Saving grace was that the horses were in quite good condition. I'd booked a private ride as it was supposed to cater for experienced riders who were capable of controlling a horse and riding at a faster pace. The advertised ride through an old plantation and past ruins of some old buildings relating to the sugar cane industry amounted to a slow walk along a track through some woodland, which could have been anywhere, past a few broken down walls and then onto a beach. Here is where we managed one short, slow canter along the shore line, turned around and back to a place on the beach where we dismounted. In all about 20 minutes absolute tops. We were offered a drink and small piece of fruit, and sat around while the guide and helpers sat together chatting. After about 20 mins we stripped off to swimwear, remounted and rode out into the sea. The horses were still able to walk but water upto our knees so hard work for them. Went back and forth a couple of times, which was good fun as something none of us had done before. Then back to the beach, dismount and hang around for another 20 mins or so before remounting and taking a slow walk back to the start. The guide did ask if anyone wanted another short canter along the shoreline, but as still in swimwear and on a soaking saddle, didn't fancy the discomfort ! Back at the base we dismounted and that was that.
Don't expect any long canters along a sandy beach, or a scenic trek with several chances to kick on. This is very much for people who've never really ridden. Best bit was going in the sea, but very expensive for what we got out of the whole excursion.
Pay extra for the private tour although it wasn't totally private. A group of 10 rode about 200 yards ahead of us and a group of 10 rode about 200 yards behind us but it was great because we could actually hear the guide and enjoy the scenery with just the two of us.
The length of the ride was good, the guide was fair. The horses seemed in decent shape and well treated. I really enjoyed the ride in the ocean. It was only my husband and me, so very private. My only complaint is the lack of toilet facilities on the beach itself. However the operators did take our towels down to the beach in the truck, so we didn't have to worry about carrying it on the horse.