Beach, horses and skydivers.
Sometimes I come up with crazy ideas and believe it or not, I sometimes find people that even want to go along with them.
The place I skydive at is near a beach that we occasionally land on. Once or twice I noticed people with horses riding down to that beach. The logical next step in any reasonable person’s mind is to figure out how I could also get my horse there.
Now it is a public beach, but it has a weird access point and no parking anywhere in the area and most definitely nowhere to park a horse trailer. We are near the Trans-Canada trail, so I thought why not park a horse trailer at the dropzone and do a trail ride to the beach.
As I mentioned in a past post, I have been trying to get out and do more fun things with my horse and this definitely seemed to qualify. You know; skydivers, parachutes, planes, motorcycles, cars, boats, a town, and the beach + horses seems like a reasonable adventure.
I was surprised to find that the lure of the beach meant that three of my fellow boarders also wanted to go. With the trailer booked and GoPros in tow, we were off to the dropzone with our horses.
It typically takes about 20-25 minutes from take-off for the skydivers to land. None of the horseback riders really wanted to test out their horse’s tolerance to “large flying tarps” right off the bat, so as we watched the plane turn to a speck on the horizon, we unloaded the horses and threw on their tack. We were down the road before ever seeing a single canopy coming in for landing.
Unfortunately, my horse again decided that we were doing the ‘most exciting thing’ and spent a large portion of the beginning of the ride executing a lovely piaffe (if only it was on purpose). As her energy was barely contained, I decided to jump a ditch and wait across the street for the motorcycles to pass. Not long later we were on the Trans-Canada trail doing a working trot, which substantially calmed them down.
My directions took us slightly out-of-the-way and through a small town. There is nothing like seeing four ex-show horses in town to look out of place. We continued towards the beach; past trucks pulling boats, barking dogs, motorcycles, scary signs and everything. By this point there were very few spooks – either they were tired or finally getting used to everything.
We turned a corner to follow a shaded sandy path to the beach. As we emerged into the sunlight, the road noise was drowned out by crashing waves. It was a beautiful sight for us, but rather terrifying for the horses. We quickly discovered that although they didn’t seem to mind the water, the waves were a whole other issue. We got off and walked our horses into the water and after some convincing they were in.
After a gallop down the beach with water spraying up around us, we turned the horses for home. Uhh or rather the dropzone. We took the fast way back along the road. I mean hey, they already walked through a town. This would be easy.
Just as we rounded the final turn to the dropzone, I heard the familiar buzz of a plane engine. I quietly said “guys I think the plane is taking off.” And not a minute later a plane flew over us, no more than 150 feet above! And guess what? Not one horse reacted! Lots of carrots for them later.
Once we were back at the dropzone my fellow riders packed up, while my horse met the skydivers. It is weird seeing my two worlds collide. I never expected the skydivers to be so nervous around horses.
Not long later the horses were loaded in the trailer and we were on our way home. Cheers to the next adventure.
Stay tuned for a video of our full adventure.