We booked (online) Spicelands Stables more-expensive "private" ride for this past Monday so we could trot/canter in addition to just walking, and go on a 90-mins vs 60-mins ride.
The good news: It's easy to get to Spicelands stable from King's Wharf. Catch a number 8 bus (as an earlier poster recommended) and ask the driver to let you out at Spicelands. It's about a 30-minute ride. Easy. The bus stop is right on Middle Road at the end of Spiceland's driveway. Walk down the driveway to the office on the right just on the other side of the riding ring to check-in and get your helmet if you choose to wear one. (We have horses of our own, so we know to wear helmets). The horses were in good shape. Well cared for and quiet. The saddles were western, the rest of the tack English. Because it's the beginning of Bermuda's "winter" season, no other rides were booked for this particular Monday morning, and only one in the afternoon. On Monday morning, the riders were just my wife and me. Theresa, our guide, was a very pleasant young woman, born and raised in Bermuda. She pointed out lots of flora along the way, and told us some of the history of the area, too. We rode over heavily-vegetated trails, crossed a few roads with traffic, and walked along a few back streets in pretty neighborhoods to get to Warwick Long Beach. Then we rode along the sandy path near the beach and parallel to the shoreline down to Horseshoe Bay Beach before turning back. As anticipated, we rode on a path near the beaches, but never actually "on" the beaches. It was a beautiful blue-sky day, and the beaches were spectacular. Some great photo opportunities. We saw a few families on the beaches, but not very many. We got to trot and canter. I'm glad my wife got the horse she did, because she's the experienced rider, and her horse chose to get quite "spirited" when asked to canter.
The only "bad" news: After a half-hour on the trail, we started back towards the stables. My wife asked Theresa when would we have a chance to trot/canter? Theresa said she was told we had booked a "group" ride, which goes on a shorter/different trail than a "private" ride. We also think the "group" horses for a ride are most likely selected because they're quiet and will only have to walk for an hour. Theresa said she wished she had known at the start we had paid for a private ride, because we would've ridden on the normal "private" ride trail instead of this shorter trail. There was no access from the short trail to the other trail. She did try to extend our ride another fifteen minutes by back-tracking on the shorter trail in a few places, but we had the feeling we didn't get the ride we'd paid the premium to enjoy. In hindsight, had we known this was the slow season in Bermuda, and chances of anyone else riding on the same day we rode were small, we would've saved a tremendous amount of money and booked a "group" ride (in our case a group of two) instead of the more than twice the price "private" ride.
Everything considered, though, we had a very nice ride, and we'd recommend Spicelands and Theresa to anyone who wants a unique experience while visiting this beautiful island. Just sign up for a group ride. (Of course, as always, your mileage may vary depending upon the time of the year you visit Bermuda). Cheers!
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