begin while nothing seemed to be happening. At least that’s what it felt like. Well, I learned later that all the standing around was a critical part of the experience. The guides were actually sizing us up to decide with which horse each rider should be paired. Once everyone was saddled up with safety helmet in place, it was off on the trail.
The horses know where they are going so if you follow the instructions you should have no trouble guiding the horse. For some reason, the horse I had kept wanting to eat everything at the side of the road so I was constantly having to pay attention to how I was holding the reins and nudging him to keep him in line.
The ride to the beach took about 30 minutes. Very little of the ride is actually on the beach. The highlight of the tour at Braco Stables occurs when you get to the beach cove where you get to swim with the horses. You can stand on the back of the horse and take pictures. Depending on the size of the group, you will be there around 45 minutes. Then it is 20-25 minute ride back to where you started using a different route.
The time per person on the horse in the water is less than 5 minutes, just enough time to go around the small swimming area twice. The horses sort of part walk and part swim in the sea. On our tour, there were only two horses who could swim so it took a little while for everyone to get a turn. You can swim in the beach cove while you wait.
When the horses are swimming in the sea they make sort of a moaning sound, which made them seem like they were in distress. We were assured that this was normal and was equivalent to how humans would breathe heavier while exercising.
There is a photographer who takes pictures of you on the horses. You get to stand on the horse at the end and have your picture taken.
Darrian just loved it. He loved being on the horse and swimming in the sea. I was pleasantly surprised at how well he was able to handle the horse with the prompting of the guides. This was his first time on a horse and the guides made him feel comfortable. He appreciated their safety briefings and instructions prior to riding. He felt safe the whole time.
Darrell gave it high ratings.
In all fairness, I think the tour just didn’t quite fit my personality. To put things in perspective, I dread 18 holes of golf because I start thinking about all the other things I could be doing with that time. Nine holes are right up my alley. In the same way, if I am on a horse that is just walking, I get bored easily. I need some form of mental stimulation. We were a fairly large group so that probably affected how much sharing about the local area that the guides could do. To add insult to injury, I didn’t bring a towel for myself and my leg and butt paid the price.
Braco Stables is about 5 minutes west of Mais Oui Villa.
To contact them, visit their website at http://bracostables.com.jm or by phone at 876-954-0185.
‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian
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