Article by: Kelsey Walters // Photos by: Equestrian Adventures
Picturesque beaches are Florida’s calling card – keeping tourists and locals alike flocking to the sandy shores all year long. Walking the beach is nothing new to most Floridians, however this past month, we decided to explore the shore a little differently…
Equestrian Adventures of Florida offers a unique beach experience – all from horseback. These riding tours are a perfect way to head out for an adventure, without having to pack up your beach gear. Scott and I met up with the owner and our tour guide, Jennifer, for a truly magical experience along the beaches of Palm Coast. Our group also included a trio of sisters who were visiting the area for a fun girls’ weekend and family bonding time.
Horseback Riding Tours Along Florida’s Picturesque Beaches
If you’ve never been horseback riding, or even seen a horse up close, don’t fret! In fact, our group included experience levels ranging from seasoned riders, who hadn’t been in the saddle for a while, all the way to those who have never ridden at all. Regardless of your skillset, this tour is suitable for everyone and includes a quick crash course in… horse steering.
Jennifer has a special connection to each of her animals and is in-tune to their likes, dislikes and personalities. She skillfully pairs her riders with their horse for the best experience possible. I was partnered with King Midas, a steady and gentle giant who hails from the King Ranch bloodline of Texas fame. Scott rode Tex, a mischievous troublemaker who always had to be the leader of the pack. It was a perfect match.
Before hitting the beach, we all took time to meet our horses. Much like myself, they are all highly motivated by snacks and a cooler full of carrots was brought out for introductions. We got to know each other over fistfuls of orange treats, then it was time to saddle up. Jennifer walked each of us through how to handle our horse, how to best communicate with them and the quirks of each animal to be aware of.
Unlike some other trail rides, this was not a tour where horses are tethered together
like an oversized pony ride. Although the little herd of “brothers” all stuck together following their mom, each rider was responsible for guiding their animal and keeping them moving along. Often, Midas’ eye wandered to the green “salad bar” along the dunes and I had to remind him we were on a mission, and snack time would come after the ride.
Scott and Tex, however, were on a mission of mischief and wandered throughout the group to chat, stir up trouble and weasel their way to the front of the line. If Tex ever noticed he was lagging behind, he would take off into a strong trot to get back to the front, sending Scott into a fit of giggles like a gleeful little kid.
For safety and insurance purposes, riders must be 10 years old and up and must be able to ride on their own. There are also no cell phones, cameras or any other items allowed on horseback, for your and the horse’s safety. This also ensures you’ll be distraction free and able to take in the scenery and truly enjoy the ride. Don’t worry, though – Jennifer takes tons of amazing photos and videos throughout the tour that are all included and given to you at the end of your ride. Horses are guided into the water for an experience you won’t soon forget, plus you’ll stop for some fun posed photos that are way better than any selfie you could have snapped!
Horseback Riding for All Skill Levels in Palm Coast, Florida
Our ride was about an hour long, and covered about 2.5 miles of the hard-packed sand in Palm Coast. This area is one of the only beaches you can ride on in Florida, and the closest to Volusia County. We went on a perfect day that was just cloudy enough to stay out of the sun but comfortably warm. If the beach just isn’t your thing (Scott burns just walking to the mailbox so a summer ride would toast him for sure), trail rides through state parks are also available.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, a romantic ride with your partner, a new experience while visiting, or just a different perspective of this beautiful place we call home, Equestrian Adventures is just the ride for you!
EQUESTRIAN ADVENTURES OF FLORIDA
Touring Palm Coast beaches and Ormond Beach state parks
(386) 846-8386 (text recommended)
By appointment only, schedule subject to tide conditions
Beach Tours: $135/person
State Park Tours: $75/person per hour
Custom packages available