Riding horses for as long as she can remember, Trina deLisser, director Half Moon Equestrian Centre, has had a lifelong love affair with horses. During my visit, she recalls spending glorious afternoons after school riding through the hills just outside of Kingston, Jamaica with her father, who was a polo player.
The Equestrian Centre first opened over 30 years ago in 1986. It started with merely six horses, eventually growing to a stable of seventeen horses. Five years later, Half Moon built the hotel premises and developed the fabulous stable which now boasts twenty-eight beautiful horses. The animal family includes four delightful ponies, two donkeys, six dogs, two cats, six birds and three rabbits, all eagerly waiting to welcome guests.
The Halfmoon Equestrian Centre has something to offer everyone, and you will not be disappointed. They even have pony rides and an experience in the pony park for the little ones. Here are some of the different opportunities guests may choose from:
Rookies Round Up: This a beginner horse ride for anyone over 6 years old and who has never ridden before. It starts with a short lesson in the arena at a basic level of instruction, then concludes with a jaunt through the property.
Sand Stroll: Also for beginners, this horse ride also includes a scenic walk to the beach and then along the shallow waters with your horse.
Turf and Surf: I noticed this to be a favorite with guests, especially those who have riding and swimming experience. It starts in the arena where riders can trot or canter and then moves down to the beach where the horses swim with the guests on their bare backs.
Positive Empowerment: This is an unmounted session with a horse in the round pen. Using body language alone to first control the horse and it gain its trust, guests are able to build their own confidence while learning to build a deeper connection with the horses.
What I loved most was that I felt safe and taken care of throughout my whole experience. All riders are required to wear helmets and be properly dressed down to the correct footwear. If you are entering the water with the horses, life jackets are also provided and must be worn. I was told that all the instructors have been trained to ensure each and every rider is comfortable and know what they are doing while on their horses. This reassured me as a beginner.
I really loved that I was given such full attention by my instructors. It is evident that the guests’ comfort, safety, and experience are Half Moon Equestrian Centre’s absolute priority as all rides from the equestrian center are semi-private (one guide escorts two persons). What a wonderful experience!