VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Looking for something fun to do this summer? Love horses? Love the beach? Then this Volusia County business may have just what you’re looking for.
Equestrian Adventures of Florida offers horseback rides along the beach in Palm Coast. According to the business, rides are approximately $140 per person ($135 if paid in cash) and last approximately an hour, though the owner said sessions may go a bit longer as staff members “clean up” after the horses.
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For those worried about getting too sandy, Miko said they also offers trail rides in west Ormond Beach. Those rides start at $78 per person ($75 if paid in cash) and also last about one hour on the trail in the state park.
According to the owner, Jennifer Miko, the business began in 2011 after she began taking friends on rides along the beach, at which point word began to spread about the equine attraction.
While it began as a part-time project, Miko told News 6 that she was pushed to run the business full-time by 2017.
“I did it for a year by myself, and looking back, I’m amazed that I did it for a year myself because it’s a lot of work,” she said.
Miko said she ran into trouble after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, though following a double mastectomy, she was able to find someone to help her keep the business going — a fellow horse-lover named Terry.
“(Carrie) was actually camping with his horses on vacation, and he came up to talk to me about my business, and I told him I was shutting it down,” she said. “He showed up every day for two weeks and learned the business and kept it going for me.”
Despite Miko being out for about a year and a half, Carrie was still able to keep the business running. Miko said the two continue to work together to keep the business going.
And the business isn’t just for experienced horse enthusiasts, either; Miko touted that visitors don’t need to have any kind of experience to enjoy their rides.
“Most people that ride with us, many of them have never even seen a horse before,” she said. “So we just do the basic introductions. We usually have people give horses treats before and after the ride because we want them to kind of bond with their horses as well as have a good experience.”
Newer visitors are given individualized instructions for how to start, stop and guide the horses before they’re taken out to the beach.
Of the 21 horses owned by Equestrian Adventures, only a portion of trained horses are available for interested beachgoers.
While Miko said ocean surf can actually be a boon for horses’ hooves, she explained that horses don’t typically have their shoes on due to the sand along the beach. As such, riders aren’t allowed to take their steeds too far into the water due to risk of injury from coquina rocks present in the surf.
Miko added that June, July and August are some of the busiest months of the year for the business, and the group sees riders coming out from all across the state, ranging from up in Tallahassee all the way down to Miami.
Visitors are advised to wear long pants for comfort and close-toed shoes for safety purposes.
Rides are available to visitors 10 years of age and older with a weight limit of 230 pounds. Each session requires a minimum of two people and up to a maximum of five and is scheduled according to low tide.
All rides are by reservation only. For more information, contact Equestrian Adventures of Florida at (386) 846-8386 or visit the group’s website here.