Cost: 38 USD
Is it worth it? 9/10
Website: The Liberty Horse Ranch
When I first got to Otres Beach, my intentions were to mostly swim in the sea, run on the beach and eat fresh fruits while basking in the sun. While I love all of those things and enjoyed every moment I had at Sea Garden, there was one day when I was just having a really bad day. A lot of people find it hard to believe that someone who is traveling around the world without working can have a bad day, but believe me, it happens. My friends that I met at Sea Garden noticed how unhappy I was and they told me that I should go horseback riding with them. Seeing as I had been horseback riding numerous times before, I was hesitant in joining them since I doubted that I would lift my spirits. Regardless, I decided to join my friends and I definitely didn’t know that I was in for a special treat.
Seeing as I had been horseback riding numerous times before, I was hesitant in joining them since I doubted that I would lift my spirits. Regardless, I decided to join my friends and I definitely didn’t know that I was in for a special treat.
Getting started: In order to get to Liberty Horse Ranch, you need to take a tuktuk away from Otres Beach and head towards the village that is nearby. For a roundtrip, this should cost you no more than $6 and if you are with more people you can split the cost, which is helpful when trying to maintain a budget. Once you get to the ranch, they will ask you about your riding capabilities, you pick your helmet, are assigned a horse and then you are off! It took about 15 minutes in total to get prepared for us, but if you have never ridden a horse before, then you may have to practice riding in the corral before heading out on the trails.
The beginning of the tour feels like any other horseback riding tour: walking through trails, practicing trotting and just getting comfortable with the horse. The beginning was a bit difficult for me seeing as my horse wasn’t following my signals at all. I was later informed that mine was one of the more stubborn horses, which made more sense to me when we were nearing the end of the tour. We walked through some fields and eventually made our way back to the road that we took from Otres to get to the ranch and then the horses started making their way towards the sea.
Worth it? 7/10
the horseback riding in the sea part: Once we were on the beach, we took off our clothes and the horse’s saddles and reigns to get into the water. I have never ridden a horse without a saddle until this tour and all I can tell you is that riding bareback is not comfortable. Additionally, since there are no reigns, you need to hold onto the horse’s mane to keep your balance. I was worried about hurting the horse at first and was gentle with its mane, but afterwards I realized they weren’t as sensitive as I thought, so if you feel like holding on for dear life, do it! Swimming with the horses was an experience in itself and it is something that I am really happy I had the chance to do. I highly recommend that anyone tries this once in their lifetime. After swimming in the water for about 25-30 minutes, we set off to go back to the ranch.
Worth it? 10/10
The ride back: The ride back was extremely fun for a myriad of reasons, but mainly because we practiced galloping and my friend Izzy ended up sideways on his horse after it took off. It was one of the funniest things that I have ever seen, out of all my travels and I am so happy I caught it on camera. If Izzy had gotten hurt, then it might have not been as funny, but we were lucky to just walk away with a great story.
Worth it? 10/10
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how fun horseback riding with Liberty Ranch was and I think that it was one of the many highlights from my time in Cambodia. I think anyone that does this will have fun and hopefully they don’t end up on the side of a horse like my friend Izzy did.
- Horseback riding in the sea new is something to check off the bucket list
- A fun twist on a sport that is already loved among many
- Something unique to break up monotonous beach activities
- I wish the cost was a bit less
- Having some snacks would have compensated for the higher price
- It would have been better if there was an alternative route getting back to the ranch