Horseback Riding on the Beach
Growing up around horses I spent hours riding around in circles getting myself ready for the show ring. As I got older I discovered the thrill of hunter pacing which is a race cross country over jumps and through rivers. As a kid I loved every minute I had in the saddle and I knew how lucky I was for the opportunities I had. But, there was one thing on horses I always wanted to do and never had the chance… ride on a beach.
When I dreamed about riding on the beach it was always in a tropical location and I would gallop along with my hair streaming behind me (I imagined I had long hair although it was always short). I was usually bareback on an all white or black horse flying along beach with palm trees streaming past. It was a pretty romantic ideal of what riding on a beach would be like.
Fast forward 20 plus years and I FINALLY got my chance to ride on the beach. I already knew my ideals of what this ride would be like were very different from what I had grown up imagining and I was really okay with that.
Riding the beach in Maine in Winter (the only time horses are allowed on the beach) is a far cry from my tropical imaginations. My hair is still short and now I always wear a helmet. But my experience of actually riding on the beach far surpasses anything I could have imagined.
Bundled up and saddled up my friend Susie and I head toward the sound of the roaring waves. The view, as always, is spectacular. Brilliant blue sky, snow edged beach and the wide expanse of sand just waiting for our hoof prints. Horses on the beach tend to be a bit friskier than they are elsewhere… so much going on. Dogs barking, sea gulls calling and swooping, the waves slapping the beach all are enough to set the best horse into a tailspin.
We walk and settle the horses in… we trot to get ourselves warmed up. Then the best part of all… Susie tells me when I am ready to move into a canter. Dixie, (a trusty black and white mare) doesn’t takes much encouragement as she shifts into a higher gear. Her feet pound as we fly across the beach. Sometimes we move into a gallop and the world flies by in a blur from the speed and my eyes stinging with tears from the frosty air and the sheer jot of doing something I love. My heart feels full as I can’t imagine a better feeling in the world.
This feeling of flying across the beach is exhilarating and like no other I have ever experienced. The power of the horse and flying through the air is far beyond anything I ever could have imagined.