I’ve never really been one for planning events to the last detail, don’t get me wrong – I like to know what I’m doing and when but if that decision is made a few hours before then as long as those plans are final, I’m happy. So while most people at the yard were a little bit taken aback by mine, Sarah’s and Hollie’s decision, we saw no problem with us spontaneously deciding to take a trip to Holkham Beach with Beano and Prize on Sunday as we had no issue with our impromptu decision.
And while it probably wasn’t the best planned outing and while we did get stuck in a tiny bit of roadwork traffic as we neared the beach, it was easily the best day trip out that I’ve had all year and it was so worth the three and a half hour trek that it took to get us to the coast!
Beano and Prize happily munched away on their haynets in the trailer on the way to the beach, quite un-phased by the traffic while we sang our hearts out to ‘old skool’ 90s songs, played games of eye spy and napped in the car. And then finally we arrived, we pulled the trailer up on the grass verge (which I’m still not 100% convinced was actually a part of the car park, but hey ho!) and unloaded two very eager ponies.
After a quick toilet break at the very posh looking hotel opposite the car park, we flung our tack onto the ponies backs and Sarah and I jumped on-board, leaving Hollie and Barry (Sarah’s dad and our driver for the day!) with bags full of food, cameras and several changes of clothes (which we definitely needed) before we began the trek to find the sea… Or so we thought anyway but it then took us at least a further five minutes to get the pay and display to take our money and then finally, FINALLY after causing a rather long queue behind us, we managed to pay. AND then we were actually able to head off in the direction of the beach.
It took a while to actually get the ponies into the sea and past the waves that were breaking on the shore because they were absolutely convinced that the water that was rushing towards them was going to eat them. Eventually though we managed to make it a bit further in and then once we had got past ankle height we were off. Beano was quite content marching his way through the sea, as long as Prize was marching ahead in front of him anyway, right up until he was neck deep in the water! Once we were happy that the ponies were over their fear of the sea we made a quick trip back to the beach to abandon our expensive saddles so that they were out of harms way from the salty water and we made our way back in, albeit slightly dubiously to begin with, bareback which meant we could take the ponies out a bit deeper than we had been previously!
We split our day up with a few fast canters down the beach, a bit of swimming and splashing about in the sea, lots of photo taking and a few pony swapping sessions – which meant that I got to have a go on Sarah’s HUGE horse Prize, the one horse that I have secretly (not so secretly anymore since writing it here) been dying to have a sit on for ages, particularly because I’ve quite literally known her since she was a few hours old. She was incredibly different to everything else that I have ridden and while it was a bit unnerving being so high up, she was wonderfully comfortable, very fast but so well behaved considering that I have never ridden her before and that at 5 years old she is very much still a baby!
Beano had great fun being allowed to race his way up and down the beach before cooling off in the sea again and during all of the swapping of ponies he was such a good boy for both Hollie and Sarah (especially considering as that involved some mild pony squishing!) when they rode him and I couldn’t have been happier with him. I’m pretty sure he had as much fun as I did and I really do feel like I’ve lived the dream now that I’ve had the chance to canter my own pony down the beach!
Everything about the day was perfect, but if there was one downside it was how fast the hours that we were there for flew by, but it’s ok because on the way back home we were already planning our next trip which will hopefully include a camping excursion and a few days away at the coast rather than just a few hours!