The magic of riding through the surf

Beach riding is a totally different experience to riding in the country; it’s not better its just very different. The beach surface is always flat, so if you’re cantering you’re aware that the going is always very good because the sand is always pretty much the same consistency, so the horses can get a bit of a toe in and bounce off a little bit. So the horses are more confident that they’re not going to put their feet down a hole and we feel more comfortable with it too.

Llangennith, Gower Peninsula
Llangennith, Gower Peninsula

Druidstone Beach

At Nolton Stables we mainly use Druidstone Beach. We take an access road then a track over our land down to the beach. And as we come down the hill everyone can see the beach spread out in front of us. The anticipation is fantastic – even people who have done it before love it.

As we get closer you start to hear the sea and the air becomes very fresh and there’s always a bit more breeze."

It’s corny, but honestly, every time we finally get down onto the beach I think it’s beautiful. Druidstone is very tidal, so sometimes you've got a tiny beach and sometimes it’s enormous – it’s always a bit different.

Horses and riders in the dunes getting ready for a canter along the beach
Horses in sillouette on Llangennith with dunes in the backgound, Gower Peninsula
Horses on the beach

Suitable for all level of riders

We take people to the beach who have never ridden before and also experienced riders, so when we arrive on the sand we separate out into different groups of similar abilities. So, it’s an enormous experience for them – they’re sitting on a horse for the first time and walking on a beach. But it’s equally impressive for those with experience because it’s so different to canter here.

Beginners are always going to be bowled away by the experience; this may well be the only time they ride simply because they want to ride on a beach."

I still think beach riding is magic. Really, I love it. You’re so close to the cliffs at Druidstone and they’re awe-inspiring with the coal seams going through them. And the beach is such a wide open space – you’re there looking out to the horizon. There’s something about riding by water, isn't there? To me it’s amazing.

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