We might have only been together for a couple of hours or so, but I can officially announce Ginger and I were hopelessly in love. Complete, unadulterated, love. There. I’ve said it. It brings horse riding on Grand Cayman to a whole other level.
Maybe it was the turquoise waters of the Caribbean lapping against the pure white sand that tipped me over, or perhaps those deep big brown eyes gazing down at me. Then again, walking together into the warm sea, the waves lapping over our waists, was a romantic moment just between the two of us I know we will never forget.
Our eventual parting was worse for me I have to admit. I felt empty inside, but Ginger was keen to get back to the bunch of carrots waiting for her in the horse box.
Such is life.
There can be fewer relaxing pastimes than a slow walk on horseback, but add to it a pure white sandy beach and Caribbean waters and the walk takes on a magical veneer. Just you, your horse and the sound of the surf.
Paul Rivers weaves this magic everyday in Grand Cayman ever since he began Spirit of the West with his wife Chelsea. Cayman born Paul has been around horses since he was six and his love and artistry with these beautiful creatures is self evident. Having said that, if you are an experienced rider, you can take one of the horses and run off into the sunset for a solo ride and experience your own magic. For me though, I was happy to have Paul guide me with a group trekking along the beach.
This was however just the appetiser.
We paused under the shade of a grove of trees while Paul removed the horses’ saddles and got us back on bareback for the next part of our walk, straight out into the Caribbean. If beach walking was magical, walking through waist high surf, on horseback, was something else entirely. And, I’m not ashamed to say, more than a little emotional. We walked single file, the horses clearly loving every moment too, the cool surf giving them a break from the hot sun.
Eventually back on dry sand, with the saddles back on, we returned to our starting point emotionally drained.
It was quite simply a very special experience.
I have no doubt Ginger has brought many more men under her spell since that heady afternoon we spent together. But for me, she will always have a place in my heart forever.
Spirit of the West Caribbean Sea swim ride $125 per rider
British Airways operates a service from Heathrow to Grand Cayman four times a week. Why not upgrade to World Traveller Plus and get additional legroom, wider seats, priority boarding and extra baggage allowance.The lead-in fare is from £779.75 including taxes/fees/carrier charges.
To book or for more information visit www.ba.com or call 0844 4930787.
Featured image (c) Andy Mossack