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Horseback riding in the sea at Hooves, Jamaica

While we were staying in Jamaica earlier this year, we were really quite content relaxing in our beautiful resort, Goldeneye. But there was one activity we had our eye on – horseback riding through the jungle and across the golden sands of the beach! I think there are a couple of companies that offer this in Jamaica, but our resort recommended Hooves. They arranged a private transfer (with the most amazing driver called Laurel, one of the nicest, funniest people we met in Jamaica and we still speak fondly of her – we’re still in touch on Whatsapp!) and in around half an hour we were pulling up at the stables in St Ann’s Bay.

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Hooves is a family business which has been running for over 20 years, with a very experienced team who you can see have a fantastic relationship with the horses. Many of the beautiful horses were rescued and brought back to good health, and are now living a very happy life at Hooves. I was given my horse (named Lover Boy!!) and became acquainted. As I was waiting for Tim to get on his horse, mine spotted a Mongoose which scurried across his path. I was scared he was going to bolt but he just huffed at it – even the horses are chilled out in Jamaica!

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I couldn’t really take photos while on the horse (for obvious reasons, I’m not a pro!) but we were given a private tour through the jungle, located on a World Heritage Site and sanctioned by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the Jamaica Tourist Board. There were lots of historic sites en-route which our guide showed us, as well as talking to us about the variety of plants and trees surrounding us.

Upon arrival at the beach, we were led to our own little beach hut where we were served a bottle of sparkling wine and a jerk chicken meal! There were a few different options for this trip and it didn’t cost much more to do this private, more exclusive version of the horseback riding. We’re so glad we did – shortly after, a group of people arrived en-masse with their horses, but we were perfectly content in our own little hut with a view over the sand and sea!

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We returned to our horses and now came the most fun part of the afternoon – riding in the sea! Once again, because we’d chosen the private tour, we were able to do this by ourselves with our guide. The horses were more than happy to dip into the water.

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There is one thing I discovered during this trip, however. That my husband should not be trusted on horseback when there’s a camera around. Despite hating having his photo taken normally (particularly selfies!), apparently all inhibitions go out of the window when I can’t see what’s going on…

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I was crying with laughter when I saw these, I think we might have to get that last one above printed and framed!

It was such a fun experience, I’m so glad we ventured out of the little paradise of Goldeneye! A big thank you to the team at Hooves.

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If you’re going to Jamaica and thinking about doing this, you can find out more on the Hooves website here, or read the Trustpilot reviews here.

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