I’ve always been a horse girl. Posters, figurines and Black Beauty books surrounded me as a child, preteen and beyond. While I don’t decorate my walls and shelves with equine icons anymore, I do still have an affinity for a soft mane and a friendly whinny.
When I can combine my love of horses with the sand and surf of the beach, that is just an added bonus. We’ve ridden horses on the beach, or close to the beach, in Bermuda. That was an awesome experience and, until recently, I’ve never seen beach horseback riding offered in less tropical locales. Now, though, you don’t have to go all exotic to ride horses on the beach. From October through Memorial Day, Virginia Beach Horseback offers the uber-cool equine adventure of horseback riding along the sandy strand of Virginia Beach.
This is a great activity even for a beginner. No experience is necessary and the operators give helpful tips on riding. My eight-year-old has never ridden a horse by herself and she looked like a pro. These horses are super gentle and practically walk themselves. They even know at which point to turn around and head back to the corral. Horses gotta eat too, ya know. They know what’s important.
The corral is usually set up somewhere around 31st street. Just look for the King Neptune statue. You can’t miss it. If you do, you probably shouldn’t be riding a horse.
It’s a good idea to call ahead to check on their exact whereabouts. If there is a festival or special event going on, they may be set up at another location. For example, I was there last year during spring break and the horses were around 27th street, but last week there was a lot of dredging and such going on in that area and the horses were at 31st street.
Reservations are not necessary, but are suggested. When we were there during spring break, we just managed to get a spot before they filled up. We’re not real up on the thinking ahead.
Virginia Beach Horseback has been in operation since 2006. They offer half-hour and hour rides. Special occasion rides, proposals and wedding packages are also available. During the summer beach season, when it’s way too crowded for beach back riding, they offer trail rides.
According to the website, Virginia Beach Horseback will soon be offering an experience where you can ride while the horses swim through the water. Now, how cool is that?
I’ve compiled a list of a couple of other locations that offer horseback riding on the beach. I’m hoping to get the chance to try out some more of them. Let me know if you’ve been to any of these, or if you know of any that I’ve missed. I would love to add on to the list. Have fun and hang on!
Horseback riding on the beach venues:
- Beach Horses – Bradenton, Florida
- Hatteras Island Horseback Riding – Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (Outer Banks)
- Virginia Beach Horseback – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Another bonus of off-season beach excursions is the abundance of seaglass. My up and coming horse girl is an expert seaglass searcher.