Cozumel, Mexico – a horseback riding vacation that wasn’t

Horseback Riding Vacation in Cozumel, Mexico
Horseback Riding Vacation in Cozumel, Mexico

My first cruise to the western Caribbean and I was looking forward to a return visit to Cozumel, Mexico. What does a cruise have to do with a horseback riding vacation? Each day the Princess Cruises Crown Princess docked in port, I was fortunate to take a shore excursion. During my day in Cozumel, Mexico, I was looking forward to a day of horseback riding in Punta Sur State Park.

Red Flag Warning

I had sent an e-mail to the tour company, Sunshine Tours, to let them know that I would be taking pictures and videos for the articles and blog posts that I would be writing for my newspaper and magazine columns, as well as for the Writing Horseback website.

First red flag, I never heard back from Sunshine Tours. As my passion is horseback riding, I decided that the company must not be web-savvy and put it out of my mind. In addition to my bathing suit and Caribbean attire, I packed a pair of jeans and closed toe riding shoes. Briefly, I considered wearing my Ariat riding boots on the plane, but decided that I didn’t want to carry around boots in my bag.

Horseback Riding Shore Excursion Cancelled

The night before our ship was to dock in Cozumel, Mexico, a friend told me that she had seen a note on the bulletin board stating that my horseback riding shore excursion had been cancelled. I immediately went to the cruise ship desk to find out what happened to my horseback riding vacation.

Turns out the folks at Princess Cruises run a pretty tight ship. It appears that the horseback riding tour operator hadn’t turned in some necessary paperwork.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed. When I walked into downtown Cozumel and saw the horse and buggies lined up on the main street with the ocean and cruise ships behind them, I thought about making a t-shirt.

I went to Cozumel, Mexico and all I got was this t-shirt with a picture of a horse.”

I will be back, Cozumel and I will go horseback riding in Mexico!

Photo courtesy of Nancy D. Brown

11 thoughts on “Cozumel, Mexico – a horseback riding vacation that wasn’t”

  1. Sorry the horseback riding didn’t work out on Cozumel – I have a friend (who also loves horses!) who did the horseback riding tour on their stopover in Cozumel and she really loved it and said that the lunch (included) was great. Oh well, maybe next time!

  2. To all who loves horses and horseback riders,

    I don’t think that these tourist places are all that humane. I was in the Bahamas a few years ago. I wanted to take a carriage ride through Nassau, but one look at these poor horses conditions were not acceptable. Emaciated, tired and holding up their legs one at a time. I felt like I was watching Gone With The Wind, when she kills the poor horse on their way back to Tara. Their Shoes were very worn and some looked like they had not been watered or fed in a long time. I wanted to do something, but what? Watch out for the natives treatment of their animals!!!

    Animal lover

  3. Hi Stephanie,
    As a fellow animal lover, I would not support any business that abused or neglected their animals. As consumers, it is our responsibility to speak with our voice and our dollars if an operation isn’t treating their animals with respect.

    FYI, it is common practice for horses to rest their back legs, while standing. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Liliana Velasco Ariza

    Please ask your friends not to encourage the horse drawn carriages, especially in Cozumel Mexico; the horses literally drop dead with heat stroke! Horses are not watered so they do not pee, most “drivers” don’t unhook the horses at night, not a touristic attraction at all.

  5. @ Liliana,
    Thank you for your comments regarding the carriage horses in Cozumel, Mexico. As a professional journalist, it is always better to include documented cases of abuse, to substantiate claims, rather than opinion.

    If a carriage driver makes his living from the horse drawn carriage business, it is in his or her best interest to keep his horse alive and thriving. However, as an equestrian lover, I would never recommend my readers support cruel and inhumane treatment of horses. Buyer beware.

  6. Liliana Velasco Ariza

    Dear Nancy,

    Thank you so much for your reply I totally agree that as a professional journalist you need facts, perhaps you could look it up you tube and local news papers you’ll find tons of evidence! One would think that if one makes a living of something one would look after it I know, alas we do not live in a perfect world.

