On Sunday, we loaded the ponies up and drove all the way down to the beach. Bay Area people know better than to go to the beach during the summer as the traffic is horrendous. We thought we’d be safe as we weren’t going to one of the popular beaches like Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay. We were wrong and we probably won’t be going back to the beach until winter.
Anyway… on to the beach. We brought Dijon and his new owner with us for the trip. She actually grew up near this beach and had always wanted to ride her own horse there. So dream fulfilled.
I was really impressed with how well all three did on the trailer ride and then being tied next to each other at the trailer. Eugene and Dijon have never really even “met” before they got crammed into a trailer next to each other.
We mounted up and rode a little side trail through the dunes to skip the majority of the beachgoers who congregate on the beach closest to the parking lot. As we crested the dune to head down to the actual beach, Dijon put on the breaks so we all got off and walked. A family had walked down here and put up a tent and coolers, and two screaming, running children. That plus the loud waves crashing was just too much for them.
Once we got past that family, we hand walked them to the water so they could get over it. Sort of. 2 out of 3 of the equines got over it. Any guesses as to who freaked out the most? The green broke mustang? The horse whose been off work for weeks due to an injury? Or the experienced and theoretically broke mule whose been here before? If you guessed Nilla, you’re right.
She kept completely loosing her mind about the water. Rearing, spinning, jumping sideways if the waves rolled too close. She wanted to go really fast and then would end up in front and slow down because she needed the baby Mustang to lead her.
This picture is after I convinced her that rearing was not an acceptable way of expressing her displeasure at standing still, so she decided to dig a hole. Whatever, at least she wasn’t actively trying to kill me at that moment.
Eugene, on the other hand, was amazing. He was concerned about the water, and the seaweed, and the birds, and the air, and everything, but he was really good about overcoming that fear. He even let the water touch him. And tried to drink it, but we stopped that. He was so good, my husband was even able to canter along the beach for a bit.
We rode back along the same dune trail which was really very pretty. Although the nice, deep sand was calling to Nilla and she kept trying to put her head down like she might want to roll even with me and her tack still on her.
Once we got back to the truck, we untacked and took them back over to the trail head to roll. Nilla was so eager so almost started rolling in the parking lot where a lot of sand had been kicked/blown in. I had to hold her head up to get into the actual sand. She literally ran into rolling; she just threw herself into the sand from a trot.
She also proceeded to roll about 10 times. She would roll back and forth, smush her ears into the sand, get up for a 1/2 second and then go down again. She was absolutely thrilled.
Eugene also got in on the rolling action.
Dijon doesn’t seem to understand the concept of rolling while on a lead rope. He didn’t roll the last time I took him either. He did stand around and watch Nilla and Eugene rolling though.
I also got this amazing shot of Nilla mid head shake while rolling:
Such an attractive creature. Don’t you want one?
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I’ve never ridden on the beach before; it’s a bucket list item for me. It looks like you had a brilliant time!
I rode my first horse- a QH on the beach and had a blast. A friend lent me her Morgan who would swim in the channel and that was freaky but very cool as well.
I had to laugh at Nilla and her freak out about the beach. Eugene is a doll.
I do wish we could swim in the water, but it’s dangerous here. And also Nilla won’t even let it touch her feet let alone go in it, so I suppose that’s a moot point.
You’ll do it one day.
I’ve wanted to ride my horses on the beach, living away from the ocean makes that hard though. Really shouldn’t be surprised that Eugene was awesome, Nila though, she is such a character.
Yeah, I shouldn’t be so surprised when Eugene is good.
Riding on the beach is one of things I would love to do with my horse some day. I don’t think they allow it anywhere along lake Michigan which is as close as we get to the coast here in Indiana. Eugene continues to amaze me with how level headed he is.
I’ve ridden on the beach on various vacations long before owning my own horses. You can make it happen.
Nilla’s face!!!! so darn cute- not even the least bit apologetic for her behavior. lol And the picture of your husband and Eugene cantering near the surf is a total money shot.
She’s not apologetic. She thinks she’s amazing and her behavior is totally okay.
I love riding on the beach! Also, Nilla’s rolling face is adorable.
Glad you guys had an awesome time at the beach! I really want to go sometime haha, look at Nilla’s smile!
I’ve always wanted to ride on the beach but the one within driving distance (5 hours) is now closed to horses. Maybe someday. The rolling pics are too cute!
We are lucky to have a lot of beaches open to horses around here. One of the reasons why is that it’s not safe for swimming so the beaches aren’t as crowded as East Coast beaches are.
ok… I LOVE the picture of your hubby & Eugene running on the beach!!! That one needs to be framed! Beach riding is also a bucket list item for me.. 🙂
& Nilla’s rolling face is awesome! 😀
He has two such shots. I have none since i can’t get Nilla to behave on the beach.
ugh what a beautiful beach! so jealous!!
I would frame the picture of Nilla head shaking. She is just oozing happiness. I love her smile.
Rolling is her favorite thing after food. It’s practically sacred to her.
I love Nilla’s face! And I am reminded of how appallingly awful Fetti was in November. Perhaps my theoretical next horse should be a green young mustang that knows how to Handle Things Properly 🙂 That’s quite the nice horse you ended up with!
I remember you thinking Fetti was being bad, but I don’t remember her doing anything.
Soudns like such a wonderful day!
Enjoyed the pictures! Riding on the beach some day is on my bucket list. of course I’m expecting a little resistance from my four legged friend as I’m sure it will be his first as well. But so worth it!
3 out of 4 of our horses were okay about the beach. Nilla was the only nutcase. So your horse might be just fine.
I will never get tired of pictures of Nilla on the ground doing Nilla things.
It’s what she’s good at.
I’d love to ride my horse on the beach but I’m guessing he’d be a jerk, LOL. Love these photos!
Omg that last pic haha
Nilla KNOWS she’s awesome and ravishingly attractive. She also knows the ocean is definitely up to something and is not to be trusted. It’s probably swarming with zillions of tiny marine lizards waiting just under the surface of the water. One step closer and they will absolutely walk near her feet until she Dies of It.
At one point a wave crashed over my feet and here while I was leading her and her expression was one of complete dismay.
The rolling in the sand pictures. I feel like you could make a calendar out of them. How cool you can ride there!!!! I think there’s a place you can ride your horse in SoCal in San Diego County but I can’t remember where. Do you get to do that very often or is it a special thing?
We could do it more often, but the traffic in the summer is insane for getting to and from the beach so we probably won’t go again until winter.
Omg I love Nilla’s affection for the sand, it is too much
Rolling is truly her favorite activity And deep beach sand is the best rolling.
How awesome to live in a place you can day trip to ride on the beach! I’m envious 🙂