Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wildlife Wednesday - horses on beach

I know it's crazy, but I have an incredible fondness for seeing horses on my beach. Seeing them doesn't happen all that often, although I often see the hoofprints and curse that I've missed them again! I think for me, it's the ultimate freedom to be galloping along the shore, wind in your face, you and your horse loving every stride.

I've never seen that though I dream of it!

I've never ridden on the beach either. When I had horses I lived inland and there was no beach to ride on. I rode in paddocks or along the road, and occasionally at pony club grounds or showgrounds.

Most of the people who ride horses on my beach walk, sometimes they might trot. It's not because it's crowded - my beach is pretty deserted at the best of times. It may be that the people I've seen riding are either kids or older women and maybe they don't want to go flying along like I dream.

One day I saw a kid riding her pony bareback and they were trotting along both laughing with their lips peeled back (okay, so I'm anthropomorphising, but I swear that pony was laughing). It was a glorious sight.

When I was learning to ride (at 23 years ancient, which was embarrassing at times!) I rode a pony who loved water. I was riding with a lady and her daughter (who was maybe 12 and so much better than me!) and it was hot, so she said we'd walk through the dam in their paddock. Sounded like fun to me, I tagged along. Halfway through my horse starts pawing at the water with her front hoof, I'm laughing because she's splashing me and it looks like she's having a ball. Then I look at the owner's face, she's terrified and is yelling, "Kick her, kick her," at me. I wasn't much good at being strong and assertive at this stage, but the terror on this woman's face did something to me and I booted that horse in time to her yelling. Shiralee eventually stopped her pawing and reluctantly made her way out of the dam with me clinging on tight, because this pony wasn't happy now and I knew how to tell that!!

When we were unsaddling, I asked what had happened. The poor owner had temporarily forgotten that I was a beginner and that I was on a horse who was cheeky and loved to roll in the dam. So, if I hadn't have booted the horse out of the water, I probably would have been squashed by a rolling horse as she enjoyed the dam. No wonder there was terror!

Maybe I would have jumped free...but you know, I was so hopelessly unsure of anything to do with riding that I probably wouldn't have known how to get free without being tangled in reins, stirrups, water and horse.

And still, to have a horse galloping along the beach spells freedom. In reality, I'm probably more likely to land ungraciously in the sand and lose my horse to a rip, or be dumped while the horse swims and end up dragged out in a rip myself! Maybe I'll stick to dreaming.

Do you have any crazy dreams about freedom?

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