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Horseback riding on the beach is a beautiful and unique experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. And to help you strike this adventure off your list, I researched coastal regions of the USA and put together a list of the best beaches for horseback riding.
|Corpus Christie, Texas||Horses on the Beach||1-1.5 hrs.||5.0|
|Fort Pierce, Florida||Tours on Horseback||1hr-1day||4.5|
|Amelia Island, Florida||Amelia Island Horseback Riding||Custom||5.0|
|Long Beach, Washington||West Coast Horse Rides||1hr||4.5|
|Pacific City, Oregon||Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides||1-2hr||4.5|
|Hatteras, North Carolina||Equine Adventures||2hr||5.0|
|Myrtle Beach, South Carolina||Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach||1-2hr||4.5|
|St Simons, Georgia||The Stables At Frederica||1-2||4.8|
|Brunswick, Maine||Sable Oak Equestrian Center||1-2hr||4.5|
|Brooklyn, New York||Jamaica Bay Riding Academy||50 mins||4.0|
1) Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is a thirteen-mile barrier island off the northeast coast of Florida. It has plenty of activities throughout the year, making it a great spot to ride horses and a great vacation destination.
You have two choices for horseback riding on Amelia Island, Kelly Seahorse Ranch and Amelia Island Horseback Riding. Kelly Seahorse Ranch is a walk-only ride and doesn’t permit photos on horseback.
Kelly takes you through a wooded trail that leads to the beach of Amelia Island State Park. To learn more about Kelly Seahorse Ranch, click here to read Tripadvisor reviews.
Amelia Island, Horseback Riding, is known for its custom riding trips and beautiful scenery. For experienced riders, this excursion is for you. The horses are well trained and easy to get moving.
- Rides are based upon ability; if you are experienced, you can gallop your horses.
Click here to find out what over 1,500 people have to say about Amelia Island Horseback Riding.
2) Corpus Christie, Texas
The Gulf of Mexico in southeast Texas offers a couple of outfits that provide an opportunity to enjoy the beaches from the back of a horse. Not far from Houston is Beach Bum Horse Rides in Surfside, Texas, and further south in Corpus Christie is Horses On The Beach.
Horses on the Beach provides horse rentals for riding on Padre Island, a ninety-eight-mile barrier island with vast beaches, nature trails, and protected habitats for endangered sea turtles. The horses live on the island, and the facility is only a six-minute ride to the beach.
I spoke to Brennan at Horses on the Beach, and he provided some insight about beach horseback riding I hadn’t considered. First, you can’t ride shod horses on beaches.
The shoes cause problems in the sand and would likely be pulled off by suction. It’s also mandatory that someone picks up any poop the horses drop on the beach, so plan to carry a bag with you if you intend to ride your own horse.
And finally, the number of beach locations a person can ride is decreasing because of limited beach real estate and high demand.
- Walk only. No galloping, running, or trotting
- No bareback riding
- Western tack
- No double riders
- 8-year-old minimum age during the pandemic, typically 6 years old
- 250 lb weight restriction
- No dress code
- Available year-round, closed on Christmas Day.
- Closed herd
- Private rides are available
Click here to read the reviews for Horses on the Beach.
3) Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce is on Florida’s Atlantic coast, about one hour north of West Palm Beach. The region is known for its long and unpopulated beaches. But they also have some of the most amazing beaches to ride a horse anywhere.
Beach Tours on Horseback offers horseback rides down the unspoiled beaches on Hutchinson Island near Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. A couple of things to note, this is a walk-only ride, and their age restriction for riders is 10 years old.
You can click this link to read what their customers had to say about the experience with Beach Tours on Horseback.
4) Long Beach, Washington
The city of Long Beach is located on the Long Beach peninsula in southeast Washington state. The Pacific Ocean beach has powder gray sand that disappears into the horizon.
The local area offers visitors great food and those of us from the south and the opportunity to see a lighthouse. There is two local horseback riding guides in Long Beach, West Coast Horse Rides, and The Long Beach Horse Rides.
At West Coast Horse Rides, you can ride one of their horses to the beach with an experienced crew and enjoy the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean for just 40.00 per hour.
- Minimum age 6 years old
- Maximum weight 275 pounds
- Western tack
- No dress code
- Helmets provided, 12 and under mandatory
- Can cantor horses
- No bareback
- No double riding
- Private rides available
- Seasonal and weekends. Call to check availability.
Here is a link to Google business reviews for West Coast Horse Rides to find out what others have to say.
5) Pacific City, Oregon
Pacific City is a small coastal community about two hours southwest of Portland. It’s known for its fishing village and as a vacation destination. The area has a unique landscape that draws visitors.
Two large rivers merge next to the ocean’s shoreline, and there are miles of pristine beaches to ride horses. Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides offers various riding packages based on experience and your desire.
They even have a couple of camels on-site that you can ride. But for those wanting to stay on horseback, you get a half-hour ride on the beach, then ride up dunes and into the Bob Straub State Park.
They also offer longer rides and one for more experienced riders that like to canter. Green Acres will even schedule a special proposal outing.
