I am always up for an adventure or a new experience. And I will try anything twice – the first time just to try it and the second time to decide if it’s something I really enjoy and will do again. Riding a horse however, I only needed to do it once to decide!
A friend of mine highly recommended trying the adventure beach ride with horses. So on my next trip to our sister isle, Tobago, that was number one on my to-do list!
Before you even get on the horse, you learn about their personalities, where they came from and how to interact with them. And get this, the horses choose their rider! According to their trainer, the horses choose their rider based on personality and your vibes. I was skeptical until the horse that chose me was, Mr. Divo! Ha!
Now it is one thing to observe a horse from a distance, but it is a totally different experience actually getting on the horse. I was not ready! And that was my first lesson.
1. I Have Control Issues
Learning to let go of all my fears and my need for control over a situation and actually get on this majestic animal was probably the most difficult but important lesson to learn. Insert every inspirational quote from every self-help book about facing your fear here. When I sat on Mr. Divo, I was scared shitless!
I approach most new experiences having done some research, but this was totally new. No amount of research could prepare me for this amount of vulnerability, and the sheer power of the animal. You are suddenly very aware that you on a thousand pound animal. And I was so not prepared for the feeling of total unpreparedness for this new situation.
And that was okay. Life and living begins when you are out of your comfort zone. But I really couldn’t see all that while on the horse. Just Saying.
2. I Have Trust Issues and While We’re At It, I’m Also Not Very Patient (especially when riding a horse)
I learned that the world looks very different when you’re sitting on the horse. All your bravado falls away. Breathing through my fear helped a lot! It was more like hyperventilating, but I digress. Here I was, on a freaking horse, in beautiful Tobago, and I missing it because I was too busy being fearful. Mr. Divo? He was patiently plodding along, allowing me to work through my fear.
If the big, scary horse could be patient with me – and the trainers said that they are intuitive that way – why couldn’t I be patient with him? And trust Mr. Divo to do his thing as well?
3. I Don’t Know How To Relax and Just Enjoy The Ride
When I started the ride, I was tense and afraid. And these feeling exaggerated my discomfort and almost ruined the entire experience. I got in my head about all the times I saw people being thrown from or trampled by horses. And I almost let it consume me. Thank goodness for the perceptiveness and kindness of the tour guide, who stayed with me and talked me through my fear.
The funny thing is the whole experience lasted about two hours, but the time I was on the horse flew by. I spent more time trying to relax than I did having fun. The perfect reminder that all things come to an end sooner or later and you either let go and enjoy the ride or you don’t. But either way, the moment ends.
Life is short and it will be over sooner or later. While I much prefer later, I want my legacy to be that my time here was well spent. And that includes having hella fun every chance I get man!
Not gonna lie, riding a horse was quite the experience, and if that’s something you’ve been wanting to do – I say hell yeah go do it! Check that item off your bucket list. For me, though, I’m good. I’ve learned my lessons well and once is enough. I can live vicariously through you guys now.
P.S. You can check out Being With Horses in Tobago! And all photos in this post were taken by the tour photographer.
Oh and horses love a good sand bath. Who knew!
Have you ever ridden a horse, were you scared? How was the experience for you? Please feel free to share below.