Cantering on horseback through breaking surf. The stuff dreams are made of. And, Barbados is THE Caribbean island on which to make those dreams come true. But when post-lunch cocktails in a Bajan rum shop are luring you to sloth-levels not seen since Christmas, why go horse riding in Barbados? Why now? Why mount a half-ton, four-legged creature with teeth when you could hop in a 4×4 and explore instead?
Because, for those in the know, Barbados horse-riding isn’t just about the much loved palm-fringed beaches – heavenly and tropical as they are. Lush rainforests, dense jungle and views across the rugged east-coast are yours for the taking, if your seat-bones have the stamina for it.
Yes, it’s a little knee-trembling if it’s your first time on a horse. But horse riding here means reaching up to pluck a perfectly ripe banana from a tree… coming face to face with a green monkey… or just stopping to take in the frankly voluptuous scenery. All guaranteed to settle those first-time nerves. Plus, your island steed will carry you across terrain even your best hiking boots would falter on. The real draw? Horse riding in Barbados takes you on routes no safari jeep could ever conquer.
Scotland District National Park
The scenery of the Scotland District National Park can really only be improved by adding two pointed, slightly fluffy ears to the frame. Picture craggy Scottish Highlands, with a distinctly tropical twist.
Riding routes take you past bearded fig trees, through mahogany rain forest, alongside various ponds and stop off at fruit orchards. Help yourself to an in-season guava or sumptuously ripe mango – you’ve earned it. Remote, rugged and distinctive, the area’s historic buildings include The East Point Light House and the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill. Impressive enough sights, but the natural landscape always wins the day.
Lily ponds packed with the pinkest oriental lotus flowers, green monkeys, wild ducks and protected coots are all standout highlights leading up to the big finish. As you reach the palm-lined cart roads you’ll hear the thunder of the Atlantic beckoning. Sizeable waves clue you in to the fact you’ll not be swimming today. But who among us could say no to a canter along the shoreline?
If you’ve done a bit of Barbados horse riding research already, Bath Beach has probably cropped up a few times. Yes, you’re likely to see other horse riders, but trust us when we say, this beach is worth it.
The routes to get here are lined with mongooses, more of those cheeky green monkeys and some pretty spectacular look out spots. Add in the fact that it’s one of only a handful of beaches that allow horse riding… and, well you’ve got yourself a winner. Tucked away on the south east coast, Bath Beach is popular with local residents, so your time will be better spent riding here midweek. You’ll miss the weekend picnickers looking for a shaded spot among the Casuarina trees, letting you can bag the best spots for yourself. Short rides take you straight to the beach and back. And, though your thigh muscles won’t thank us for this, your eyes definitely will. Book a longer ride that heads back along Congor Bay to see more Barbados wilderness and coastal highlights.
Have you even really been on holiday if you haven’t visited a fishing village? Unlikely. So assemble your very best riding outfit, and set a course for Conset Bay. You’ll also need to rustle up a decent level of fitness for this one. Novices, take note, a few pre-holiday horse riding lessons will be worth every penny. Ocean Echo Stables are the local experts here – and the trip covers a fair distance.
Riders will have to pick up the pace to cover the kilometres. For those that are comfortable at more than a brisk walk, this gets you to the lively fishing village of Conset Bay, via the historic Codrington College Estate.
Guides will clue you in to the myriad of ways in which islanders have come to use the surrounding environment. Biodiverse, the trees, plants and herbs all have their uses. You’ll trot through tamarind trees, linger by waterfalls and much of your ride will be accompanied by birdsong. We can’t imagine a better way to spend three hours, rummaging around in the south-east coast of Barbados.
Special Mention: Moonlight Rides
If you think seeing Barbados on horseback is a fairly magical addition to your dream break, you’ll want to brace yourself for this next big reveal. Moonlight rides add starlit skies, fire flies and fruit bats to the mix. To be honest, the fruit bat mention had us thinking twice too. Briefly. But you’ll love the lower night temperatures, seeing the waves crashing in the light of the full moon – and of course, those mesmerising fire fly flashes.
Ready to take the reins? Let’s get you in the saddle sharpish. Download Orbzii and get set ready to Dream, Plan and Book your next Barbados holiday in style.