This weekend some friends and I put together a semi organized beach ride. I am about an hour from the beaches in Delaware but have never ridden my horses on the beach. We headed to Delaware Seashore Beach which is right outside of Dewey Beach. There is a 4 mile stretch of beach that horses are allowed on. A few more beaches will be open to riding in November so we must go explore those too.
All of my personal horses are injuried at the moment so Dixie and Indy were my choices of horses with good brains that can handle a new potentially scary environment. Indy had pulled off both front shoes running in the field and Dixie and lost one shoe. When I brought Dixie in he had twisted the other hind shoe so I got my tools out and pulled that one off. I figured the beach was soft and they could handle the footing okay. The farrier is coming on Wednesday to do their feet. They have all been running around silly since moving to the new farm.
We arrived at the beach and pulled up in the parking lot. The boys happily tied to the trailer and munching their hay bags while we got ready. We got on and headed out across the sand dune and to the beach. There were lots of cars on the beach with people fishing, dogs and other things going on. We walked and trotted up and down the beack a bit. Indy was looking at the cars and Dixie was looking at the different color sand on the beach. Both of them were just as nice as you could want and although they were looking they were relaxed and happy to go wherever we asked them to. Did I mention my hubby was riding Dixie? His horse is out of action right now so I told him Dixie would do great. He has ridden Dixie on trail once before but did not know him well so he was pretty nervous. He is a weekend rider and although he rides well he is not really in shape and he can be a bit nervous. Once he realized how easy Dixie was he started to relax and have fun.
We walked down to the water and it was really funny to watch the horses react. I called it the how good can you ride a spook contest. The horses would all happily walk up to the edge of the water but when the waves broke making the loud noise and the white wash came towards them they though they were being attacked and must flee. It was pretty mild overall and I kept walking Indy back and forth until he realized the white foam was not after him and then he was in the water. I did not go really far in (um, I have an expensive saddle :)) but we were in there. My hubby did not press Dixie to go in but was off trotting and cantering up and down the beach by himself and running through the puddles where the water had gathered.
We all walked down to the end of the beach and the horses were tired so we let the group go on and we turned back. We started trotting, then a canter and then a gallop. It was fun watching my hubby because he does not like to canter much but I told him to give it a try and he liked it so much he went right on past my friend and I with a big grin on his face. He had a blast and Dixie was just amazing for him. Indy was a star as he always is.
I have to say that not all the ottb’s would handle that situation as well as ours did. These two horses have superb brains and I would trust them with anybody. Kurt had wandered off by himself with Dixie just riding around doing his own thing and said Dixie was so responsive he liked him better than his own horse 🙂
We took off their tack and let them have a good roll. I will have some more pictures of dixie later.