Check which beaches you can ride on and when, BEFORE you go.
You may need a permit to ride on some beaches due to the local bylaws, or there may be special restrictions, access points or even seasonal changes (often summer hours apply on busy beaches).
Be Considerate of Other Beach Users
When you do go to the beach, always consider others.
Horse riding is an activity that tends to polarise people. Be courteous to other beach users, remember that some people are frightened of horses, and most are ignorant about them.
Be patient, be the better person!
Clean up Manure!
Especially in Parking Areas, or in public places
Clean up your mess at any parking spot! Manure left by lazy and inconsiderate riders is a major reason for authorities not wanting horse riders in public spaces.
Do NOT use a public area as a place to clean out your float or truck - if there is no manure bin, take it home with you. At the very least make sure manure is buried or placed considerately around gardens. Not all plants enjoy fresh poo, if it looks unsightly - take it home!
Ride below the high tide mark - this will wash away any manure your horse leaves behind.
Stay off Dunes
Use marked trails
Only use marked trails if you are crossing dunes. Damage to dune plants can destroy ecosystems and start ‘blowouts’ – causing the dunes to move inland. This is extremely expensive to repair. Help protect our precious coastlines.
Deep sand is hard work for your horse, and can cause tendon damage. Riding up steep dunes can be dangerous; riders have been injured when a horse has fallen backwards on them trying to climb a steep dune. Stay on trails provided - they are often created in a way that specifically protects the dunes i.e. out of the prevailing winds.
Be aware of your impact on others, and help to make sure that we all have access to public beaches in the future.
If you see another rider behaving irresponsibly, or ignorantly, try to educate them so that we can all enjoy the beaches.
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Protect Our Coastal Birdlife
Be aware of nesting birds. Several endangered species nest in the dunes, others on shell banks and on beaches. They are often very hard to spot.
If there are DOC or other notices about nesting birds, pay particular attention and\or stay away completely from areas. Do not take your dogs on a ride to areas where there are nesting birds.
Ride below the high tide mark, stay off shell or sand banks to ensure you keep our birdlife safe.
Find out about areas before you ride! Be a proactive rider.
Beach Riding Tips
- Always be aware of the tides.
- Ride below the high tide mark - this will wash away any manure your horse leaves behind.
- Be aware that all beaches can have soft spots, and sink holes. If in doubt, slow down for you and your horse's safety.