“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and freedom.” — Author Sharon Ralls Lemon, The Ultimate Horse Book.
Horseback riding is a pleasurable, relaxing way to deal with stress and anxiety. The animal’s evolutionary journey has gifted them with a power to positively affect us in surprising ways.
Many of us have fantasized about riding down a pristine beach on a horse. It is a wildly romantic image, isn’t it?
You may not be aware, but t this is an utterly possible dream that can come true for anyone who wants to experience the crashing waves and salty wind from the vantage point of riding horseback.
Throughout the United States — from Oregon to North Carolina to Main and all the way down to Texas’ massive Gulf Coast — there are opportunities to enjoy horseback riding along the beach.
Horseback Riding On The Beach
If you want a truly unique and unforgettable experience, get to your nearest beachfront corral and take a horseback riding tour of the coastline.
You don’t have to be a master equestrian to do this. Every outfitter, including the ones we will feature, will be able to accommodate riders of any experience level.
Not only will you cover much more area than you would on a leisurely stroll around the boardwalks, but there is no better way to view wildlife than from horseback.
Judy Hughes who runs Oregon Beach Rides out of Nehalem Bay State Park talks about why horseback riding along the coastline is such an exceptional experience.
“Horseback riding on the beach is something that everyone has thought about at least once,” Hughes states. “We keep that in mind and try to make each ride special, whether it’s their first time or one-hundredth. People see something new every trip out,” says Hughes. “Recently, we saw killer whales for the first time.”
If you are looking for a special way to propose to the love of your life, can you think of anything more romantic than asking "the big question" while riding a horse with the ocean as your backdrop?
Healing Benefits Of Horseback Riding
“A canter is a cure for every evil.”— Benjamin Disraeli
Researchers Monamie Ringhofer and Shinya Yamamoto from the Kobe University researched just how The Noble Species naturally respond to the emotional state human companions. Their results, which were published in the Journal of Animal Cognition, are very impressive.
This research makes it clear that a horse possesses natural gifts that are applicable when someone is trying to overcome emotional pain or distress. Of course, anyone who has spent time working with horses will attest to their empathetic nature. This research is merely catching up with what most equestrian experts already knew to be true: Horses do not judge us in the same way that people do.
A View From A Steed
Horseback riding is a healthy, mood-altering way to take in the beauty and majesty of nature. It requires you to focus on your surroundings, block out the negativity, and connect with the animal.
Whether you ride some local trails or through a national park or over miles of coastline, you will experience parts of the country that you never thought possible.
Appreciation For The Natural World
We spend much of our time indoors connected to everything and everyone at all times via technology. Although we have adapted to this new way of life, it is not our natural state.
Horseback riding will get you back in touch with the natural world within a few minutes. You will tune into the sights, the sounds, and the wonder of our natural resources.
Your mind will be free to ponder.
Your mood will improve.
For the Body
Within a few minutes of your ride, you will begin to relax.
Horseback riding is such a positive and productive way to address physical ailments that there is a science behind it called “Hippotherapy.”
Hippotherapy is defined by a style of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and emotional therapy in conjunction with the care of and interaction with horses. Speech and language difficulties may also be addressed in Hippotherapy.
If you are looking for a way to treat tension in your joints and muscles, horseback riding will do you a world of good. Riding increases your range of motion and blood flow as you counter the horse's movement for balance and control.
How We Picked The Best Beach Destinations For Horseback Riding
Here is our list of the best beach destinations that are horse riding friendly. When gathering our recommendations, we took a look at these critical factors:
4 Best Horseback Riding On The Beach Destinations In The U.S.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Horse or no horse, Myrtle beach is a fun place to visit.
You can make some genuinely unforgettable memories in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There are sixty miles of family-friendly coastline to enjoy.
Carolina sunrises are breathtaking!
This is a region abundant in wildlife and sea-life.
You will love the local cuisine, and you can’t beat the Southern hospitality.
One standout horse riding outfitter is Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach. Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach welcomes families and beginners. They have ponies that can accommodate any riding skill. Usually, the tours last about ninety minutes.
Kids will love being able to take their horses into the water and splash around! However, be advised that the Atlantic is pretty chilly during the winter months. If you intend to go horseback riding along the Atlantic coastline during this time, do yourself a favor and wear a wetsuit.
