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“My Horse Diamond Flat Amazing!”
Review of Spirit of the West

Spirit of the West
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: One of the most unique ways to experience Grand Cayman! Trek along the edge of the Caribbean Sea atop one of our magnificent beauties! Enjoy a lazy walk as the surf rolls in and out at the feet of your horse. For the more adventurous, feel the wind in your hair as you canter along the white sand beach. Try something completely out of the ordinary with the swim ride - hold on tight as your horse is steered into the cool and refreshing waters of the Caribbean for a wonderful swim.The true romantics can see the softer side of Cayman with the moonlit ride during the full moon. Guided only by the natural instincts of your horse, enjoy the peaceful nirvana of paradise where the modern world is far and away!Whatever your choice, Spirit of the West delivers premium service with true Caymanian hospitality. Each ride is an experience of a lifetime and every rider feels like they have done something they will never forget!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“My Horse Diamond Flat Amazing!”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Beautiful ride! I am not a horse back rider so I was a little nervous. They gave me a horse to match up with my slight reservations of getting on such a large animal. The ride was peaceful and scenic. When we got off to ride bareback into the ocean Diamond did not skip a beat in fact at one point he was swimming! It was flat amazing that a horse can swim! Great experience! Horses well taken care of.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank 71valc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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492 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Warrington, PA
Level Contributor
330 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Mixed bag....”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

For a first time horseback riding, this was certainly a neat experience. The horses looked well cared for and very manageable. We opted for the private ride for my daughter and I. It is a QUIET, peaceful way to experience the untouched side of the Island. The group version (which we came across several) looked more like silent processions, so I would certainly recommend spending the extra bucks and make it a special moment.
Our guide was very good, not very talkative, which always bothers me a bit when you work in the hospitality industry, and make a living off of tourists like myself. That said, she was very knowledgeable, very accomodating, and took tons of pictures of us in the water.....that in itself was well worth the 5 stars!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank phdedieu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bartonville
2 reviews
“Neat experience!”
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We took our two boys on a swim ride on the horses. Loved it!! It was something they will remember forever. Our guide did a super job! She was very helpful.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank kathyl955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampstead, Maryland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Daughters Loved It!”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Treated my two daughters to the Ultimate swim/ride package. They had a blast and couldn't stop talking about it. I would definitely recommend them.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Christine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Golden, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not as advertised”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

First the positive: great, well cared for horses, beautiful scenery, pleasant guides. There were definitely a few things that I didn't like, though. First, one of the guides never bothered to take out her earphones and, though she was thorough and helpful, I didn't feel like she had much regard for tourists. Second, this is NOT a rigorous ride as advertised. It is a mile and a half ride up a lovely but litter strewn beach, culminating in 15 minutes in the water. Total actual horse swimming time was probably less than one minute. For the cost, I did expect more. Still, brief as it was, it was still fun. With a bit more time and effort, it could be a fabulous excursion.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOTW, Owner at Spirit of the West, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
We would like to thank this reviewer for their balanced review and certainly appreciate their desire to give their positive impressions as well. While we can discuss the issue of litter (as in a previous review) we are at the mercy of the government who maintains the beaches etc at their discretion. We have personally spearheaded many efforts to clean it up with the help of the private sector, but unfortunately, the prevailing winds on that side of the island wash up international trash from cruise ships and other vessels at a rate far faster than our ability to keep up.

We will use this review to once again highlight the problem to the officials in the hopes that they will do something more.

I would implore all riders to speak to the guides about their concerns to better understand our internal policies. This would help us to avoid reviews based on misunderstandings and assumptions and let the riders enjoy themselves much more once they are informed of what we do and how we do things. Our insurance policy requires that our guides have a means of communication on them at all times (radio, phone etc). We prefer the cell phone and each of our guides carry one. This ensures that if there is an emergency or if our office must reach the guide in a hurry - they are available. Our internal policy prohibits the use of the cell phone during a ride, except to communicate with other guides or the main office. For aesthetic reasons, we encourage the earphones which are discreet and allow the guide to be hands-free (rather than holding the phone up to their ear). It is not a mandatory requirement – some guides do, some do not. We are on speed dial if needed, so the process is fast and efficient, with very little need to handle the phone (which can remain pocketed). We can see how this can be considered bad form, but trust that our guests appreciate the delicate balance we continue to strike as some things are considered acceptable to some and unacceptable to others. Our guests can rest assured that the guides are not listening to music or doing anything outside of their permissions and their attention is at all times on the riders, terrain, surroundings and horses to ensure that the ride is safe and enjoyable.

The swim ride is about 15 minutes and the actual time that the horses can swim depends on the tides and weather conditions. They cannot swim for 15 minutes continuously as they will be too exhausted to finish the ride back (which is about 30 minutes). The guides navigate through the waters to pockets of deep areas where the horses' feet cannot touch the bottom to enable them the opportunity to swim – again, this depends on the tides which determine the depth of the water. We make every effort to ensure that each excursion is everything that the rider would like it to be, but sometimes things are out of our control. We do try to make it up, if possible.

The 'rigorous' aspect described on our site refers to the swimming part of the ride (not the beach ride). We have to add this disclaimer of sorts as - again due to any unexpected weather changes - the ride can be a little more than the riders bargain for. Riding into the water on a slick, saddle-less horse with nothing more than a mane and maybe a rope is not an easy thing to do. Many riders have no problem, but some will and do. We have to let everyone know beforehand that this can be expected.

Our operation is very thorough and we have some of the best staff in the business. We are proud of what we do and hope that every guest who rides with us has the experience of a lifetime. When that doesn't happen, we take it very personally and do everything we can to rectify it or correct it.

Chelsea Rivers
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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