The Wild Horses of Vieques, Puerto Rico

The first time we went to Vieques, we heard there would be wild horses there. Our impression of the phrase, “wild horses” is probably very similar to the one you have. It conjures visions of the untamed, catching a glimpse of rugged escape, beauty in the power and unpredictability.

We thought we’d have to get lucky to spot one of these wild stallions – that a fleeting glance from the corner of our eye, as shades of palomino broke the burnt green of the jungle, would be all we’d get.

We were very wrong.

Whole pack of palominos

Love the speckled color

A couple days after our wedding we decided to go to Black Sand Beach. During our last trip to Vieques we had tried to find the beach, but were not able to since it’s pretty well hidden. We had never been there before, but after seeing a sample of the sand at Island Adventures, we knew we’d have to find it.

To get to the beach, you have to park your car at the top of a hill and hike down, into a small river-bed, and follow that to the ocean. There were plenty of opportunities along the way to get kicked in the face by one of these big fellows, but fortunately for us they kept their distance.

In the tight confines of the jungle-encased river-bed, it was a little more difficult to avoid them. We rounded a bend and found ourselves only 15 feet away from a defensive looking mare. After a few seconds of deciding what to do, we heard the sound of galloping hooves coming out of the brush behind her.

At this point we were certain we would find doom at the hands of a huge and angry stallion, but instead her playful son ran up behind her.

Mother and son

Knowing how mothers can get when their children are in danger, we climbed a few feet up the river bank, gave them a wide berth, and watched as they sauntered past.

Horses by the ocean

Don't look so worried! :)

Collage of some wild horses from Puerto RicoIt was only on our second trip to Vieques, as we rode the bus down to the Bio Bay, that our tour guide mentioned that they’re not actually wild. According to him, almost all of them are owned and belong to different families. They simply let them roam free because it’s cheaper than feeding and housing them, they don’t have to shovel their poop, and they simply collect them when they’re needed. He also said, “…don’t believe what you read on the internet…” about them being wild. Color us surprised!

After hearing this, we paid closer attention and noticed that many of the horses were indeed branded. Things are not always as it seems I suppose, but we don’t really care. To us they’re still the Wild Horses of Vieques, and we love them and their giant poops just the same.

Beautiful...Have you ever had a travel fantasy, only to find that the reality was a little different than your dreams? Tell us about it!

Comments

  1. Sounds like a great time Andy. I would love to see the “Wild” horses.

    • It’s a pretty awesome place down there. We should get something about our wedding up soon too :) Can’t wait to read about your trip to Croatia!

  2. Pinch yourselves, you aren’t dreaming. You are in fact the two luckiest people in the world. You each have someone that loves you. BEAUTIFUL!! I was looking up how to make your own hyaloronic acid serum and stumbled upon you too. I know, weird huh! You commented on cheap Africa. You write beautifully, you both have the happiest smiles and I hope you know how blessed you are. I may stalk you, but either way you should come to the Oregon Coast, its outrageously beautiful. My folks have a campground in http://www.riverside-rv.com/ Brookings and my Mom says the coastline here is as beautiful as Ireland, Nova Scotia and parts of Far off Places shes seen. Riverside R.V. in Brookings on the Chetco, if you’d like more info my Mom will help. She Utah is awesome too! I can hook you up with ideas where Ive traveled as a “brush picker” for 6 years camping free, back when I was the luckiest person on the planet. Beautiful!! I live 30 miles north and hunt agates in Gold Beach. Then theres the Redwood Trees just over the Cali border. You really should. about a goal… to wake up and see a Redwood Tree standing over you. I know a camp down the road from a drive in movie theatre with talking crows, I swear they are speaking english.The famous Rouge River has free camping

    • Thanks so much Lisa for your compliments Lisa! I think we do a pretty good job of reminding each other how blessed we are, cause we know we are to have each other :)

      I’ve been to the Oregon coast once, and to see some giant Redwoods around San Francisco. The Pacific Northwest is definitely one of my favorite places, and I could see us settling down there sometime :)

  3. When we golfed in Puerto Rico in 2011, there were horses tied up around the course. Easy way to feed them better grass!

  4. i loved seeing the horses being ridden by their passed out passenger/owners.
    my boss told me that he had forgotten to close his sliding glass door to his room the night before and woke up to a horse sticking his head in his room.

    • Lol, can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he saw that horse!

      We really loved seeing people ride into Esperanza – bareback – ready to party the night away. Crazy!

      • Darlene says:

        Andy:

        I am visiting Vieques in less than 2 weeks and really want to see the horses. Do you know if they are more in the Esperanza area? Or all over the island?

        Thanks!

        • Hi Darlene!

          We got back from Vieques last week Monday and saw more horses this time around than we have in the past! You can bet your bottom dollar that no matter where you go on the island you will see the horses. Be sure to go to Sun Bay because they love spending time in the grassy area there. Have fun!

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