Hi everyone :)
So I've just been acclimating my horse to trails starting recently. I had taken him on a couple back in 2010 but we're really getting into it now since he's at a new barn and there is lots of trail access. So, we've been on a couple, usually once or twice a week. He generally goes with at least one other horse (except yesterday we went by ourselves for the first time this year, yay!). He's a pretty sensitive horse overall who does the whole "standing spook/jump outta my skin" kinda thing when he sees something he thinks looks funny or scary. However, he has done quite well on our trails and only occasionally spooks. In new situations he is usually ALL alert, nostrils flared, heavy breathing, fast heart, high head...totally ready to bolt if necessary.
So, some people at the barn are planning on going on a beach ride this Sunday and invited us. My horse has never, ever seen the beach. The other people and horses going are extremely experienced with riding on the beach. My question to you guys is, do you think I should tag along? Or should I continue to work with him on regular trails and then hop along with them a few months from now? What have been your experiences with taking a new horse to the beach?? My horse is very herd-bound so I doubt if we went that he would take off galloping or something crazy. I just don't want to try to take him to do something nice and him end up being traumitized because he could potentially be so freaked out by sand and water.
Well, I guess it depends on how comfortable you are when he gets nervous.
I've had different reactions from three first beach visits. One didn't care less about the noise and the surf but had no intention of setting a foot in the water, another froze, looked at the surf and then went on as if it was old hat, and another froze stock-still, eyeballs big as saucers and broke out in a sweat...scared stupid by the sight (she isn't normally spooky).
I'd have a conversation with those going about the possibility of your horse being afraid and make sure they don't go running off leaving you in a difficult position.
Beach tip: don't run in the soft sand.
Let us know how it was if you go.
I LOVE the beach and so do my horses. I think it would be a great opportunity for your horse to experience the beach together with other horses that have been there and are already comfortable. So I guess in the end it depends on how comfi you are with this situation, I honestly would go with them and check it out! :0) You will LOVE it and so will your horse I bet. Let us know how you and your horse liked it if you go! Pics would be great too! Haha
If you're very worried about him bolting with you and are not comfortable with riding I would tag along and just let him experience it! Then work and ride him when you're ready when it's this time or not. (:
I have rode down at the beach several times. Biscuit couldn't care less about the sand, the waves, the water. But he is a little bit not sure of getting in the water even though he does. They get a little unbalanced when the waves come back from the shore which is hilarious. Hubby's horse didn't want to get in and Barry backed him into it. Some horses are a little nervous but with other horses around he should be just fine. Be sure and post pictures.
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