I think it is safe to say that any girl growing up in the age of Disney dreams of riding horses or Prince Charmings riding horses at least. I got to live my dream, without a Prince Charming, by horseback riding on the beach in Amelia Island.
Me + Horse + Ride + Beach= Infinite Happiness
During my time in Amelia Island in Florida, the opportunity sprung up for me to take a horseback ride on the beach with Happy Trails Walkers.
Let that sink in for a second.
I still don’t believe the words I just wrote.
Horseback riding on the beach in Amelia Island.
(Spoiler alert: I teared up during the ride because of how beautiful it was…)
When I was planning my trip to Amelia Island with Select Registry, I spent ample amounts of time googling and researching things to do in the region. Horseback riding seemed to be a very popular activity and having the added beach element was completely up my alley.
I wish I had some big plot twist to tell you about my experience and make you chuckle, but I didn’t fall off, the horse didn’t go rogue, a jellyfish didn’t jump out of the water and sting me on the face, and I didn’t pee my pants. Although, as Nikki my guide for the morning, told my group, a woman not long ago did, in fact pee her little pants while on the horse. Oops.
It was, however, every bit as incredible as I thought it would be.
Now, I haven’t ridden a horse in a very long time. An elephant, yes, very recently. But they are a little different. Horses move a little quicker but elephants are taller….
When I was significantly younger and bright eyed and bushy tailed I used to go to a summer camp that included horseback riding lessons. My retention rate from those lessons is pretty slim, but I do remember falling off once.
Anyways, the morning of the ride came and luckily after two chilly days of drizzling rain, the sun was out full force and the temperatures were tickling 60.
My ride began at Peter’s Pointe parking lot, where a few companies had their horses lined up for the day.
Happy Trails Walkers is a bit different of a company in that their horses are all Tennessee walkers which, as Nikki explained, have a much more relaxed gate. Aka your butt won’t hurt as much the next day 😉
I found my way to Nikki and my best friend for the day, Cocoa.
Each horse really has their own personality and Cocoa was coined the leader of the group. She spent the walk in the lead or catching up and cutting off the other horses to maintain the lead. My kind of lady.
My group ended up being just myself and another couple. It was really peaceful.
The gentleman of the duo had grown up with horses and was a master rider. He lagged behind us to give his mighty steed some room to run around and have a little fun. The lady and I, however, were quite content watching him ride a running horse than experiencing it ourselves. Someday, when I have a big farm in the country somewhere and have nothing but time I will own a horse and master riding it. Put that on the someday list.
Off we went into the morning light of the beach.
We spent the next hour or so trotting along at the sea break’s edge. I tested going a little faster at times, but really enjoyed a nice relaxed pace.
I had a moment during this ride.
There have been a few moments in the past 3 years that have reaffirmed that I am following the right life path and this was one of them.
Riding a beautiful horse on the beach is not something I would have ever done if I had stayed in snowy Rochester, NY and worked my life away. The past couple years have certainly not been easy, my savings account is singing the 0 song, and many of my friends and family question why this is the life path I am on.
But sitting there on Cocoa, I really came to appreciate all of my hard work and the opportunities that have come my way. There are days when I am glued to my laptop for 16 hours straight and I am stressed from balancing all of pots that I have my hands in.
It was motivational. If you ever need positive affirmation as a traveler, find an activity that takes your breath away.
Anyways, I spent the ride listening to the waves, petting the beautiful horse I was sitting on, and chatting with Nikki.
Come to find out, I was in the hands of another New Yorker. Nikki and her father used to run horseback rides in the Adirondacks in NY and decided to move the business to Amelia Island to make it a year round business.
Moral of the story, if you find yourself in Amelia Island look up Happy Trails Walkers, Nikki and Stan will make your experience impeccable. Do it.
Pin this for later!
- Where to Eat? A Guide to Amelia Island Restaurants
- A Destination in Itself, The Fairbanks House in Amelia Island
Thank you to Happy Trails Walkers for hosting me for a tour during my time in Amelia Island . As always, all thoughts are my own.