To read what others have to say about their experience with Green Acres Beach and Trail Ride, click on this link TripAdvisor reviews
6) Hatteras, North Carolina
Hatteras is a small community on the southern end of the Outerbanks island of Hatteras. It’s mostly known as a tourist destination and a great place to fish, but they also offer horseback riding on the beaches.
If you want to take your horse to a beach location, this is your place. Private horses are welcome at Driftwood Ranch, a self-care facility on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. From there, you have access to trails through undisturbed maritime forests, leading to vast, uncrowded beaches.
Suppose you don’t have a horse; that’s ok too because Equine Adventures provides guided horseback rides through forests and beaches. They tailor rides based on the experience of the riders.
Be sure and contact Equine Adventures for available dates and click here to read their reviews on tripadvisor.com. They also have an informative, frequently asked question page you should review before scheduling your ride.
7) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is a community of the grand strand of South Carolina. The grand strand consists of 60 miles of beaches. It is a favorite tourist destination and well known for its boardwalk and golf courses.
Myrtle Beach also offers horseback riding on the beach. Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach has been safely providing trail and beach rides in Myrtle Beach for over 15 years.
They have experienced and well-trained staff and horses, so no prior riding experience is necessary. Their rides include both trail and beach rides and typically last ninety minutes. Youngsters are allowed to ride with their guardians.
Click here to read the reviews on TripAdvisor.
8) St Simons, Georgia
St. Simons is the most significant barrier island of the Golden Isles off the Georgia coast. It’s known for its salt marshes, birds, fishing, golfing, and beaches. Its picturesque beauty makes for a breathtaking horseback ride.
On St. Simons, you can schedule a horseback ride on the beach, through the marshes, on in the woods at The Stables at Frederica. They offer something for everyone and even will board your horses while you visit the area.
9) Brunswick, Maine
Brunswick is an Atlantic coastal city located in southern Maine with some beautiful beaches with old lighthouses dotting the shoreline. You will also find authentic lobster restaurants providing fresh seafood dishes.
Sable Oaks Equestrian Center offers a variety of adventure ride packages for riders of all levels. For the Adventure Beach ride, you take your horse down Popham Beach for a couple of hours.
Because of regional ordinances, horses are banned from beaches during certain times of the year. This ride is only available from October through March; I suggest you call early to reserve your spot. They also offer trail rides starting in the spring and running to the fall.
10) Brooklyn, New York
When I think of Brooklyn, New York, pictures of riding horseback on beaches don’t spring to mind. But yes, Jamaica Bay Riding Academy has horses that take guests on rides to the beach.
They accommodate any rider level and are incredibly experienced equestrians; they’ve been in business since 1972. Jamaica Bay Riding Academy is located in the Gateway National Wildlife Preserve, including three miles of beaches designated for horseback riding.
You can click here to read customer reviews.
Beach horseback riding tips
Beach horseback riding can be a thrilling experience, but it’s important to be prepared before you head out. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your ride:
- Choose the right horse. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to choose a horse that is gentle and easy to control. Ask the staff at the stable for help in choosing the right horse for your level of experience.
- Wear the right clothing. It’s important to wear clothes that are comfortable and won’t restrict your movement. Boots with a heel are essential to prevent your feet from slipping out of the stirrups. A helmet is also a good idea, even if you’re an experienced rider.
- Be aware of the waves. The ocean can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be aware of the waves before you ride into them. If possible, ride along the shore where the waves are smaller. And always be ready to dismount and lead your horse to safety if necessary.
Many coastal communities restrict horses from their sand, but I still found plenty of exceptional beach riding locations across the country. However, before you pack your cowboy boots and jeans, take some time, and research your intended destination.
Each facility has restrictions, so always contact them to ensure they fit your needs before booking an online vacation. Here is a checklist of questions you may need to ask:
- Are private horses allowed? Can you bring your horse? Do they have stables for overnight boarding?
- What are the weight and age restrictions? Most restrict riders to under 250 pounds, some even lighter, and all have age restrictions.
- Is the ride a “walk-only?” Experienced riders who desire to run through waves should avoid those restricting riders to a walk.
- Are there photo restrictions? If you are an amateur photographer or just like to take a lot of pictures during vacations, some forbid individuals from taking photographs. They take photos of the participants and offer them for sale.
- Is the beach open for riding during the season you are scheduling? Most of these outfitters have multiple trails they ride, and not all go on the beaches. Also, horseback riding on the beaches is seasonal in some areas, so if you have your heart set on beach riding, make sure the coast is open for riding before scheduling your trip.
- Can you ride double? Most do not allow multiple riders on their horses.
- Do they entertain custom ride requests? Although most guided horse riding facilities have standard riding packages, they typically adjust their schedule for groups or longer ride requests.
- Can you ride bareback? Bareback riding is widespread, and if you are a bareback enthusiast, be sure to confirm that it’s allowed.
- Do they ride Western or English style?
- Do you need to wear certain clothing? Boots and long pants may be required. Most facilities provide riding helmets, but some don’t, so if you ride with a helmet, you may have to bring your own.
Here is a YouTube video about horseback riding on the beach.
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I love animals! Especially horses, I’ve been around them most of my life but I am always learning more and enjoy sharing with others. I have bought, sold, and broke racehorse yearlings. I have raised some winning horses and had some that didn’t make it as racehorses, so we trained them in other disciplines.