Oh my god, so I’m f i n a l l y writing this. I know it took a while but it was an amazing experience! I’m going to write this and then I’ll be sharing a full album because we took a ton of photos!
Beach trip started (sorta) on Friday night when we got Bella and loaded her up to take her to the farm I used to work at. My former boss, now just a good friend, picked her up and we got her settled before sitting down with her dad to discuss trip details. Originally we were going to be in a cabin and basically camping but, and long story short, we ended up going to a completely different beach and we ended up with hotel rooms and a bar & grill right next door. It was great. No food planning, no major shopping trip. We planned on all getting together at the trailer around 5:30 the next morning. Which was rough since I live around half an hour from the farm (although at 5 AM there isn’t any traffic on the roads so that was a plus). We all got there, finished loading up the last few items we needed and then the trouble started. Bella has been a bit of a brat to load recently and though she walked on the night before easily she put up one heck of a fight the next morning. Sort of baffling. We spent an hour just loading her and eventually it took me standing behind her (don’t do that, it’s dumb, I know) with a cart whip and her lead line driving her forward with Danielle in the trailer with Bella on a lunge line working on tempting her in with treats. Bella doesn’t typically care about food so it was a long shot but she did eventually get on and once she was on she was happy as could be in front of her hay net.
We got on the road and got moving with the plan of being there around lunch time. Although, as Danielle pointed out, bad things come in threes and we’d only been through two. Location change, Bella being fussy about getting on the trailer, and then an hour and a half-ish into our drive Danielle noticed we were losing air in a tire. We were lucky enough to spot a Pep Boys just up the road (literally the next stop light) and we pulled off. These guys were fantastic! We were borrowing this trailer that had just been driven down to the beach and back two weeks prior and all the tires looked fine prior to leaving. These guys got it pulled off and discovered it was actually dry rotted and air was seeping through the cracks. The amazing guys at that location got a new tire put on for us (all without having to unload the three horses) and sent us back out on our way. That was number three and the rest of the trip was perfect.
We got to the beach, parked the tuck, and unloaded. First thing was first, taking care of the horses and getting them tacked up so we could go explore. We had a guide and the owner of Cedar Island Resort with us for our maiden trip out onto the beach. They spent time with us on the beach showing us what to look out for in the sand on what was safe and what wasn’t. We crossed several large areas of deep water with them and once we were confident, and they felt they’d shown us all they could, they headed back and we continued on. We road out to the furthest point of the island(s) and saw not only wild ponies but cows as well. The scenery was incredible, the company was amazing (as always) and we had such a great time.
First day was definitely more us getting our bearings out there and taking pictures of everything around us. We did get some good canters in but for the most part we walked and trotted. What surprised me the most was how much Bella seemed to enjoy the water. This is the same horse who pitched fits over streams and even fought me some on water complexes while cross-country schooling. She walked right into the ocean and she loved walking out in the deeper water, even trying to venture out further into the deeper areas. I would love to take her back when it’s warmer and actually go swimming.
The most amusing part of the day was when Danielle’s big ol’ boy Jack decided he wanted to take a roll. He went down without any warning and she was just able to get clear. This is why you bring synthetic tack (if you can).
Keith and I were lucky enough to avoid having anything so eventful happen to us.
Most magical point of the day was seeing/accidentally galloping alongside the wild ponies. I wish I had pictures/video of that but alas, I do not.
We got back at the end of the day and put the horses up, leaving them to hang out for a bit while we got checked into our rooms and got some food. Danielle and I went back later to feed and make sure everyone was covered up for the night. Bella had to be because she’s clipped (even if it was 20 degrees warmer at the beach) and the other guys got it just to take care of them after working so hard that day. Danielle and Keith and I also got very well taken care of with great food, warm buildings, and live music!