by Laura Crum
The other day we went riding on the beach. This is our “go to” ride in the winter, when the hillside trails get muddy and slippery. This time we went to a new beach (one where we had never ridden before). The day was cool and cloudy with the sun just breaking through in long shafts of light. A big storm was predicted. We started our ride up on top of the cliffs, and the view looked like this.
Epic sky, don’t you think? Reminded me of some grand Biblical movie extravaganza where Moses calls out to God to part the Red Sea. This would be the sky in the background of that scene.
We headed down to the beach on a well marked access trail that proved no problem. It was a very low tide so lots of lovely firm wet sand to ride on. The sky was just as dramatic once we were down next to the water. Sunny looks out at the Monterey Bay.
The horses all seemed happy to be there. They marched out eagerly, pricking their ears to look at birds and clouds and such, but never spooked at a thing. We were all having fun. Wally and Twister.
We long trotted and loped, we cruised at the walk, we stood and looked at the view. Henry and Sunny look down the beach at Twister. Looking south towards Monterey.
We did not see one other person. We did see many gulls and pelicans and sand pipers, as well as other shorebirds. We saw dolphins jumping just beyond the surf. We rode south for an hour or so and then agreed it was time to turn back. Headed north towards Santa Cruz, looking at birds.
My companions—my son and Henry, Wally and Twister.
As we rode down the beach I was aware of how happy I was. My little yellow horse is a great trail horse and he is equally good at the beach. He marches along, feeling good, happy to move out, but relaxed and under control. And I am relaxed and enjoying every moment of my ride. I am so grateful for this at this point in my life. I can’t count how many times I have ridden hot, spooky, anxious young horses at the beach. At the time, I didn’t mind so much. But I am acutely aware of how much I enjoy riding a steady, reliable horse now. This, I thought, is what it feels like just to relax and enjoy riding along the beach on a horse. Some people long all their lives to ride horseback on the beach And I am here now and absolutely happy. And then I took a picture so I would remember. It’s a little blurry but it captures that joyful moment for me. Thank you, Sunny.
All the horses were stars. We had no drama but the sky and sea. And I am so grateful. It was a lovely day. So I thought I would share it with you. Cheers--Laura