Last Wednesday, we got up lazily and meandered toward Wonga Beach, about 1 ½ hours north of Cairns. We had signed up for a horseback ride along the beach and through the rainforest. Laura, Jenna and I all enjoy horsebacking riding, Jenna more than anyone. We don’t indulge very often because it is an expensive hobby. But a ride along the beach and through the rainforest was hard to resist. After lunch in Port Douglas, an oceanside town about an hour from Cairns, we headed north to ride horses! It was a warm afternoon, but with a constant breeze, even dressed in jeans and boots, we were not overly hot. The guides matched us to horses based on our abilities. Laura rode Sunny, Jenna rode Rej and I rode Duke. There were nine riders with three guides. The guides were very patient and helpful. Most everyone had limited experience riding horses. Duke was a tall horse. I didn’t realize how tall until I was mounted and looked down at most everyone else. He was pretty easy to handle, but he loved to munch on most anything green he found and thought he could get to before I pulled his head back up. He also preferred to follow, not lead. He would trot if a nearby horse started trotting and would follow whatever path the horse in front of him took.
Jenna rode Rej who took great care of her. The guides could tell as soon as they got her on that Jenna had ridden before. When we got to the beach and the guide asked who wanted to trot, hers was the first hand up. She smiled and giggled the entire way, loving every minute of the ride. “The horseback ride through the rainforest and along the beach was fun. When we got to the beach, the guides asked who wanted to trot and I raised my hand very quickly! We got to trot three different times on the beach. Then we stopped and the guides took our pictures. Rej didn’t try to eat anything until we were riding back toward the stables. After we got back to the stables, one of the owners asked me if I wanted to feed the foal. I said yes with a big smile and she gave me some bread. We went over to the paddock and Emma came over. Her Mom followed Emma. I held out my hand and she ate some bread. Her Mom munched some from Laura and I too. Emma felt very soft. I would love to go back!”
Laura was on Sunny. He also enjoyed nibbling along the ride whenever he got the chance. “Horseback riding was so much fun! I rode a brown horse named Sunny. The ride on the beach was beautiful, getting to stare out at the ocean. I was a little nervous about trotting, but didn’t do too badly at it. Sunny liked to do whatever the other horses were doing, and when the one in front of her would trot, she would trot also. And as we rode back through the rainforest, she always seemed to go under the lowest branches, making me duck down. It was so much fun being able to ride her despite it being a little bumpy. It was definitely one of my favorites on this trip.”
The ride itself was great. We took a short path through the rainforest to get to the beach. One minute we were in the rainforest and the next we emerged on a wide span of beach and oceanfront. It was beautiful! We could walk, trot or canter, whatever we felt up to. Riding along the beach with the rainforest on the left and ocean on the right was quite memorable. On the way back, we meandered through the rainforest and across several small streams.
At the end of our ride, the owner gave Laura and Jenna bread to feed their 5-month old foal. Emma, as they called her, was a beautiful horse and loved both the bread and the attention. Her mama, Scooter, was very protective, always by her side, and reaching in for a nibble and some attention herself. We all really enjoyed the afternoon and were very glad we went horseback riding at Wonga Beach!