And they were AMAZING!!!! Seriously... super fabulous baby horses!
So..... I did feel awfully guilty taking Danny to the beach when I had promised Fleck that he could retire as a trail riding beach bum. So we didn't tell him! :( Although I'm sure he figured it out when we got back. But... Danny and I had a blast!!! We went with Missy and her 5 year old appy/arab Indi. (Missy lost Zhar a few months before I lost Roany and so... that was the other reason I didn't take Fleck... it was a spotty baby trip!). The boys were so good and they really seemed to like each other too. :) We made a good team.
We hauled out Tuesday morning and had a decent drive until we hit Florida. I meant to do our health certificates at the gas station before we hit the Ag station, but... we hit the Ag station first. And we also hit really bad weather just before the Ag station too. It was raining hard. Oops. I wrote it out as quick as I could but I still held up the line. Doh!. But they let us through and we continued on our way to Cheers Horse Ranch. We desperately needed gas so we made a pit stop after the Ag station. And wow.!! So it was coming down in a downpour although it had slowed to a light drizzle by the time we got to a gas station. But the gas station was a disaster! It was raining inside the gas station. In multiple areas! It sounded like they had a water fountain in the bathroom. Nope!!! It was so bad it was funny. Then it was just a short drive to the horse barn we kept the boys at. Cheers Horse Ranch. It's a great place and they had nice big stalls. The stalls were neat because they had individual water spigots into the water buckets. Great idea... unless you own a Dan! I joked with Missy that night that I was terrified he was going to turn the water on or chew on the pipes and break them and flood the barn. We got them settled in and... the weather apps were sketchy enough that we figured we should play it safe and not try to go to the beach that night. There were storms with lightning on the radar map. (This whole trip was a very WET trip). So we got them settled and headed to the hotel.
The hotel wasn't bad, but.. it wasn't great. It was a little bit like PCB Spring Break 2017 whoo hooo!! But low class middle aged family style. There was just some drunk loud parents with lots of loud kids in the parking lot tail gating. But.. luckily they all quieted down by 10:30. :) The room itself was fine and we ate dinner at the seafood place across the street. It came highly recommended and was pretty good but my crab did not set well. We slept good though and headed out to the barn in the morning. (We decided NOT to do sunrise as the weather was still sketchy...sigh).
We got the boys fed and they seemed happy. I hitched up and Missy went to fill Indi's water and it was off. She mentioned it to Debbie, the barn manager, and she said that Danny was "nippy" and "mouthy" and was chewing on the spigot so she turned the water off. Phew!!! That took some of my worries away. Apparently though he had nipped Dakota, one of the barn workers. Oops!! I felt so bad. Anyways... we loaded up and hauled the 20 minutes back to the beach. (Our hotel was almost on the beach, so it was a 20 minute drive from the hotel to the barn, then a 20 minute drive back to the beach).
We walked the boys out first and let them see the beach with just their halters on. This beach is super wide with a TON of sand before the waves. Which was nice because it gave them more time to acclimate. They were actually quite brave going down to the beach. We went early enough and the weather was cloudy and overcast so there wasn't a ton of people there yet. They were brave and walked past the lifeguard stand and one or two people out there. They were a little unsure of the waves and a bit jumpy at first, but we got them in fairly quickly and they got the hang of it somewhat.
Something touched my foot!!!!
So then we walked back to the trailer, changed into breeches, and went for a ride. They were so good! Indi was a little braver about going into the water and I sort of had a bad mommy moment. I was frustrated because Danny wasn't being as brave about going into the water once I was in the saddle. I started thinking that it was a reflection on me... and how he didn't trust me enough despite having raised him his entire life and how he was a year older than Indi, who just walked right in... and I got frustrated and sad. And I let the people who had said that perhaps because I let Dan swim that was the reason that he was having issues with the water at horse shows. So then I panicked that I had ruined him and he would never go in the water again and would never trust me. Sigh... And in my defense, he did have a bit of a tantrum and wouldn't even take a step forward towards the waves. Then he wouldn't even respond to my leg and go sideways/forward. So... we had a little tiny bit of a fight. Then I realized what I was doing... I was expecting him to behave... he's never seen waves. I allowed him time to look and realize earlier but I needed to give him more time. So I did... and I cried. I didn't "Say Cheese" for Missy... But we got over it. And then we just let it go and had a nice walk back just staying outside of the waves but in the water puddles. And then there were some small tide pools that I encouraged him to go through. And he did. So.. that made me feel better. So we had a good day. We even did a little canter in the sand. :)
We played for a good bit and then we headed back as they were getting thirsty. We took them back to the farm and let them take a nap. They had a lot of mental stimulation! They saw lifeguards, flags, lifeguard stands, beach umbrellas, beach towels, beach baby gazebo things, bikers, trucks on the beach, sunbathers, kids and balls, and... the waves! They were tired babies!
