We've done a few vacation horseback rides, and this was the best. My 7 and 9 year olds were just off of a week-long horse camp, so, of course, they were eager to ride some more. Our week on the coast happened to be wet and rainy, but we lucked into skies that stayed clear enough for our hour-long ride.
These guys are pros - and very kind to riders and horses alike. Our leader included Justin and the owner and her son (didn't catch their names). They were helpful and mellow and very attentive and alert. They set up by 7 year old with a pony she could control and my 9 year old with an amazing large quarter horse. My husband and I were on a couple of "fjords" (is this right?), two fiesty buddies.
The horses are in the park. They lead you up a trail across the dunes, down some windy, rugged beach along the ocean, and back along a woody trail next to a river. These horses are not county fair robot horses. You do need to tell them what to do - they are responsive and fun. My horse decided to freak out a little bit on the dunes and took off a bit; I was able to get him back under control even though I'm hardly an expert horsewoman. She also decided to get playful in the river -- the horses were up to their knees in water because the tide was so high (thanks, Supermoon!) -- and the owner poked her butt so she'd take off at a faster speed. It was exciting and a little scary, I'll admit, but I loved it.
The owner's son stayed with my 7 year old the enter time, even leading her in the water when it was clear she was getting nervous. He was kind and patient and funny the entire ride. The owner explained to me at the end that she was worried that my horse was going to LAY DOWN in the water with ME ON IT. But they were so excited for me that I didn't fall off/whatever that they made me feel like a real champ.
It was a great experience. We all loved it. I hope we get to ride with them again.
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