Before horse lovers get worried, the Cornish Sea Horses business does not have their horses attempting to ride monster waves with wetsuit clad surfers balancing on their backs. The concept is a gentler one. Experienced equestrians and inexperienced horse lovers alike can ride the horse amongst the shallows or let the horse swim with them in deeper waters. As the Cornish Sea Horses’ owner’s note, horses are strong swimmers and are certainly capable of carrying a rider on their back whilst paddling in the sea.
The sensation is extremely relaxing and it is something that the owners have been doing themselves with their personal horses for years. The venture is suitable for riders who have no equestrian experience and it has already been a roaring success amongst tourists. This profound, once in a lifetime event not only helps riders at beginner level gain confidence on horseback but offers a unique experience for those who have never ridden a horse before. For those who can ride confidently, an initial assessment on land is completed in the yard after which you can ride bareback to the beach. Training the horses takes a lot of time and dedication, from taking the horses to the beach for the first time to gradually advancing into the sea.
Chris accompanies the riders into the ocean from the beach, wearing his flippers to swim alongside the horses to be sure everyone feels comfortable and at ease. The only requirement needed to take part in this fascinating experience is to be able to swim confidently but you don’t necessarily need to be a capable rider to enjoy the session. For most people, sitting on the horse while it’s in the water will be a momentous occasion in itself, while the more advanced and adventurous riders can take the horses out deeper until they are actually swimming in the sea.
Health and safety is something that both Timmins and Cooke are careful about and they are keen to show that what they are doing is not dangerous. If riders fall off during the equestrian sea swim, the water itself will cushion them. Additionally, they are careful to ensure that they don’t take anymore than four horses out to sea at one time. They also have people on the beach to deal with any emergencies that may arise. They hope to grow the business to cater for birthday parties, children’s parties and other group activities. The sea horse riding takes place on the beach of Marazion in Cornwall and costs £75 per hour long riding session or less if you are booking as a group.