Riding in Jamaica
Jamaica is a beautiful island with just so much to take in. There is
an abundance of wildlife, able to claim the broad expanses of terrain
that has been neither developed nor commercialized as home. There are
mountains and beaches, forests and wetlands. Traveling by car moves
too fast to be able to really see the countryside, to really be able
to appreciate all that Jamaica has to offer. The best way to explore
natural Jamaica is by horseback, riding the numerous nature trails.
Horseback riding opportunities are widely available throughout Jamaica,
simply because it really is the best way to view the flora and fauna.
Rocky Point Stables in Montego Bay is one of many such establishments
operating on the island. This one specializes in offering tours of local
Also located in Montego Bay is Chukka Blue Horse Back Riding. The two
and a half hour long tours bring riders through rainforest areas, the
grounds of an old sugar mill and its 18th century ruins, a small agricultural
town, and a beach. The horses are healthy and well cared for and seem
to enjoy their part of the journey, meaning guilt-free pleasure for
the riders as they enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace.
In Negril, thereís the Rhodes Hall Plantation, also offering tours by
horseback. The tour guides know the area well and readily point out
places and things of interests and know the local tales that go with
them. New riders are treated with care and patience. Ocho Rios is the
location of Chukka Cove Equestrian Centre. In addition to three hour
long riding tours that include riding the beach, this stables has polo
Hooves, found at 61 Windsor Road, Saint Anneís Bay, is yet another place
offering guided tours by horseback. They offer a wide variety of tour
packages. Among these is the fascinating Bush Doctor Tour, which cost
$55 per person and includes a variety of extras, such as transportation
to and from the vacationerís hotel.
Bush doctors, during the times of slavery, were the only medical care
that the enslaved peoples had. These bush doctors were well versed in
the arts of natural healing, and the medicinal uses of local herbs and
plants. Even today, in many of the more rural areas, it is the bush
doctor who cares for the people in times of illness. This tour brings
the rider through beautiful terrain and explores, among other things,
the places in which the plants important for health and healing are
The other guided tours available are the Rainforest Ride, the Beach
Ride, and the Honeymoon Ride, each as unique and fascinating as the
Bush Doctor Ride. Hooves also offers private rides and riding vacations.
If you enjoy horseback riding or would like to try it out, this is a
place that should not be missed.
Exploring Jamaica by horseback is an entirely different experience than
doing so by motor vehicle. Thereís a deeper connection made to the surroundings,
a greater appreciation, born of slowing down and taking the time to
really see the surroundings. Thatís something far too few of us do in
the hectic pace of our modern world, even while vacationing.
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