Our New Years Eve ride was a great way to close out a rollercoaster of a year.
to the beach!
Fetti and I have been to the beach once before, with our same riding partner. In 2012 the mares were reluctant to get anywhere near the waves, plus the tide was high.
This time around, the ponies had more confidence. Fetti still had an invisible tether going to Cay and balked when asked to stretch it too much, but overall? I was very pleased.
Initially, we had to be behind Cay or up next to her. Any leg pressure or forwards cues resulted in Fetti sucking back and refusing. That eventually resolved, and she found the confidence to even go in front after a bit, but I think it was just a matter of time and exposure.
She is, however, completely convinced that the surf is terrible and awful and should be avoided at all costs. I hopped off and got hit with a (little tiny) wave at my feet, and she nearly lost it. She was still safely five feet from me. We didn't push it; I was happy enough that she'd go near the waves after that, even as she adamantly refused to get close enough they might touch her.
Pony says: "Um, they're not coming up with us. I think we should stop and wait."
I love this photo.
I believe the pillars were intended to be the foundation for a hotel in the 1970s. It appears that never came to fruition. It also appears that might not have worked out so well long-term.
But they make for really excellent photos, even when the pony thinks the dripping water by the pillars is OMGTERRIFYING and refuses to get close enough for a proper photo. Oh well. Next time?
They're huge and we're easily at least 20 feet away, so don't be fooled by how politely small they look.
It was surprisingly fairly empty. In fact, we were the only horses there and got lots of attention for it.
We headed back down the other direction. Here I was all pleased and excited that she'd found her brain and settled in.
But amidst all the winds and crashing waves, we found a moment of relative silence, and some plastic tied to the cliff (not pictured) made a noise.
Farewell, pony brain.
So we did our Big Endurance Trot until I no longer feared she'd take off, and after clearing it with my riding partner, we cantered! on the beach.
Note that we're in front, and not dying or having meltdowns. Pony has confidence! (Also note that we're safely away from the moving water. Oh, Fetti.)
Surprisingly soon the sun started to go down
so we posed for sunset beach photos, obviously!
We moseyed on further down the beach.
Lots of pauses for sunset photos. I am really pleasantly surprised at how well the iPhone camera handled all this.
Naturally, we let the mares get a good roll afterwards. Not pictured: keeping her walking for the last 20 minutes of the ride because she really wanted to roll before we were done. Pretty much every remaining beachgoer stopped and stared and took photos. Many had never seen a horse roll before.
2014 was a rough year. I'm glad we ended it on a good note. Here's to a better and less eventful 2015.