It's hard to believe that an island as small as St. Thomas has a horseracing industry, but it does indeed. And after a racehorse's career is over, it may well end up at Golden Age Ranch, a sanctuary for retired thoroughbred horses.
Jesse and his posse — Photo courtesy of Golden Age RanchJesse, the proprietor of the ranch, currently has nine ex-racehorses that he has expertly trained to be gentle to novice riders. He offers trail rides and horseback riding lessons for both groups and individuals of all ages at his private three-acre property in Smith Bay.
Retired racehorses at Golden Age Ranch — Photo courtesy of Golden Age RanchTwo-hour trail rides meander through the hills overlooking the bay, then descend right to down to Lindquist Beach, where you'll gallop through the crystal clear water and pure white sand. All the while Jesse will regale you with stories about his horses, each of which has a "tail" to tell. Trail rides cost $80 per person. You can choose from a variety of different saddle types: Western, English, or even Australian!
Jesse gives a riding lesson at Golden Age Ranch — Photo courtesy of Golden Age RanchIf you've never been on a horse and want a lesson, you can do that too: It's $50 for an adult lesson and $30 for kids ($20 for locals).
To get there, take route 30 from Red Hook, going towards the major north shore resorts. After you pass Sapphire Beach Resort, you'll see the entrance to Smith Bay park on your right. Turn left onto the road opposite and follow the signs to Golden Age Ranch.