These mundane post-quarantine days have left us all feeling the need to add some excitement back to our lives; and thankfully there are many outdoor, socially-distanced activities to choose from.
But hold the cash before you go booking your swim-with-dolphins-experience at Discovery Cove, maybe a swim with horses will pique your interest instead. You probably didn't even know horses could swim, did'ya?
I have been eyeing up horseback beach rides for a very long time and it's been one of my top bucket list to-dos for years, but life has other plans sometimes. Between time and money, I never had a good opportunity to go until last weekend. Note: this wasn't really a "beach ride" it was swimming with horses at a causeway; the majority of the ride took place in the water.
There are several companies in the greater Tampa Bay area to choose from, but C Ponies caught my eye with their promise of riding Gypsy Drums, so I booked with them.
Mind you, these aren't just any horses...
Unless you're an equestrian, you probably don't know (and maybe not care) what a Gypsy Drum is -- for those who do care, it's one of the more rare and expensive horse breeds in America.
Yeah, I'm a horse nerd, don't judge.
And while this little aspect may not be a selling point for others, it was a pretty big deal to me.
But beyond that, the company was about $5 cheaper per ticket than another rival company, most of their horses are rehabilitated rescues, they had more open availability, and they were located on the Causeway of Anna Maria Island, one of Florida's most spectacular Gulf Coast beaches. It just seemed like a win/win to book with Cponies (not to be confused with "SeaHorses.")
The cost of two tickets on a Saturday 6p.m. "beat the heat" time slot came out to just over $300, and the photo package is an additional $25 at the time of your ride.
Ouch, right? Well, actually...
True, it's perhaps not as cheap as say, a sunset sailing cruise from Tarpon Springs or a late-night cookie run to Cookie Munchers, but it's definitely an experience for the books that you just can't rival with anything else.
The cost might leave a bad taste in some mouths, but honestly, it's not all bad. In fact, that's the going price for a lot of Florida's biggest attractions. A day at Disney or Universal would cost at least that, plus food, drink, and extras.
But if you need some extra coaxing before hitting the "submit payment" button, here are 6 reasons why swimming with C Ponies was totally worth it:
Of course, it still might not be for everyone, but if you're thinking about doing it I definitely had a great time and highly recommend it. I personally feel that it was money well spent on something a little more unique than mouse ears and whale shows.
So go ahead, indulge a little on your bucket list and swim with some C Ponies.