Sunday, May 31, 2009

Life's a Beach

Today was a lazy day to begin with; boys spent some time fishing in the great little pond behind the house (“little” is an understatement—it’s not “big” in TX terms, to be sure, but it sure ain’t little; it’s probably 10 acres), and we all cleaned our horses getting ready for our long-awaited “perq” that came with a clinic in Winnie, TX: a beach ride.

While it was a bit like herding cats to get everyone here, ready, loaded, and off, we eventually got everyone together and on our way. The boys were a bit miffed, however, that we had to “hurry up and wait”….as youngest told me “no offense, mom, but this isn’t a very fun day so far”. Perhaps the beach will help that!

We brought the horses saddled and bridled in the trailers—wise move, because the beach was hopping! Lots of beach goers and fishermen, and the horses were a bit “up” with all the activity combined with the new setting.

My friend Chris, who’s ridden on the beaches of Cyprus, warned me that horses don’t like the surf. She was right. Most of the horses didn’t know what to think of “the very, VERY large water complex” that moved!

Several of the horses boldly entered the water, only to run out when the breaking white waves scared them silly. Eventually, though, Kelley and J and her crew, whose horses were experienced, led the way, and we all got our horses at least into knee deep water and kept them there and/or moved laterally with the water. The white breaking surf still freaked many of them out—including dear PC—but he bore it like the good soul he is.

Trotting and cantering alongside the surf was MUCH more to his liking! My only complaint was that in my previous fantasies of galloping my horse on the beach, there weren’t nearly so many other beach goers or fisherman to weave around. Nonetheless, it was indeed a fantasy to be able to walk, trot, and canter/gallop alongside the breaking waves (and sometimes in the breaking waves). What a great experience. How many other clinics can compete with a beach ride!?!

After we put the horses away, several of us went out in the ocean sans horses, and it was glorious. Bathtub warm and soft, undulating waves….totally serene and therapeutic. The only bad part was that both of the boys got stung by jellyfish, and they weren’t so happy to be in the water anymore…so I ended up taking a walk with one to boost his spirits, cutting my own therapy short. Ah, well, I did get to live out a fantasy of riding on the beach…AND I’m ready for a lesson with Brooke tomorrow, and the arrival of the Laws! Several dressage rides tomorrow to watch, then the clinic begins Tuesday. Until then….

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