To ride on a beach
If you’ve never experienced the euphoria of galloping a horse along a beach, it really ought to be on your bucket list. And if you’ve been there, done that, it’s time to go again, says Stacey Carter
EVERY RIDER REMEMBERS their first beach ride. Feeling your horse quivering excitedly underneath you; the sound of him snorting as he inhales the salty sea air and the wind biting at your cheeks. For a brief moment, you’re aware how small you are in comparison to the great ocean in front of you. Thrill aside, beach riding is a brilliant experience for your horse. It’s a change of scenery and an opportunity to really stretch his muscles. Check with your local beach whether they allow horses and at what time of year. Then plan in a trip or two to capitalise on using the sandy surface and cooling sea water to your advantage. Beach riding is great for improving fitness levels. Kicking up sand rather than turf is harder work for your horse and a gallop will raise his heart rate. You can also use the resistance of the sea to help strengthen his back muscles by wading in — but be sensible about how far in you go. Standing your horse in the cold sea water also has valuable health benefits.
“For a brief moment, you’re aware how small you are in comparison to the great ocean in front of you”
“If the water is clean and fresh, standing your horse in the cold sea can help with recovering limb injuries and horses prone to laminitis, as the water cools and helps blood circulation in the feet,” explains vet Alice Brown from Tower Equine Practice. “You’ll have to forfeit the gallop if you have a horse recovering from an injury or with sensitive feet, so bear that mind.” Choose a sandy beach that’s free from pebbles and rip currents — and don’t forget your sunscreen. Visit bit.ly/2HDeAvU to download the BHS leaflet on beaches you can ride on.
A trip to the seaside will provide lots of fun for you and your horse
Racking up some speed o n a b each i n Pembrokeshire Tag us in your beach riding photos on social media and use the hashtag # YHChallen gesYou