The last time I rode a horse was in the Dominican Republic. Of course I got stuck with the stubborn, disobedient mammal who ignored all of my commands and did his own damn thing. At one point, homeboy got so feisty, I decided to climb off and return the problem child to his spanish-speaking owners. I was in a string bikini and flip-flops, fanny pack resting on my hips, trotting aggressively on a spirited horsey who I had minimal control over. He kept running, no matter how hard I yanked the stallion, he would not slow down. My girlfriends got a kick out of us, laughing at my struggle the entire time as they trotted in a perfect single-line formation, chests high, kinks blowing in the wind. I vowed to never ride a horse off American soil again. But then I was invited to Turks & Caicos and Provo Ponies was on the itinerary, and Ike in the stable, nicely groomed and well-behaved, I couldn’t resist and I’m actually happy I didn’t. Ike and I had a connection, from the moment I climbed on to the 15-year old horse, I felt safe. He was mild-tempered and appreciated my gentle touch. We got along just fine the entire time. My ride was active but controlled, from the stable, along the quiet dirt trail to Long Bay Beach, through the shallow waters of the Caicos banks and back, it’s obvious that Ike is one of Provo’s more seasoned horses. When you visit the island request him and tell Kelly and Kirsten I sent you.
Kelly, our Canadian tour guide, has been riding for 28 years. “Everyone who works here loves horses,” she says, in between giving me specific instructions on how to communicate with Ike. “These guys are very well cared for, have a lot of energy and enjoy their job.” The proof is in the stable. The average lifespan for a horse is 30 years, Limbo, Provo’s eldest is in his early 30s, goes out on 5 rides per week and is still trotting strong.
Apparently Shaquille O’ Neal and friends paid a visit to the stable a few days before we did. His entourage rode, Shaq didn’t, he was terrified. The 7’1″ retired NBA player snapped a few pics but hung around the stable while his crew went out, don’t let this be you.
One hour sessions are $96 per person, 90-minutes, $118. Remember to wear long pants, sneakers and a good bra. And yes, you can bring your camera, the tour guides are kind enough to snap pictures for you.
Traveling to Providenciales? Horseback riding in Turks & Caicos is a must! Add Provo Ponies to your activity list and say hello to Ike for me when you pass through.
Photos by Metanoya Z. Webb exclusively for Globetrotting Stiletto Inc.