Not sure who we went with, we just asked the people at the front desk who would offer the best experience for people who were riders. They made a call and had us at a place with Paso Finos within the hour. They broke us up into two groups, beginners to intermediates, and those who said Advanced were asked a few simple horse questions. We passed the "test" I guess, and a handful of us got to split off from the walking-only group and had a great time on the beach letting them go full out. Also had a pit stop at a swimming hole that was amazing.
I did! It was almost ten years ago, though. We went during our honeymoon. I am not sure the name of the place. The *barn* was wide open and airy-no walls. My lovely new husband at the time, was so proud of having an *experienced* rider with him, he thought he needed to share that. So of course, I got the kookie little honey that clearly needed to build some mileage. The only real fun part was when the guide let me open her up and gallop her on the beach. Pretty views of course.
I've been with a couple of the outfits. The horses were much healthier/better weight at Rancho Notorious than the other big outfit. Pretty good outfit for tourist fare -- they let us gallop on the sand dunes, which was fun. My pony was trick-trained and I got to test his buttons, including standing with front feet on a big rock. That was pretty cool.
Adding -- they do have helmets if you ask. Like a true crazy person, I always take my own on vacation, though.