Updated: Sep 22
Riding horses along the beach has to be on the bucket list for every equestrian. The smell of the sea, the rhythm of the horse's hooves in the sand when you trot, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, and the feeling of the salt spray in the air provide an unforgettable experience .
For me as an equine and family photographer nothing beats being at the beach for a photoshoot. I adore being able to capture your memories of the special connection of you and your horse in a timeless, beautiful photo and provide you with stunning images for you to back on for many years to come.
There's something about getting out of the stable and being out in nature together that seems to create a special connection between horse and rider. Whether you're cantering along the water's edge or taking in the coast views with a leisurely walk down the beach, spending time with your horse on the beach is an experience you'll cherish forever. Here in the South West England, not only can we boast of stunning areas of outstanding beauty for riding such as the New Forest but also some of the most beautiful stretches of beaches along the Dorset and Hampshire coastline. But what do you need to know before planning a beach hack with your pony?
Hayling Island, Havant
Hayling Island has alway been a popular spot for equestrians to enjoy a horseback ride. In my opinion its east to se why it is so popular as its so accommodating for riders in Hampshire. Plus parking there is surprisingly easy as there plenty of space for your horse lorries and boxes right at the beach side. No permit is required but between Good Friday and September 30th, riding is not allowed between the hours of 10am and 7pm. Before 10am, after 7am or for the rest of the year you can ride to your heart’s content. For your safety it's a good idea to look up the tide times to plan your ride accordingly as it's possible to get cut off by the incoming tides.
For more information about equine rides see https://hayling.co.uk/sports/horse-riding/
For tide times: https://www.tideschart.com/United-Kingdom/England/Hampshire/Hayling-Island/
Studland - Knoll Beach, Ferry Road, Swanage - Dorset, UK
Across the shore from the Poole and Bournemouth beaches is Studland. This beautiful 3 miles of sandy beach in Studland Bay, Isle of Purbeck (near Old Harry Rocks and Corfe Castle) is a spectacular space to exercise your horse. Permits are required for Studland Beach, which are £22 a day and annual permits are also available. It's worth planning ahead (and checking the weather) as permits can take a few days to process but the experience will be worth the wait.
There are restrictions along Studland during the summer months but during the cooler months there are lots more opportunities:
01 October 2021 – 30 April 2022 Monday - Friday No Restrictions, Saturday - No riding after 12.00 noon, Sunday - No riding after 10.30am
Parking is also free for National Trust members. It's definitely worth checking out the Studland Trekking Centre which offers a wonderful B&B for you and your horse. If you don't own your own horse they also offer a variety of different rides to suit all abilities including off track heathland rides on the scenic open spaces at Studland if you're not too confident about coastal riding just yet (so please don't worry!). If you're looking for an activity for younger riders, Studland Trekking Centre offers rides for children and their friendly team staff are on hand to welcome and reassure children in the saddle.
Weymouth Beach, Dorset
Weymouth is a gorgeous stretch of golden sandy beach which is lovely for a beach ride.
Horse Riding is not permitted on Weymouth beach from 1st April to 30th September (inclusive) between the hours of 9am and 7pm. For the latest guidance please check out https://www.weymouthtowncouncil.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Horses-on-Weymouth-Beach-1.pdf
Avon Beach, Mudeford
Enjoy the salty fresh air and scenic views near Christchurch at Avon Heath. Again similar restrictions as before - Horses are not permitted on the seashore between the Saturday proceeding Easter Monday and the 30th September (both dates inclusive) in any year between 10am and 9pm.
Beach Equine Photography Sessions In Dorset and Hampshire
Why not preserve your memories and document your dream beach ride with your beloved horse in beautiful photographs? You might love the idea of being photographed at the beach but might be worried that your horse may misbehave on the day of the shoot? I've worked with different horses from the snoozy to the super spirited and I get that all horses are different. In our pre-session consultation I love to hear all about you and your horse to find out about your horse's personality.
As I'm sure you're aware if this will be the first time your horse has visited the coast it's usually sensible to prepare and desensitize it to the beach surroundings before booking a photography session just in case your pony is sensitive to the new environment.
My patient approach to my photography means we will always so at the pace of your horse which ensures the session is relaxed and pleasurable. Your safety is paramount so I will never ask you to do something you don't feel comfortable doing instead I will to gently pose and guide you both into positions that are flattering and make you look your bests. I love to be a fly on the wall photographing all those natural, light filled stunning moments in-between that capture the bond and special relationship you share with your equine best friend that you'll absolutely love and cherish for years to come.
If you would like to book or to find out more about this type of equestrian photography please do get in touch, I'd love to hear from you. Gift vouchers are also available for Beach Equine Photoshoots and make a perfect gift for every equestrian. Book a beach equine photoshoot here: https://www.bethchisham.com/contact Beth Chisham Photography Equine & Family Photographer Dorset, Hampshire & Somerset, South West England Email: email@example.com Call or What'sApp 07850037159 www.bethchisham