As an avid horseback rider that makes it a point of going on a horseback ride at least once during every vacation, I specifically am excited to share this review of Bano and his horses, as it was the best island ride I have taken to date. Once arriving in St. Lucia, I quickly asked around and was able to call Bano and schedule a ride for that same day for a 4-hour horse trek through mountains and beaches from the Caribbean to Atlantic side. The horses took us through a varied and spectacular landscape, which went through the local towns, into the rolling mountains where you saw waves crashing into the cliffs, passed some free-grazing/roaming horses, and riding along amazing serene beaches with many of the trails that could not be accessed by vehicles.
This was not your typical nose-to-tail ride. Bano, realizing that we could ride, had lots of fun with us, as we rode every gait from a walk through narrow and steep paths, to comfortable canters along the rolling hills, and long-stretched gallops for great lengths of time along white sand beaches. Bano stopped with us for a break in Gros Islet at the Iree Bar, where Pitons and spiced rum with honey were paired wonderfully with good reggae tunes, and entertaining conversations with Andy, Bano, and other friends. After riding back along the beach, the ride finished with stripping off the saddles and riding into water where swimming bareback with the horses was a great ending to an amazing ride. Several days later, we saw Bano at “his office” at the end of the beach and booked a second ride, which was just as great as the first one! Everyone we met was amicable and I highly recommend taking a ride with Bano and his horses if you’re looking for a good time with no pressure, no problem!
Words of advice:
- Be prepared to go through or stop in local towns that aren’t as manicured as the US or Europe, or the fancy resort you are staying at. Iree Bar is now my new favorite local bar!
- Don’t expect pristine tack, as it is the more typical, used/mismatched with island wear and tear. We had no issues with it.
- Swimming bareback on horses with boney withers may be painful to some.
- We rode past North Point riders, and they did not look happy.
- Remember – tourism is the island’s main source of income, simply be aware, but enjoy yourselves!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.