Splashing through shallow surf is a real blast; the horses love it and beach riding always puts a smile on a rider’s face. Here are 4 rides you may not know about.
Iceland black-sand beaches (5 days)
You don’t immediately associate Iceland with a beach ride and it’s true, you can’t swim with your horse, but you can pound along the beach. Or should I say tölt? This quote from a rider this month says it all, “I’ve fallen in love with tölting and Icelandic horses. It’s so much easier than trotting!”. If you want to extend this ride with a day’s whale watching, take a look at Sea horse
Spain Pyrenees to Mediterranean (6 days)
This one’s a little more civilized! We still use all paces but ride Andalusians (all geldings). The stable has a choice of 70 horses so we’re guaranteed to find one right for you. Stunning Catalonian countryside, gorgeous farmhouse accommodation and excellent home-cooked food. What’s not to love! Most of this ride is through the national park, but it ends on the Mediterranean beach and a salty swimming opportunity.
Morocco’s Barbary Coast. (8 days)
Cheap to get to, totally different to life in the UK and a stunning coastline. This was our first ride in Morocco and has been popular year after year, it’s a classic. Sometime we do it back-to-front and box the horses down the coast to the end point, and ride home. The reason is to add a little zest! The horses know where they’re going, as they generally do, and get the scent of home in their nostrils, so the pace get quicker as you near home. The firm wet sand along the Atlantic coast is perfect for making progress! And by the way, we ride Barb stallions, which are the Ferraris of the equine world; all that controlled power! Awesome!
You don’t really associate Namibia with beach riding, but this ride across the Namib Desert ends when you reach the Atlantic coast. The horses in Namibia are so strong and gutsy and have the stamina to carry you right across the desert. When you eventually reach the coast and the horses enter the surf they are really non-plussed! As each wave recedes they follow the water leaning into the surf, and nearly topple over! A really strange sensation. I guess they’re desert specialists and not used to waves.