Monday, July 30, 2018

Horse Camping!

Horse camping has always been something I wanted to do, it combines my extreme love of the outdoors with my passion for my horse, and it's DEFINITELY something I do more often.

This was a great trip, that started with a night reserved at the Little Manatee State Park about 25 minutes from the Skyway Bridge in St. Pete, Florida.

The cool thing about the Skyway Bridge, is that there is a little park you can park your horse trailer, and walk straight out into the Gulf, out to a sand bar (a bit tricky to get to if you don't know where you're going though), and ride about chest deep for a long ways. I took my good friends along:

Lizz (right) with her Columbian Paso mare "Ticki Ticki" and Hali (left) with her Appendix gelding "Blazer"


Cisco loves both their horses, but somehow he makes me feel like he only has eyes for me...



Although the horses thoroughly enjoyed the water, they were all a little miffed they couldn't drink it, and pouted a bit.  We rode, and bobbed in the waves on the sand bar while the horses hung out and served as diving boards.


After we were thoroughly worn out, we made it back to the beach, where we found a nice shady spot for a picnic lunch.

While we were enjoying the view, we noticed a solitary dolphin swimming along the beach, right in front of our horses.  We got him on video!

The day blew by way too fast, and before we knew it, we were off to the next part of the adventure. 

We drove to Little Manatee State Park, and enjoyed getting the horses settled into the barn steps behind our campsite.  Because it's the rainy season, we had the place to ourselves.  Nothing a little Mosquito Halt spray can't fix! Or you know, a whole bottle in two days.


This park has an amazing trail system, all easily accessed from the equestrian campground.  


 After getting settled, we went for a quick ride on the green trail system, which had good footing but was about 80% underwater.



Then we came back, gave the horses a shower, and settled into playing Catan Dice while we waited for dinner to cook.


Even though I love the outdoors, it is Florida in July, so I equipped my tent with an AC unit, overall a wild success.  I can be hot all day, and as long as I am with my horse, I don't care, but sleeping in a cool tent made all the difference.  The fact that we also got to take showers with just a 5 minute walk to the people campground, made me feel like a human being when I crawled into bed.  The next day, we rode two more trail systems, taking a break for showers in between.

There were pockets of bugs, LOTS of fun trail obstacles, two days riding bareback in hackamores, through quiet forest and galloping on flat grassy trails lined with palm trees, with great friends on the best horses.  I couldn't be prouder of how Cisco performed.  After three months together, I feel like the best is yet to come!




PS: I'm making a working equitation set, so stay tuned!







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