Sunday, March 15, 2015

Republica Dominicana

The better half in the ocean

A couple weeks ago, we went on vacation to the Dominican Republic.  My mother likes going and she wanted her kids (and their respective spouses) to come, so off we went.

We carefully scheduled and squeezed the vacation around my insane school schedule and we left the frozen tundra to a beautiful country with pretty awesome weather.

I have lots of mini-adventures from the RD, but I wanted to share my thoughts and horseback riding adventure.

Rare Rhinoceros Iguanas

My husband and I decided to do an excursion one day and went to a local adventure park of sorts.  They had spelunking, dune buggy rides, horseback riding, and so forth.  They also had a collection of mostly rare and interesting animals.  The above rare iguanas lived in a pretty big area dedicated to them.  They were pretty neat to watch.

I am often hesitant about riding in other countries.  The horses I saw in Mexico were extremely thin and in deplorable conditions.  When I went to Costa Rica, a horseback ride was included in one excursion and I refused.  The horse they wanted me to ride was extremely ill and laboring for breath while standing in his stables.

But, the pictures at this facility showed horses in reasonable weight, so we decided to take a chance.  All in all, I was quite pleased.

The facility also has some breeding stock, so we went for a short wander through the stables (which resemble more of covered mare motels, for those that are from the Southwest and know of which I talk).  The Paint stallion was in excellent condition and actually a bit overweight.  There were two mares with young foals that had plenty to eat.  All the horses in their stalls had hay, hard feed, and water.  Pretty nice considering that most feed has to be imported to the island.

We were given helmets, assigned our horses, and started out our ride in a nice fenced in sandy arena.  My husband has a buckskin named Sanjay and I had a little pinto Apache.

Both of our horses were gaited and happy to be out on the trail.  They were cleanly shod on all four and appeared to have fairly fitting tack.  My gelding even had a new Diamond wool saddle pad, which was nice to see.  

The trails were rocky and tough.  A lot of the island is coral, but the horses were surefooted.  Our guide originally told us we were just going to be walking, but we did end up gaiting/trotting most of the ride.  The horses didn't really understand the nose to tail thing, so my husband sometimes rode side by side.  My gelding really wanted to be in front, but I was fine with that.  I led trail rides for years, so a little brio on the trail doesn't bother me.

Unfortunately, a couple other folks weren't always in control of their horses.  A lady in our group had a very nice, smooth little mare that also wanted to be up towards the front.  Unfortunately, between the death grip on the horse's face and her flapping legs on the horse's side, I felt quite bad for the little mare.

Going down one hill, she drove her mare forward and ended running up my gelding's rump and got kicked.  I felt badly as I usually can nip things in the bud before they occur, but I really didn't expect it that quickly.  Fortunately, the lady was OK overall, but I always hate people who blame things on the horses when that little mare really did try to figure out what her (clueless) rider wanted.

But I had a wonderful time and I would suggest someone that wanted a good ride in the Dominican to check them out.


  1. Wheeee family, holiday, sunshine and healthy ponies sounds fab. Glad all went well and hope you come back well rested for your crazy life schedule!

  2. That sounds like a really great ride all things considered. It's nice to know they take good care of their horses. :D I'm glad you had a great vacation!


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