Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beach Ride

I've lived in Oregon for over 13 years, and every year I've said I want to ride on the beach but never did.  That changed Sunday.  Our BM just got a shiny new four horse trailer and was planning a trip to the beach to break it in.  They had an extra spot in the trailer so I jumped at the chance to go. It was a perfect day; 60*, mostly sunny, and no wind.

BM on the pinto, her daughter in the middle, and her husband leading their son on the barn's mini
I figured Peebs would be terrified of the water (he was) and didn't know how he'd react to people, dogs, kites, etc found at the beach.  I had taken my bridle apart to clean Saturday and decided I didn't want to deal with two reins if he was a nutcase so I put my bit converter on the pelham and used one rein. And since Peeb's default spooking stance is to put his head straight in the air, I added a standing martingale.  Bonus, the neck strap of the martingale could also be used as an "Oh Shit" strap if I needed it.

What is this place?!
To get to the beach from the parking lot, you have to ride/walk through and over the sand dunes.  I got on at the parking lot but Peebs felt like a keg of dynamite so I elected to hand walk him through the dunes.  He was pretty nervous, and tried walking over me a couple of times.  Once we came down the steep hill to the beach, he seemed so shell shocked that he kinda shut down for a few minutes.  We walked a couple loops and circles till I felt ok getting on.  I used a large driftwood log that Peebs wasn't sure he could stand next too.  He was up and looky while we started down the beach and held it together for a good five minutes or so till a small girl came running and screaming down the dunes right at us.  He slammed on the breaks and wouldn't move so I hopped off and hand walked him in a few circles.  Once he was ok we continued hand walking down the beach behind everyone else.  He was obviously spooked out his mind, but held it together well and never tried to be bad.  Except when I tried to take him into the water.  He was 100% convinced the waves were deadly and noped out of them as quick as he could. Since he was being so good about holding the rest of his shit together I didn't push it.

About half way down the beach he seemed to realize he wasn't going to die, so I found another log and got back on.  He felt fine at that point, but he wouldn't stand still and was marching much faster than the others.  So we did lots of loops and circles in the deeper sand to slow him down and wear him out. He did keep an eye out on all the people and dogs on the beach, but didn't spook after the initial screaming kid. Once we reached the end of the beach and turned around, he seemed to relax, like he knew we were going home. I felt comfortable to ride on the buckle and drop my stirrups for part of the ride. We were still walking faster than the others, but it wasn't the driven march he had before. KT (BM's teenage daughter) and I did a couple trot sets where both horses were very well behaved. I didn't quite trust Peebs enough to let him canter, but hopefully next time we go I will.

We led the group going back up the hill over the dunes towards the trailer.  The trail is narrow with the dunes rising above you and Peebs very much did not like that.  He doesn't like when he can't see around him and was staring to get antsy.  BM's horse had a little meltdown behind us and when I tried to get Peebs to halt and wait for them, he kept dancing sideways and wouldn't stop.  So I got off, got after him about standing still, then hand walked him the two minutes back to the trailer. I was kinda upset that he couldn't make it the last two minutes, but overall he was much better than I expected.  I had anticipated some running sideways, backwards, bolting, but except at the waves he never tried it. And we had been out for over two hours and I can't blame him for hitting his breaking point. I had a ton of fun and can't wait to go back!


  1. That's so awesome! I'd love to ride my own horse on a beach one day

  2. So awesome! I hope I can do this one day :D

  3. Sounds like a successful first beach outing! I haven't been brave enough to attempt it with Cupid yet, but maybe someday.