    Thank you again for your reply

  7. Fotos del evento No calesas en cozumel
    Foto 2 de 34 Volver al grupo · Ver todas las fotosAnteriorSiguiente.
    Haz clic sobre las caras de las personas para etiquetarlas.
    Se le preguntará a No que apruebe todas las etiquetas antes de que los demás las puedan ver.

    .Equino herido al romperse la rueda de una calesa

    COZUMEL, 7 de febrero.- Sufre percance una calesa la noche del sábado en transitada avenida, cuando se le salió del eje trasero una de las ruedas provocando que la unidad fuera arrastrada cuatro metros por el caballo que tiraba de esta, mismo que finalmente cayó al pavimento sufriendo lesiones en una pata. El equino fue llevado a su establo, en tanto que la calesa a los patios del corralón de Tránsito para los fines correspondientes.
    Los hechos se suscitaron a las 22 horas del pasado sábado, cuando circulaba sin faros de luz en dirección de Poniente a Oriente sobre la 11 avenida con 70 Sur, la calesa con placas de circulación 00045/QROO, conducida por su operador, Pedro Fernández Arias, de 25 años de edad.
    Sólo que al llegar a la mencionada dirección repentinamente la rueda trasera izquierda se salió de su eje estando la unidad en movimiento, provocando que se tambaleara y cayera al pavimento sobre su costado izquierdo, siendo arrastrada aproximadamente cuatro metros por el equino que tiraba del carruaje, que finalmente también se desplomó sobre la arteria vial al no aguantar el peso, y terminó con lesiones visibles en su pata trasera izquierda, afortunadamente el conductor del vehículo salió ileso.
    El peritaje realizado por la Dirección de Tránsito arrojó que el conductor de la calesa incurrió en omisión al no verificar que su unidad se encontrara en perfectas condiciones antes de salir, lo que por ley debió hacer, y se procedió luego a levantar la unidad para trasladarla al corralón como garantía en tanto se repara el daño provocado al pavimento, mismo que cotizará la Dirección de Obras Públicas, en tanto el caballo fue trasladado a su establo.
    Cabe señalar que de acuerdo al reglamento de Ecología, después de las 18 horas no debe haber ninguna de estas calesas operando, y no se entiende por qué este vehículo accidentado se encontraba circulando, y sin luces.

  8. @horse lover

    Thank you for sharing the news of the unfortunate carriage accident in Cozumel, Mexico. I’m assuming this took place in 2010, as the year was not attributed, nor the publication?

    Sounds as though the 25 year old carriage driver should NOT have been driving his carriage at night without proper lighting.

    English translation of article:
    COZUMEL, February 7 .- suffers setback a gig Saturday night in busy street, when he came out of the rear axle of the wheels causing the unit was dragged four meters on the horse that pulled this, it finally fell the pavement suffering a leg injury. The horse was taken to his stable, while the carriage barn at the courts of Transit for the corresponding purposes.
    The facts were raised at 22 pm last Saturday, as he was driving without headlights light in the direction from west to east on 11 Avenue and 70 South, the buggy with 00045/QROO license plates, driven by its operator, Pedro Fernández Arias 25 years of age.
    Only when they reach the above address the left rear wheel suddenly veered off its axis when the unit is in motion, causing him to stagger and fall to the pavement on your left side, being dragged about four feet the horse pulling the carriage, also finally collapsed on the arterial road to not support the weight, and ended with visible injuries on his left hind leg, luckily the driver escaped unhurt.
    The survey conducted by the Traffic Division found that the driver of the buggy omission committed by failing to verify that their unit was in perfect conditions before leaving, which by law must do, and then proceeded to lift the unit to move it the pound as collateral while remedying the damage caused to the pavement, the same as quoted Directorate of Public Works, while the horse was transferred to his barn.
    It should be noted that according to the rules of ecology, after 18 hours should not be operating any of these gigs, and do not understand why this vehicle was injured to run and no lights.

  9. Indeed it was and that is just one of many, horses drop dead on the road, their feet are in a pitiful state, the ill fitting tack joined with wire or chain cause wounds on the horses, blinkers hide horrible injuries to the eyes sadly the list is endless

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