AAA: THE BEACH

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.
Walking on the beach initially was a little scary.  To our left was the dunes and deep sand and four-wheel-drive vehicles getting stuck and kicking up sand.  To our right were parked pickups on the ideal sand with fishing poles and lines everywhere and children.  Archie has never offered to trample a child, but it's a legit fear.





Baby Ginger is such a good baby!
After about ten or twenty minutes of the horses walking like fucking champs, we hit the end of where the vehicles could be and also hit the perfect mixture of sand and water.  We slowly walked the horses in, but at the recommendation of my trail buddy, we walked them at an angle to the water rather than directly in.  I would have never thought of that but it worked perfectly.  Her gelding was a bit hesitant still, so Hillary slowly used Annie to maneuver him into the water.



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.
After passing another group of cars, we decided to turn around before we ran into too many people.  We encountered a large group of horses (fifteen, my ass) and none of ours cared.  Then we got back to the magical area where the waves were calm and took turns cantering and running in the water.  My trail buddy's baby gelding wasn't keen on leaving the group, so we used Archie as a guide for him, which, you know, my egotistical alpha gelding just fucking loved.

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.

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24 comments

  1. This doesn't help my intense feelings of jealousy.

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  2. oh woooooowww!! Pretty sure I'll never get that chance living in Oklahoma. I smiled from ear-to-ear watching him swim! I'm so happy you got to cross that off your list and we get to live vicariously through your escapades.

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  3. Wonderful memories made!! You lucky dog you!

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  4. What an amazing, incredible dream come true!!!! :D :D

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  5. Beach riding is the best! Sounds like a fantastic time

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  6. I haven't ridden on the beach in years, but I can still feel it. It's the best. Sounds like your beach day was amazing!!

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  7. So glad y'all got to do this! It's always been a dream ride of mine :)

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  8. Beach riding is the best. I've only gone in Ireland (in the winter) so it was cold AF. And it's still one of the coolest things I've done.

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  9. I was trying to rack my brain around the AAA, like was this friendship and outing Triple A rated by S&P or Moody's. Or maybe you really like western car insurance. Then I realized it was an acronym

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  10. Archie is a swimming champion! That looks like so much fun!

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  11. That looks so awesome! Would love to get to do something like that!

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  12. That is stunning and is basically all of my horse dreams come true. So jealous. That Annie sure is an awesome baby horse and look at Archie just going right out into the water!

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  13. OMG. I'll be right down. CUsoon.

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  14. OMG. That's amazing. I'm jealous. I've galloped on the beach, but not on my own horses since they're terrified. I really want to. Your beach looks a lot scarier with all the vehicles than our too.

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  15. OMG so jealous! Love Annie's expressions in these too. I've got to get over to Island State park!

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  16. Holy cow. SO jealous. What an amazing time!

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  17. ha that swimming video is evvvvverything!!!! looks like so much fun!!! tho i feel like there's an untold story in there about trying to leave the state lol

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  18. Riding on the beach is a total bucket list item for me. Glad your experience was everything you hoped for!

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  19. That looks like so much fun!! I was lucky enough to grow up within riding distanced a beach but now I don't know when, if ever, I'll get to do that again. I'm totally jealous!

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  20. Taking my girls on a beach holiday a few years back totes ranks high in my list of epic holidays.
    I am so glad you go to do this with Archie, Hillary & TrailBuddy

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