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?


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