Have signed up to do the beach ride. Need to know wht will happen after picked up at dock. I'm pretty sure I need to wear my bathing suit under clothes. Do they have something you can climb up on to get on horse? Do you need shoes? Can you change out of your wet suit and put on dry clothes after ride?
My husband and I went on a similar ride in Montego Bay last week. Yes, they do have a platform you walk up onto to mount the horses. They match you with a horse by size and, if you tell them your experience level, they'll take that into account. It was a standard trail ride (note that our horses only had English saddles, so if you're planning on holding on to the saddle horn, ask for a Western saddle). At the end of the trail ride we went to the beach, where the saddles were removed and replaced with a halter/pad combo. The good news is that it has a round strap to hold on to. Even an experienced rider is in new territory in the water!
It was HEAVENLY. I have ridden for years but this was hubby's first time on horseback and he had a blast. The guides we had at Chukka Blue were awesome and took our pictures for us. There was a whole facility on the beach with changing rooms, toilets and a snack bar. You'll love it!
Honeysuckle Ranch was just GREAT! I cannot begin to say enough nice things about the owner.
First, we got to the island late due to the ship being delayed. (Long story but they turned us around 2 1/2 hours out from Miami to drop off a medical emergency on a Coast Guard Cutter that met us right near shore so we didn't have to dock.)
Anyway, we were supposed to ride at 9:30am but were confused if that was ship time or Grand Cayman time. (They are Central.) I called the number for Honeysuckle that was provided and was pleased to speak with the owner. She told us that we were not late but she would be happy to come pick us up earlier if we pleased. We accepted her offer and she arrived in about 20 minutes in a big, nearly new Dodge 1500 pickup with a backseat. The pickup spot is right in front of the Blue Iguana Souvenir Store. Not hard to miss as it is nearly next door to the Hard Rock Cafe. Just a very short walk from the South Tender Dock and a tad bit longer from the North Tender Dock.
Anyway, my wife and little girl got in the back seat and I rode in the front for a nice air conditioned 20 minute ride to the horse location. (They also have a nearly new Dodge Durango they use for larger groups. They had one that day. Also, I have a feeling that the taxi fare for the same ride would be about $20+ person. but she or her husband picks you up for free.)
My wife has never riden and I hadn't in about 10 years. Our daughter (7 years old) is the resident expert as she trains for riding shows. The owner paired us with appropriate horses for our riding levels and made sure that my wife stayed last in line so that her horse didn't try to run on her.
They use synthetic material WESTERN saddles as leather is not an option. There is one part of the ride where she will take you into water that is should heaight on the horses. Otherwise, 90% of the ride was right on the beach with the horses in up to their ankles. You do get a bit wet but nothing major.
I recommend wearing watershoes if you have them. Your feet will definitely get wet but you will not get soaked. Some splashing can be expected when trotting on the horse. Very refreshing though. I almost forgot. There is a continuous breeze on that side of the island so no matter how hot it is you should be comfortable.
The location of the horses doesn't have quite the same facilities as the woman described above as it is way out on the island. However, it was nice not to have to be riding without other tourists all around watching you. Fear not though, I do not believe you will get that wet if you are just doing a beach ride. But, she did mention a new tour they are doing called "swimming with the horses". Sounds like a much wetter one to me. I am not sure if that is the one you are taking.
I think that answers most of your questions but please respond if you have any others.
You are a King (or a Queen). Thank you so very, very much for remembering to tell me about your experience with Honeysuckle. I haven't even read the review yet. I was just so happy to see you did one I immediately wanted to thank you.
Hope you have a great time. I will now read the review.