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Beach Riding

FILED UNDER: Anecdote

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Wed

Dec 2010

15

Author: Katie

Site: www.gofreshdesign.com

I'm so lucky to live in Florida where is stays warm well into December. (Though the last few days is has been downright freezing... Brrrrr...) Recently I was able to haul to the Beach with a group from by boarding barn and I have to say that there's nothing quite like Beach Riding. The experience was memorable and fun.

For my horse the experience was a bit scary, but I'm sure she enjoyed a break from ring work. Horses get bored of riding in circles in the arena just like us. I love to mix things up with trail riding and playing games. Unfortunately, I don't have easy access to the trails at my current barn so when I heard about this beach trip I jumped at the chance to log some riding time outside of the arena.

At first most of the horses were completely unsure of the waves. After several unsuccessful attempts at getting my mare to head into the ocean I realized the fantasy of galloping through the water, Black Stallion style, was probably not happening this trip. I settled for trotting and cantering higher up the dunes.

There were a number of beach goers who were excited to see all of the horses at the beach. Several kids looked eager to get close. I was trying my best to keep my very looky girl under control so we tried to steer clear of the onlookers.

At some point I dismounted and tried to hand-lead Paisley into the ocean. We would take a few steps and get praises for being brave. Take a few more and then more praise. Soon we were both standing in a whole inch of water.

As the day progressed some of the other horses had decided perhaps the water wasn't SO scary after all. Once some of the other horses had found their way into the ocean, Paisley was more cooperative. We managed to get about halfway up to her foreleg into the water. Every time a wave would come in, Paisley would back up away from the foamy edge of the wave, concerned in might swallow her whole.

The trip was capped with a fun race down the beach side; 8 or so horses galloping full out. After loosing my stirrups and hanging on for dear life atop a horse going full out I have a new appreciation for Jockeys. It's been a long time since I've had a chance to gallop all out (rings make it hard, but on a straight shot like the beach you can really get going) and I wasn't completely prepared. Thankfully I have a "bad" habit of grabbing mane.

All in all the trip was wonderful and it makes me long for the days when I had easy access to miles of trails. I'm looking forward to the next beach ride.

Photo Credits: Myself

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