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.