Meet Hayley and her thoroughbred Archie along with her friend Steph and her thoroughbred Alfie! I've known Hayley for a number of years through a group of mutual friends - everyone remembers her and Bob the Cob!
The girls were taking the horses to the beach for the first time and asked if I'd come along to capture the occasion! I was really looking forward to it, although the 4.30am alarm to meet them for 5am, less so!
We headed down to the south coast, between West and East Wittering. It was quite a chilly morning, although this did mean we had the beach pretty much to ourselves! Everyone was really excited and wondered how the horses would take to the beach and the sea. They overcame the first obstacle: making it past an extremely scary, flappy flag above the walkway down on to the sand!
The boys took everything in their stride, all be it a tad wary of the sea - before we knew it they were enjoying a trot and a canter up and down the shoreline. There's just something so lovely about watching horses on the beach!
Archie and Alfie are both ex-race horses - it was incredible to watch them open up in to a full gallop along the sand In particularly, the speed Alfie got to was seriously impressive, the noise of his hooves travelling across the sand was something to give you goosebumps!
Steph managed to take a spectacular fall off of Alfie in the sea. Hayley went after him and I made sure Steph was okay. She was determined to get back on him and luckily had given me her phone just before her dunking! Despite being wet and a bit bloodied and sore, she hopped back on Alfie and took him back in to the sea.
We headed up a little way towards some windsurfers, which Archie was fascinated by. Hayley plays polo and wanted to have a little play on the beach with her stick whilst Steph schooled Alfie on the sand.
Once both the horses had cooled down and were loaded in the trailer, Steph began to realise how much her jaw was hurting her! After a trip to A&E once back in Reading, she was told she'd managed to break her jaw and would require some surgery. Although this hasn't put her off at all and it wasn't long, once recovered before she was back out jumping and competing!
Thank you both for inviting me along, it was a pleasure to watch you guys having so much fun blasting up and down the beach!