Guys. Guys. Guys.
Okay. Breathe. It's memories now. But still some awesome fucking memories.
Trail buddy and I had talked about a year ago about going on a beach adventure together. Okay, I can't really remember the precise time. But I declined the concept because Grandpa was either crippled or had just temporarily finished being crippled or something. I didn't think it was a good idea. And none of the beaches we found were agreeable to horses year-round.
And then Hillary brought it up and Hillary did the research and gave me phone numbers to call and I talked to people and I told trail buddy that, hey, we're thinking hard about going to the beach. Things worked out and trail buddy was able to join us (and drive us) with her quiet baby palomino, content to offset the slightly warm Thoroughbreds.
We planned to leave the barn at 6:30 on Sunday morning. My husband, the bestest husband ever, had bought us a ton of delicious pastries for our road-trip breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday. So I loaded up Archie's crap, Archie, a banana fritter, some diet cokes, a bottle of water and a change of clothes and took my job as navigator seriously. After two hours and roughly twenty-two roundabouts, I led us to the wrong park. But, fortunately, it was only about ten minutes back to the right park. It was a whopping $2 per person to take our ponies on the beach.
While we were tacking up, other people with horses arrived to the parking lot. The park ranger had told us that there was a limit of fifteen horses on the beach at one time, so I made sure that we were registered properly and wouldn't get kicked out. We made it on the sand before the other horses had tacked up, which made me immensely happy because it was one less issue to worry about.
|Two TB butts.|
|Baby Ginger is such a good baby!|
|Baby Ginger has herding skills.|
We took turns trotting in the water and playing around before we continued on down the beach. We had one little trot session, all giggling like fucking loons, before we broke back to the walk. After the horses were both cooled out and warmed up, we had to do a little run. Because, guys, the fucking beach.
|These waves are scary.|
|My horse's hoof prints on the beach.|
While we were in the magical area and after everyone had had a chance to run around, I said that I wanted to take Archie swimming. Because I grew up with the Black Stallion and the Bay Gelding is a million times better in real life. So I dropped his tack and my boots and my trail buddy gave me a leg up (because her gelding is so much easier to get back on) and I encouraged Archie into the water.
Then we headed back to the trailer, untacked the ponies, watered them and sponged them off and headed back to Savannah. During this return trip, I learned that Florida cares a lot more about the animals leaving the state and that McDonalds has the best diet coke because they filter the water.
Many, many thanks to Hillary for doing the research, to trail buddy for driving us and being so enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and my vet for sending us health certificates at the end of the day and also answering my questions about Archie's physical ability to go on this trip.
I kept saying over and over, we are so fortunate. And even if you never get to gallop your horse on the beach, you're fortunate. We're so lucky to be able to live our dreams with these animals, with our friends, with these memories.