I love horseback riding, so when i saw Daniel Ramsey’s article on “Costa Rica Escape– on Horseback,” it instantly caught my attention. His quick idea to take a vacation, away from daily stresses, proves to be a magical escape.
We drove for about half an hour and arrived at the Sugar Beach Hotel. The hotel is right on the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by banana trees, all sorts of birds and is visited at night by giant sea turtles. And yes, the sand really is like sugar.
We set off — walking and trotting at first to get acquainted with our mounts — along one of the many trails in the sparsely populated province of Guanacaste. This area, on the West Coast of Costa Rica, was formed 60 million years ago by volcanic eruptions that left behind the magnificent mountain range through which we rode. When we reached the beach, one of 17 we would explore during our stay, we cut loose in a superb gallop along the sand, with surf curling at our feet and erasing our footprints behind us.
It was a new experience for us but obviously not for our horses, who seemed to enjoy the swim as much as we did. I couldn’t believe that after years of lessons in a ring (“Heels down, Daniel, and shorten your reins.”) I was actually swimming with a magnificent horse in the Pacific Ocean!
Monkeys went about their business with barely a glance. Trees and plants that I kept in pots in New Jersey grew to massive size around me. A cousin of my puny office potted palm stretched more than 50 feet high, with a six-foot trunk. When I turned in after my first day on the Costa Rica trail, I realized how much there is to life that is exciting and delightful – and how much I loved riding.