Alright... this may not be the right forum for every part, but....
I'm soooooo excited!!! Me and Fleck and a friend and her horse are going to the beach for a horsey vacation! I'm so excited!!! It's been on my bucket list to ride MY horse on the beach ever since I went trail riding as a little girl on the beach in Alaska. I'm so excited!!! But... I have a few questions...
What can I do to help my tack out? I imagine we'll get some salt water splashes and I'm not sure the best way to care for it. I may be able to borrow a wintec, but.. the only one I know of is a dressage saddle.. and we want to get our gallop on!
And... any extra precautions with Fleck i should be taking? I'm thinking no leg wraps because I don't want sand rubs, and plan to ice/liniment his legs after as usual (or like I would for a trail ride vs a gallop in the field).
Anything else I'm not thinking of? I cannot wait!!!!!!!!
I used my Wintec gear, but no worries, pony head did not get anywhere close enough to the waves to have worried My friend used her leather jump tack and a synthetic girth. She just cleaned it normally afterwards--her horse did not really get to the splashing and playing in the waves phase either.
Best advice: Don't be too disappointed if your horse is not a big fan. I opted for bell boots only, these did not seem to rub. Try to stick to the packed sand by the tide line, the soft sand can be very taxing on their tendons. If you have a choice, better to ride at low tide than high (more wet sand, and the waves won't appear to "chase" the horses as much).
Where are you headed? We have been to seabrook island a few times I may be able to answer any questions. We went full on swimming in the ocean. I borrowed a wintec. Some of the school saddles went for a swim and were fine after a good cleaning and conditioning but I would not take my nice saddle in the ocean. Another thing is we all wear crocs. They stay on really well have a heel dont slip and can get wet. Its a blast and youll love it!
I helped out with the pony club camp in St. Croix one year. Those folks had beach riding down to a science.
For saddles, they just gave every thing a good cleaning and never took their nice ones to the beach if they had an option to use something "less nice."
Typically saddles would stay on for any serious riding, but if we were going in deep we pulled them off and went in bareback. They also had dedicated "beach bridles" for all the horses - mind you they rode on the beaches ALL the time - but a cheap nylon bridle may not be a bad expense if you're actually going to swim. Most horses just went bare-legged, but some people had cheap neoprene splint boots that got washed after every ride. Sand got everywhere but it's not like they had to stay sandy for hours on end.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but I had a horse break down in both tendons on the beach. I live by the beach so use it in the winter to avoid mud.
The biggest thing to watch out for is consistency. Hard sand is better than the dream fluffy soft stuff which is deep. I normally walk/trot everywhere until I have checked the route for debris and consistency in the going and then I will up the tempo and I will only gallop when I know the going is good. There is nothing which ruins tendons and ligaments quicker than one minute being on deep going and the next minute on hard in gallop.
I only ever walk through water because there are often areas or holes which fall away and you cannot see what the ground is doing. Galloping through the splash looks romantic and fun but in reality I care for my horse too much to do something that stupid.
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Congrats, Fleckenawesome. Are you going to a cold weather beach or a warm weather beach?
We go to the beach fairly often, but then it's 2 miles from my barn. However, it's in NE Massachusetts and it's only open to horses in the winter, so swimming is not an option. Even so, we get pretty wet sometimes. I second reconnoitering first, so you KNOW the footing and if it's trappy.
Some horse are terrified of the waves because of the sound, and some think waves are a jumping obstacle coming towards them (depending on the horse, equally terrifying). We usually acclimate them to the water in tide pools, and having a steady, experienced companion horse helps when we finally do get to the waves. We are required to stay below the high water mark, which is great because that's where the footing is the best anyway. I second the synthetic girth (which you can throw in a washing machine afterwards!). We clean any wet spots on our tack afterwards with glycerine soap, and only wear paddock boots and half chaps because our boots WILL get wet. Our horses love to gallop through the water, paw big splashes in the water, dunk their noses in the water: anything that will get us all wet.
We generally warm up a bit and then trot and canter/ gallop as far as we want. Coming back, we might do some schooling figures (great place to practice accurate circles) and we make a point of walking in the water. Therefore, no icing needed! The cold salt water has done the work for us.
If you think you want to swim, consider a bareback pad. I have a couple of friends who use them for swimming and really like them.
WHen is your trip? Have a great time!
They don't call me frugal for nothing.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
We are going Dec 1-4th to Hunting Beach near Beaufort, SC. so.... probably no bikini!!! ha ha!! As warm as it's been this week, I doubt I'll get that lucky.
And yes... I plan to be VERY careful about his legs and tendons and knees. I'll definitely make sure to keep him on the firmer stuff and not go in the deep stuff. And.. I'm hoping he likes to play in the water. We have a lake that he goes into almost every ride.... although I still haven't managed to get him to "swim" yet, but he likes splashing and pawing in it. And yes... that's how I "ice" his legs a good bit
I do have a bareback pad I plan to take as well as a wintec dressage saddle.. but I sold my wintec jump saddle... and don't know of anyone with one I can borrow, though i may ask around some more.
And oooh, good idea on the crocks!
Thanks for all the ideas on tack. I may end up seeing if I can find a cheap bridle... even just playing in the lake all summer cause my reins to crack, so.. I imagine it would be worth investing in a cheap fake bridle. I do have a spare pair of web reins I'll bring.
We have been many times to Hunting Island State Park. Just make sure you go at low tide, otherwise you will not have much sand to ride on, and it will be the soft sand. Low tide gives you a lot of nice, packed sand to ride on.
Watch for the dolphins, we have always seen dolphins leaping out of the water. They have put in some berms that run from the treeline into the water. They make great bank jumps
Don't venture into the lagoons or bike trails. Your not allowed to first off, but they have a lot of boggy areas that could injure your horse. Have loads of fun.