While the boys napped and rested, Missy and I went for lunch. We found a cute downtown area with great restaurants and shops. We did a little bit of shopping after lunch and then decided to head back to the hotel to change and go grab the boys for a ride!
As we left the hotel I said "Yay, it's gorgeous out!". However, about halfway to the barn the skies turned dark and then the lightning started. It was terrible! It was a LOT of thick, big, sizzling strikes. And the thunder was booming and cracking, not just rolling. It seemed to be right on top of us. We also got some heavy downpour. By the time we got to the barn it had turned to a drizzle but the map showed more storms on the way. So again, we opted to not go ride. It was starting to get a little ridiculous, but... oh well. We still had two more days to ride. We got the boys all settled and headed back to the beach and hotel again. Of course, once back at the beach, the weather cleared and it would have been fine to ride. Although it was still a bit breezy. So maybe it was a good choice as the boys might have been frisky! We had dinner at a place on the corner. Their bar had swings! Then we headed back in for the night and decided to get up early for sunrise ride!
Because the hotel was 20 minutes from the barn, then we had to hitch, and then haul 20 minutes back to the beach... we had to get up at 4:30 am for our sunrise ride. And we barely made it! The sunrise wasn't spectacular but it wasn't bad. The boys were good and we got some fun photos. We put their bridles on and did standing photos but since they were so good, we decided to hop on for some photos. I was able to let Missy stand on my thigh and jump up. But when she tried to let me do the same... ha ha!! Poor Dan. I couldn't get enough momentum so I was half hanging on his side... He was okay at first then started to worry. So then she gave me an actual leg up and I managed to shimmy on. Hee hee. Dan wasn't as good about getting far into the water but we still got some good shots. After that we went and tacked them up and went for a fun ride. Danny was much braver on day two and we managed to get into the water more and even did some trotting and cantering in the waves!!! Wheeee!!! We had a blast and spent from 6:45 (sunrise) til 11:15 out there! Oops. At this point the boys were really tired and really thirsty so we headed back in. On our way back in we ran into the girls at Cheers Ranch and they informed us that we were supposed to be picking up our poop. They had lined cloth grocery bags and a kitty litter scoop so they gave it to us so we could get ours. Unfortunately we didn't have saddle horns! But we made it work.
SUCH a fun day!!! We had an absolute blast! We headed back for lunch and a nap. (But ha! Who were we kidding... there was no time for naps!). We ate at another tasty restaurant downtown again and then I went and bought Mike some cool gifts from the Pirate Shop. :) We came back to the hotel for a little break but instead of napping, we did photos. ;) Turns out, Natalie (my BFFE since 2nd grade) lives only about 8 minutes from the hotel. She and her family were out of town until that afternoon so we went to her place for dinner. We headed to the barn to get the boys fed and taken care of and then went to Natalie's for dinner. Mr and Mrs. Burningham came too. It was so much fun. Natalie's kids are adorable and it was good to see her husband too. We had a great time but cut it short since we had been up since 4:30 am.
The next morning we had to leave to go home but we decided on another ride before we left. We didn't quite want to get up for sunrise, especially since the weather was sketchy. Yet again! We probably could have as the weather did end up cooperating but it was fine that we slept in some too. When we got to the barn Missy beat me in there and noticed a trickle down the barn aisle!!! Then she heard a noise! Dan had turned on his water bucket spigot and it was filling up his stall!! DANNY!!!! Ugh. She turned it off. Luckily it hasn't been on that long, but it still took me three wheelbarrows to empty out the wet shavings. Ugh.... Daniel... seriously!?! So it took us a little longer to get to the beach, but we did. We decided to just hop on bareback and go for a little ride. We didn't want them to be too tired for the long haul home. Since we were bareback we had to come up with a different plan for the poop! We took grocery bags and I hopped off to scoop. But then I had to get back on. I walked Dan over to the trash cans and dropped the poop in there and then climbed back on from the boardwalk. It wasn't ideal, but it beat carrying poop around. :) Luckily Dan is good. We just had a nice fun ride, although Dan and I did a tiny bit of cantering in the waves. :) He really was starting to have a blast and didn't want to leave. :(
It was such a fun trip!! The boys were so good and had a blast!! Our trip home was a wet one too, but we made it.