We have talked about going to Rainforest Riding for about 6 years. Well, in January, Steve and I finally called Valerie Francis and set up a date and a time. Exploring by horse offered a whole new perspective to our veiw of the island. We met Valerie up at her farm, just north of Cabrits. It was easy to find, if you remember to look for the sign on the road, I missed seeing it. Valerie took us around and introduced us to our horses, both very gentle. Neither of us has riden a horse since we were kids. She and the man who works for her, assured us the horses were nice and gentle and saddled us up and we set off across the road to a portion of Segment 14 of the Watukubuli Trail. After about 15 minutes of riding in the bush we came out on the road to Fort Shirley and made a left to head down to Purple Turtle Beach. At the beach Valerie had us dismount at the gazebo.
She removed the saddles from the horses. I was a bit worried, the last time I rode bare back I was 12 and I fell off the horse and the next thing I remember was a police man taking me out of the back of his car at my house. But, Valerie has you go out into the sea, up to the horse's chest and you step on
Valerie's knee and swing onto the horse. I didn't fall off, and even if I had, I would have just been wet. We rode the horses in the water for about 30 minutes. The horses really seemed to love it. It was so dramatic galloping through the surf on the horses. Everything looked much more beautiful from the water, Fort Shirley up in Cabrits National Park, the yachts.
When you ride with Rainforest Riding you have several choices about where to ride. You can ride in the surf at Purple Turtle Beach, trot along parts of the Watukubli Trail past wetlands and beautiful black sand beaches, or ride up to the top of Cabrits National Park above Fort Shirley and enjoy the sights.
But for us, we found there was nothing as thrilling as riding through the sand and surf.
Rainforest Riding's mission is to reintroduce horses as an economically viable alternative in Dominica's agricultural tourism and educational infrastructures in a complimentary fashion to existing programs and businesses.