I’m just back from the Turks and Caicos and I can finally check off a longtime must do from my adventure list. Y’all, I went horseback riding on the beach—or actually, in the ocean!!!
I’ve seen pictures for a long time on Pinterest and Instagram of people riding horses on the beach. I guess it’s not uncommon in the Caribbean, but when I started researching my trip to the Turks and Caicos and realized that this was possible there, it soon jumped to the #1 priority of the trip.
While it’s possible to ride horses on the beach on a number of Caribbean islands (and Mexico), the experience you’ll have in TCI is pretty special. Read on to see why…
We rode with Provo Ponies (isn’t the name perfect??) on the island of Providenciales. We were on their hour-long morning group ride with a group of about 12. We met at their stables on the southeast side of the island and got prepped for our ride. Everyone was matched with a horse according to weight and when the guides helped you on your horse, they spent a nice long while giving you the rundown of your horse’s personality and tendencies so you’d know exactly what to expect and how to handle them.
I rode Ike, a big sweetie with years of experience leading nervous riders on their once in a lifetime ride along the sea.
We had two guides on our trip, Caroline and Camaro and after we were all saddled up, we headed out of the corral single file along a road for about 10-15 minutes until we picked up the trail to Long Bay Beach. While obviously you come to ride on the beach, we actually though the trail was pretty cool! It was a sand covered cut out through lush vegetation and it felt like we were headed to a secret place that nobody else knew about.
Once we cleared the trail and the beach was insight, the horses seemed to get excited as they knew what was coming next. We walked along the beach for a little ways before Caroline led the group into the water. It’s hard to say who was more excited, the horses or the riders!
I’ll be honest…when I started planning this trip and initially booked the ride, I thought it would be epically fun and definitely the highlight of the trip. Then as it approached, I started telling myself that while I’m sure it would be fun, there was no way it would live up to the hype in my head. Let me tell you, when Ike started wading into the ocean and I felt the cool turquoise water on my feet, I was flying high! It honestly was as cool as I’d thought and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
The horses walked through the water as we made our way down the beach before we turned back and retraced our steps to the trail and made our way back to the stables. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about this experience with Provo Ponies. I probably won’t even attempt horseback riding on any other islands because there’s no way it could be as good-I mean, look at that water!
What You Need to Know:
- Provo Ponies is the main tour company that provides horseback rides on Provo and they’re highly reputable.
- They ride on Long Bay Beach, which wasn’t crowded AT ALL.
- You’ll definitely want to wear closed toe shoes and they even have a collection that you can borrow from if you don’t want to pack them in your luggage or don’t want to get yours wet.
- While you don’t need to wear jeans, you’ll definitely want to wear something that will at least cover your upper thighs. Long shorts would be fine. Most of the ladies wore yoga pants (including the guides).
- While I referred to this as horseback riding on the beach, you’re hardly on the beach at all-you’re in the water the entire time except when you’re entering and exciting the beach from the trail.
- They provide fanny packs for anything you don’t want to get wet, but if your phone is in a waterproof/resistant case, you should be fine holding on to it.
- Take a camera or phone with you. Your guide will happily snap plenty of photos of your group while you’re in the water (Camaro took dozens of us!). If you don’t have a waterproof camera or phone that you feel comfortable taking, the guides will take pictures of you and email them to you.
- We went on the hour ride (there’s also an hour and a half ride) and while I was worried that it wouldn’t be long enough, it was actually great. An hour was more than enough time, especially if you’re not used to being on a horse.
- Kids under 16 are required to wear a helmet but they have them available for adults as well.
- Most of our group were beginner riders and so we just went at a slow pace, but the guides are also very accommodation to experienced riders. We had two girls who were experienced riders in our group and Caroline led them at a canter along the sand on the way back while the rest of us continued to wade through the water.
- If you don’t have a rental car, they’ll arrange for a taxi to pick you up at your resort.
- Be sure to put on plenty of sunscreen before you go out as the sun is intense!
- Provo Ponies actually rescues a fair amount of their horses from surrounding islands and you can tell that all of the guides and hands seriously love their horses.
- As always, remember to tip your guides. They work hard!
I could gush on and on about how amazing this experience was, but you’ll have to try it yourself to truly understand. Have you been to the Turks and Caicos? Have you ridden with Provo Ponies? Jump on Facebook and let me know!
Also, here’s 15 more incredible things to do in Turks and Caicos.