I researched my tours before coming to CR, and I had narrowed it down to two different tour operators for my horseback ride on the beach. A local friend was only familiar with Iguana and initially it seemed a little less expensive, so we went with them.
The booking of this tour requires a minimum of four people to operate, because they have to load the horses up from the ranch and drive them to meet you at the beach location. This makes sense to me, no problem. So we waited to book till day before, and i was told still no one else had booked so I agreed to pay for four people (there were only 3 of us) to make it happen.
The next morning after picking us up, the driver pulled over and stopped at another hotel and left us in van with no explanation for quite awhile (he didn't speak English). He finally hopped back in and drove on to the beach location (about 35-40 mins away).
When we arrived I was confused as we saw lots of horses saddled up (?).
We were met by our guide, who became friendlier once we got into the ride, but I think initially he was irritated because apparently there was a mix up and some others didn't show up that were supposed to go out with us. We had no clue what was going on, all I knew was he was sort of grumpy in general and seemed to not know what to do with us because he apparently wasn't ready for us. He told us to go look at the beach.
So when we were getting instructions for the ride, he informed us that the horses are afraid of water so we would need to stay clear of it or it will cause them to jump. Huh? A beach ride with horses afraid of water? And it was also high tide(questions are now swirling through my mind). The tour company set the time, so why wouldn't they start earlier to help with this "fear of water" thing?
If all these extra people were booked to go, why had they still charged me for four people just the afternoon before? I suddenly wished I had chosen the other tour operator. The one where I had watched videos of their horses IN the water with people on their backs. But we did what anyone would do and make the best of our $300.
Things got better with the guide. He stopped and took pictures of us on the horses and gave us a fresh coconut to drink from. The only disappointment was during our beach ride we had to ride high up on shore, hugging the seagrass and vegetation. My horse drug me through a small palm tree once to avoid water that was coming up on the beach. (which was kind of humorous, especially to my family) There was a lot of natural debris where we rode so it wasn't the Fabio experience I think most people have in mind when they book a ride on the beach this but we are are easy going people and enjoyed the ride we were given. It is more of a rustic experience.
Also, these horses seemed well cared for.
Lunch was included in this tour, and afterwards, we were taken to a local home for lunch which was very good.
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