Braco Stables Jamaica Trip Report – Horseback Riding in Jamaica

Braco Stables Jamaica Trip Report –

Ride a Sea horse into Paradise

I rode a seahorse into paradise at Braco Stables Jamaica

I rode a seahorse into paradise at Braco Stables Jamaica

 

Horseback Riding at Braco Stables Jamaica

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.

Who will love this tour at Braco Stables Jamaica?

Darrian ….

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.

Swimming in the sea on horseback with Braco Stables Jamaica

Darrell …

Darrell gave it high ratings.

Sherry …

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.

Horses taking a break at Braco Stables Jamaica

Horses taking a break at Braco Stables Jamaica

Just so you know:

  • If you don’t like zoos or other activities where animals are under human control, skip this tour. You will be riding a horse and you have the option of “swimming” in the sea on the horse.
  • We are not horse people; however, we did not see any evidence of abuse when we went. We did ask the manager about the care of the horses. We were told that they were seen by the vets regularly, a blacksmith comes once per month for reshoeing, and they are let out to pasture to roam free every day.
  • This ride is for beginners. There is no galloping. If you are an experienced rider, you will likely be bored out of your mind. Do a private ride where you can go at your own pace.
  • The tour at Braco Stables lasts about 2 hours after leaving the stables.
  • Tours are done at 10:30am and 2pm daily.
  • Children must be over age 5 to ride. Pregnant women are not allowed to ride.
  • Each person gets their own horse and safety helmet. There is no doubling up, not even for children.
  • You do not need to be a swimmer to swim with the horses. Life vests are provided.
  • Don’t even bother trying to guess which horse you will get or try to pick a horse that you like. That isn’t how it works. The guides use their judgment to pair you with a horse. The horses are then lined up based on their temperament. They don’t all get along.
  • Wear long pants otherwise, you will likely end up with chafing of your legs either from the stirrups or from the side of the horse. Capris are not long pants. Wear pants that go down to your ankle.
  • Wear a swimsuit underneath your clothes
  • Bring a towel. You will need it not only to dry off but it helps to make your saddle a little more comfortable.
  • Wear water shoes or sneakers
  • Sunscreen and a hat with a brim is a good idea.
  • There is a canteen to buy snacks and drinks so bring cash.
  • Don’t forget to tip the guides. It is expected.
  • A water bottle, especially one that can be clipped to your waist is a good idea. It is very hot and there is a lot of standing around in uncovered areas.
  • There is a lot of waiting around, especially if you are a part of a large group.
  • This experience is great for first-time riders and children. There is no galloping or even trotting on the tour. 
  • The horses walk in single file, nose to butt. You will not be riding side by side or as a group.
  • There is a 250lb weight limit to ride at Braco Stables. You could be weighed to confirm your weight.
  • We were able to ride together. Some TripAdvisor reviews, however, indicate that groups may be split up because people are lined up based on how the horses get along.
  • With large groups, it is hard to do any real education on the tour. Imagine 22 horses lined up in a row with a guide at the front and another at the back. In retrospect, I think we should have requested a private ride as there would have been more engagement with the guides with a smaller group.
  • Especially if there is a large group it takes a while to be paired with a horse and to get saddled up. This is done in an open area so it can be actually quite hot.
  • The best part of the tour for me was when we came back we were given a drink which was more like a slushie. It was wonderful. I was greedy enough to ask for a second cup. Well, no point being too proud only to die of thirst, right?
  • Not all of the horses at Braco Stables swim so we had to take turns doing the swim in the sea.
  • Do the tour on a day when cruise ships are not in port otherwise you will end up being part of a very large group.
  • Private rides are available through Braco Stables and do cost more but if I had to do it again that would be what I would opt for. Otherwise, I would go on a day when there are only a few people on the tour
Horseback riding in Jamaica at Braco Stables

Horseback riding in Jamaica at Braco Stables

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

Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.

Visit our website: http://www.MakeItJamaica.com

Give us a call: 866.624.7684 (toll free) or 914.709.0457

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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