As seen on Isabelle Chagnon’s Blog

Water adventures continue. After swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove, I set sail for Chukka Caribbean, an equestrian centre in Sandy Bay, on the outskirts of Montego Bay. Here, they offer a variety of outdoor activities (rides on ATVs, Jeeps, etc) but it’s the Horseback Ride N’ Swim that got my attention. Oh, I’ve ridden horseback many times but here, we are offered to swim in the water with our horse!

To bathe with, not swim, in terms of floating. You get onto the horse’s back, with a flotation belt around your hips, and the horse walks from the beach into the ocean…You then end up in chest-deep water, hanging onto the horse who only has its head poking out of the water.

You are in your bathing suit, thus almost nude… I’m focusing here on the ‘almost nude’ aspect as it is a state of being that is quite adventurous. The body-to-body contact with the horse is direct. Skin to skin. When you slide into the water, your bare feet, thighs and legs reflexively tighten around the horse’s body. When the horse walks in the water, its muscles begin to work and the sensation is masterful. You can feel the power and force of this noble beast. I could not resist, at the height of its efforts, to bend forward, kiss its wet mane and whisper in its ear: you can do it…

The adventure is also auditory. You can hear the horse’s breathing intensifying and accelerating. Since you are in a group setting, the horses walk in a line and it’s like a symphony of breathing.

IsabelleChagnon

“To swim with the horses is an extraordinary adventure!”
Photo credit: Isabelle Chagnon

The adventure does not last long, is pricy as well but it’s a fan-tas-tic experience.The facility offers the ride (approximately 45 minutes) and the swim (10-15 minutes) in the water with your horse for $79/adult or $56/child 12 years old or less. You can choose to only do the swim for $35/person (adult and child pricing).

Note that there are three Chukka facilities – Falmouth, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in Jamaica. The Falmouth facility doesn’t offer the horseback adventure while the Ocho Rios and Montego Bay facilities do.

In my next post, I invite you to take a break from Jamaica. We will return to it in later posts. I’ve just had an idea: what if I took you on a boat? The Louis Cristal ship for Cuba Cruise, that has recently seen the light of day, takes passengers in Montego Bay to take them on a journey around the island of Cuba. All aboard!