You must make reservations. You can call 1-843-997-1876 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the price, location, and accommodation, we give Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a 5/5.
Popham Beach, Maine
If you have never visited the Northern Atlantic Coast, you seriously need to plan a vacation to this breathtaking region in the United States. There you will experience some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
The North Atlantic beach communities that are nestled along the Main coast are not only picturesque, but they offer authentic local cuisine and unique lodging. When you are ready for some tasty local cuisine, just walk up to any one-man lobster shack, and you’ll be guaranteed to have the best lobster roll of your life.
If you are looking to experience this region from horseback, Popham Beach is an excellent place to start.
We recommend that you check out The Carousel Horse Farm. This establishment is located near Popham Beach and Old Orchard Beach. No matter what your level of experience with horses might be, The Carousel Horse Farm has an appropriate trail ride for you.
Be advised that rides are limited by low tide. All rides take place 3 hours before or after low tide. This factor is essential to understand if you are planning on a beach ride while visiting the area.
Popham Beach gets high marks for the breathtaking beauty of this ride. However, the ride is short and pricey compared to other locations. For a family (or group) of four, $$$ a tour is a pretty good deal, but the minimum is a bit overreaching for just a couple.
All things considered, we give Popham Beach a 3/5
Before we move to our next recommendation for riding horseback on a beach, we would like to mention that The Carousel Horse Farm offers incredible sleigh rides for groups, families, and couples during the winter months. Seriously, it’s like riding through a Thomas Kinkade painting — a truly memorable, once in a lifetime experience!
Bob Straub State Park, Oregon
For anyone wanting to experience riding horseback on a beautiful beach, Oregon will not disappoint.
Bob Straub State Park is 484 acres of natural beauty.
Green Acres Beach and Trail Rides in Pacific City, Oregon is can make your horseback riding dreams come true. This ranch is located a few minutes from Pacific City. They tailor riding excursions for beginners or experienced riders. The entire horseback ride along the beach takes about an hour.
You start at the beachfront location in the heart of Pacific City. Within no time at all, the mighty waves of the Pacific Ocean will be crashing before your eyes.
Inside Bob Straub State Park, you will experience gorgeous views of nature and discover the local plant and animals species.
There is a 2-hour park tour available to experienced riders. This ride takes you along the Nestucca River, then into the nearby, steep sand dunes. The horses enjoy running up and down them. So, saddle up!
Private rides are available, too. This is an excellent option for marriage proposals. In fact, they have individual trips that are designed specifically for marriage proposals.
It is important to note that Green Acres Beach and Trail rides are ranked “#1 Things to do in Pacific City” on TripAdvisor.
Considering price, location, and accommodations, we give Bob Straub State Park a 4/5. The marriage proposal package is a solid 5/5.
Surfside Beach, Texas
Horseback riding in Texas is a way of life.
If you are looking for a small Gulf Coast town that offers fishing, swimming, beach combing, and horseback riding, look no further than Surf Beach, Texas.
This gulf community is located southwest of Galveston, Texas. Surfside Side is a fun little town with lots to do — when you aren’t enjoying a relaxing horseback ride on the beach.
This is a very affordable getaway with beachfront lodging that won't break the bank.
Check out Beach Bum Horse Rides. There, you can expect a gentle horse and a fun ride along the beach. Also, you won’t be lumped into a big group of riders. They specialize in small groups.
Overall, you can't beat the price or accommodations for beginner riders.
Surfside Beach is a 4.5/5 in our book.
Your journey will be even more memorable if you are lucky enough to see the local dolphins playing in the nearby surf.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best Horseback Riding On The Beach Experience
These are a few examples to use as your guide. Just about any beach community that allows horseback riding will have a local corral that offers tours.
Always have an accurate count of how many people will be attending the ride.
Also, you need to ask if they intend to split up your group into smaller, more manageable tours. That could affect families in a big way. On that subject, if you intend to ride with small children, make sure the facility can accommodate kids.
Lastly, you should know how the local tides affect the availability of tours.
“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.” — Helen Thompson, writer Smithsonian
Riding horseback is an excellent way to hit your mental reset button and reconnect with the natural world. Hopefully, we have given you a few good options for your next (or first) experience horseback riding.
Now, saddle up, get out there, and make some unforgettable memories. A beautiful, seaside word is waiting for you.