DR: Horse-back Riding Excursion!
7:15 – beep beep: the sound of our clock awakes us all from the restless sleep that night. Honestly though, who could sleep while knowing the next day would be full of first and unexpected surprises?Six out of the nineteen wonderful people from team three choose to go horse back riding on their day off. The day started as usual, meeting at 7:30, getting ready for the day and at 8:30 boarding the van. Minus the sounds of the Dominican horn blowing, it was a quiet ride there, but seeing as there may have only been two of us who had ever ridden horses before, you can imagine there was a lot to think about.Once there, we emptied out of the van to look at the rocky red dirt of the jungle and our 6 horses being untied from the trees. As we mounted the horses we could all see the same look in our eyes, “Holy cow, we’ve never done this before.” Fortunately, this didn’t stop us. After our 4T’s guide Anthony gave us a quick lesson on how to steer (and stop), we were on our way. It was rough terrain at first but through the rocks and after relaxing on our horses we were able to see the beautiful landscape. We went through the jungle seeing old caves placed in the middle of trees and bushes, looking at burnt out forestry which now has vibrant baby green trees growing through the white rocks surrounding the area. After trusting the horses and becoming more comfortable on the saddle we were able to experience “galloping”. Meanwhile learning (in the moment) how to stop.When we reached as far as the trail went, we got off our horses and shared cut up fruit with our guides on banana leaves. Of course this was after they showed us the cave full of water that we (obviously) had to jump into. The water was clear, blue and so refreshing. It took a little encouragement for some, but after a few minutes we were all in the water. Looking back on the experience it still calms me when thinking about the scenery and how awakening the water felt as i jumped from the rocks.Elizabeth Doney- Student Leader