Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Saddled with a Bear...Riding Becomes a Cinch

One of the excursions we took while on a cruise in February (the cruise where we won the treasured trophy! Across the Universe on a Cruise Ship ) was horseback  riding at Cozumel, Mexico.  This was our second time horseback riding together.  The first time was at Kualoa, Hawaii where we rode where Jurassic Park was filmed.  I am thankful that Ray agrees to these rides because he had really never had much experience riding...having only been on a horse twice before.  Even though I had ridden a lot and even had a couple of horses of my own...it still had been a number of years since I had ridden. 

I was disappointed in the horse given to Ray on the Kualoa ride.   It was a beautiful Appaloosa that I had had my eye on.  We informed the guide that Ray was inexperienced and that I was quite familiar with riding....so I would have thought she would have given Ray a well behaved horse.  The horse's name was Bear...and quite an appropriate name.  Bear was the typical trail horse in that he tried to eat grass (until Ray stopped that)...then tried eating tree leaves (until Ray stopped that)...then did the 'old trick...my leg itches and I need to scratch it with my nose' in order to jerk his head to get closer to the grass.  That all was typical...but I also noticed that each time the guide would ride close to Bear...Bear's ears would flatten and the other horse would dodge away.

 I trotted my horse closer to Ray and Bear's ears flattened again as he swung his head hitting my sweet horse and causing her to rear up a bit.  (I was glad I was on the rearing horse and not Ray)  The guide then informed us that Bear did not like other horses.  Hmmmm...why put an inexperienced rider on that type of horse?  Oh well...at least it did not cause Ray to refuse to try another ride.

Bear...note ears and swinging head.
This is the closest I would take my horse to Bear.  Note...Bear's ears.
The Cozumel ride was perfect.  The representative from the ranch met us after we got off the ship.  We were a group of about a dozen.  He told us the ranch was about half hour away and we would be riding a Mexican air conditioned taxi there.  We walked off at a brisk pace until we came to an open air vehicle with bench seats....and a "Fasten Seat Belts" sign hanging at the front.  It reminded me of a hay ride trailer with a canopy and the seats facing the front...bench seats with the type of seat belts we had in the 60s...similar to those on airlines.
Air conditioned taxi
I could describe the ride we took...but this picture of Ray and video say it better.  Ray said he was just glad that he could not see the road ahead as we heard the driver honking as he swerved through traffic, getting us to a country road where he left all in a blur.
Ray enjoying leisurely ride to ranch. 

Once we got to the ranch and combed the tangles from my hair...we were introduced to our horses and our guide, Clinton.  Clinton gave a quick lesson on riding...and demonstrated each step for the beginners.  We were divided into three groups depending on experience.  The horses were healthy and the saddles and reins were in great condition.  My horse was spirited but followed all directions I gave her and Ray's horse was steady but also reacted to Ray's directions.  So Ray was able to experiment with trotting, stopping, turning and maybe even a short canter. 

The ride took us through the countryside...where we saw iguanas and a few Mayan structures.  Clinton was a great guide...but soon the ride ended.   We each had a drink (Ray a Corona and I had Pepsi) before we boarded our air conditioned taxi for another wild ride back to the ship.



  1. What great places to ride.I never understand stable people either. They never seem to really know their horses..or customers.

  2. I love the air conditioned taxi! LOL! I am going riding in Yellowstone this summer and, I have to say, I am really looking forward to it...it's a great way to experience the back country and see some sights!

    The Other Side of the Equation