Many people are delighted to now be able to go back out to shows, training days, pleasure rides and lots of other activities following the easing of the lockdown restrictions. One thing that has been discussed regularly over zoom amongst our horse insurance team here is going horse riding on the beach. That feeling of freedom as you and your horse canter across the sand is just amazing. We are so lucky here that we have the wonderful South Essex beaches not too far away.
Because of this close proximity, the SEIB team are experienced beach riders. We have come up with the following handy tips for planning a successful beach horse ride.
Ask around for beaches that will be suitable
One of the best first steps in organising a horse ride on the beach is to ask other people at your yard, riding club friends, or take to social media – to find out local beaches that are great for riding on. Once you have a shortlist of a couple of places that you feel might be suitable, you need to plan the details of your ride and work out exactly which beach to head off to.
Please also be mindful and courteous of other users on the beach.
Many beaches in the UK have restrictions placed on them in summertime which specify the times of the day you are allowed to take a horse (or dog) on the beach. Many require that horses are off the beach between 8am and 6pm. Always check with the local council’s website as to the restrictions and the times of the year they apply.
It would be inconvenient – to say the least - to arrive at the beach with your horse, all set for a lovely ride to find that the sea is in and there is in fact no beach to ride on. Tide times are available on www.tidetimes.org.uk, or on www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast-and-sea.
Where to park
Before setting off to the beach, always make sure you know where you plan to park, and that it will be safe for you and your horse. Ask someone that has been to that beach before with their horse about the parking. Some beach car-parks have height limits with barriers to prevent caravans and people camping out which could cause problems for your horsebox or horse trailer.
Go with a friend
If it is your horse’s first time on the beach – as well as your own – it might be helpful to have someone along with you that is experienced at riding on the beach. Sometimes, if you have to go down over stones onto the sand, horses can find it a bit unnerving and a confidence boosting friend can be just what is needed.
Bring some spare clothes and a waterproof cover for your phone
You can get pretty damp as your horse splashes about on the edge of the sea!
We hope you have a great time at the seaside.
SEIB have been providing insurance for horses for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen. If you’d like advice on your insurance please call us on 01708 850000.