Horseback Riding at Bonanza Ranch (& a Life Lesson)

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On a recent trip to Mexico, I had the opportunity to go horseback riding at Bonanza Ranch. The ranch is about 40 minutes outside of Cancun, Mexico. But, before I tell you about my experience there, you have to know something…I didn’t want to go.

Horseback riding at Bonanza ranch in Mexico

You see, the first and only time I rode a horse was in Punta Cana, Dominican Rebublic and the once tame horse decided to stop heeding to my instruction and just galloped. Yep. You read correctly. The horse just ran down the beach with me on its back. No matter how much I pulled on the reins and yelled commands he did not stop until he wanted to stop.

horseback riding in DR
First horseback ride in Punta Cana. I held on nervously at the end of the ride once the horse slowed to an eventual crawl. I am now at the back of the tour.

The good news is I made it through. The not so good news…that petrified me. Once the horse stopped giving me an unsolicited beach tour (complete with water splashing) he just kind of stopped, like nothing every happened. Can horses be schizophrenic?

Six years later, just outside of Cancun, I got on another horse. I didn’t want to but, made the decision to move through fear and choose courage instead. Bonanza Ranch was the perfect place to do just that.

Bonanza ranch orientation

So, I listened intently, learned my horse’s name and decided I was going to “pass this life test”. I couldn’t help but think that maybe the last time the horse didn’t understand english. After all, he was Dominican right? So armed with my “broken” spanish, we began the approximate 1.5 hour journey into the Mayan Riviera wilderness. And you know what? I am glad that I did it.

horseback riding in Mexico

The tour included a water stop and some education about the surrounding local agriculture.

horseback riding tour in Mexico

Seriously, it was so much fun. I can seen why the Bonanza Ranch was rated 4.5 stars out of five on Tripadvisor. This novice (initially terrified rider), gives it “two thumbs up”!

Mexican cenote

The tour concluded with a swim in the Mexican cenote. Simply breathtaking.

Have you been horseback riding? What do you do to push through fear and choose courage?


  • Comments ( 9 )

  • avatar

    The pics look nice, especially the last one. Are there any activities for little kids, or is this ranch more for adults?

    • avatar

      The minimum age requirement for riders is 7 years old. So, if your kids are not riders then I would not recommend it. But great for adults though.

  • avatar

    Oooh, I want to go there! Especially the swim at the end. I’ve only been on a horse once or twice when I was young, and I was pretty much terrified. It’s scary knowing that thing could take off at any minute! And it actually happened to you! Well good for you for going for it again!

    • avatar

      It’s definitely one of those activities where your relinquish some of your own control. If you every want to try it again…this place is great!

  • avatar
    Susan Carraretto

    I’m so happy you didn’t let your fear stop you! I love horseback riding and I rode regularly through my teen years.

    • avatar

      What a privilege to have such an experience to share with your girls. I am sure they would love to hear your horseback riding stories.

  • avatar
    Mel Lockcuff (@MamaBuzz)

    Wow, gorgeous photos! So glad you didn’t let it stop you. What an experience. To push through fear…. I pray a lot, put one foot in front of the other…. that’s what I try to do, though my entire body is a mess beforehand, or at least it feels like it, with one emotion after another. This is awesome, Lisa. So proud of you.

    Thanks so much for sharing with Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week’s issue.

    • avatar

      Thanks my friend. I may have to go back and refer to this post when fear tries to get in the way of growth again.

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