Thursday, June 26, 2014

Beach Adventure

Bucket List: riding at the beach - CHECK!

Two weekends ago I was invited to go with 3 other couples, 3 other horses and 3 other dogs to Long Beach, WA which is 2.5 hours from my barn.

I hauled Sam and barn BFF's horse, Flitzen, and one of my dogs, Aero, with my truck and my backyard neighbor's trailer.

The ride was smooth and easy, though very curvy as we took the path on the WA side of the Columbia River, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It was very pretty from what I could glimpse as the driver.
The drive to the Pacific - water to the left, woods to the right.
We caravan'd with the other trailer and a car behind me. It was nice to have the trailer as a target in front of me.

Bright, but overcast day. It was actually perfect.
We rented a house with small barn. There were 6 stalls - four had sand runs, a tack room, a large run-in area for another 3 horses and a round separate sand paddock area. So nice.

Sam and Flitzen settling in. Ended up not feeding on sand after this shot ;)
We were originally going to hand walk and lunge, but I felt I would be in more control riding.

The sand trail we followed to get to the beach several hundred yards away.
The beach!


Long Beach is 28miles of all beach. Cars are also allowed to drive on it.
Beach as far as the eye could see, in both directions!
We went out at low tide each time, so we had PLENTY of nice wet sand to ride on. Sam was very energetic. Amazing walk, haha. And when we trotted, I basically had to just stand in my stirrups because posting that fast was just ridiculous! But he was overall calm minded and listening. And he was SUPER curious about the water and the algae foam left from the tide.


He would sniff it all like a dog would. So luckily, he was good enough to walk on a long rein so he could satisfy his curiosity. 


He took his time and a lot of viewing from both eyes, but eventually we got closer and closer to the ocean. 


He even played a bit in the small tide pools.


I got a lot of practice taking one handed photos with my phone while moving, haha.

We got THIS close to the ocean on the 2nd day. We walked alongside for a few feet and as the water came in, Sam was all 'no touchy' and just moved his path curved away - and then he was done with it and keep moving away. 

We galloped several times. Really opening up and getting new gears. We raced Flitzen a few times - neither horse even thinking about stopping until we both asked them to slow together. I found out that using a FULL release between half-halts really works. Because otherwise, Sam just leaned on the bit and only half-heartedly listened. But a full, complete release between halts worked beautifully. ;)

One of my dogs, Aero, also got to come - though not on the beach while I was riding. He likes to chase speeding horses. He did enjoy things like getting to be on furniture and in carpeted rooms which are banned at home. :)

Sleep with me all night, every night.
Back to galloping. SO COOL! We probably galloped for like a max of 60 secs each time. My calves were burning! It just reminds me how much power horses really have. Just wow. I brought a bareback pad, but don't think I'll ever use it at the beach because Sam did sidle sideways a few times for things like large seaweed chucks. But maybe next year, I'll put my arms up like in Black Stallion :D

I also decided to sell the Wintec and just use my saddle next time. Safe from salt and sand at this beach and I probably used new muscles on the Wintec just because it's a different balance point.

Two half days, one full day and two nights was a little too short. Maybe a four days next time. Oh, there will be a next time. :) And my horse is a beach superstar.

Pretty ride home too - about an hour from home, along the Columbia River.

8 comments:

  1. So cool! A whole weekend of beaches and horses and dogs and friends! Lucky you :)

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  2. THAT SOUNDS AMAZING. Bucket list item there.

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  3. Ooooooh, I am so completely jealous. That sounds absolutely amazing! Last year I did a trail ride in Mexico where we were able to gallop along the sand which was awesome, but we were not able to be near the water at all due to environmental regulations. Your trip sounds AMAZING!!! Gotta love the Pacific Northwest!! :-)

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  4. I've always wanted to ride on the beach. It sounds amazing!

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