Last night, I was looking through the July 2017 issue of Women's Running magazine. Unfortunately, I stumbled across a page that I stared at for quite a while. It was titled "Summer Loves." For those who have the copy, it's on page 54 (and pictured above). What caught my eye was the picture of the people standing on the horses in the water. I then read blurb "If you love kayaking.." and learned that this was something new being offered, called horse surfing.
Horse surfing? Yes, horse surfing, as they explain, is where you stand on a horse at is swims in the water. Just reading that made me sad. Will people ever stop thinking of new ways to use animals for their entertainment purposes? It makes me sad to think that these horses are forced out into the water so that people can stand on their back as they make their way through it.
I logged onto YouTube to check out a few videos of horse surfing in action. It seems just as dismal as I had envisioned. And to think, because I love kayaking they suggest that I consider doing this. Not that I try out paddleboarding, surfing, rafting, snorkeling, sailing, or some of the non-animal related water sports and activities that are readily available.
One of the most beautiful things I've seen are when I watched mustangs (wild horses) run free in Nevada. Their spirit not broken, they are free to go where they want and it's a beautiful sight to see. My stance on horseback riding has always been that the day I get get on a horse to ride it is the day that horse told me it was okay to do so. Beyond the horse inviting me for a ride or saying he or she doesn't mind that I climb on, it seems a bit rude to get on it and force it to take me around. Doing so is, in my opinion, to treat it as if the animal has no mind or will of it's own, that it merely answers to me and my demands (which is, well, kind of like slavery).
There are many ways to explore our beautiful waters here in Florida and I hope that people visiting our great state consider all of the other options, rather than standing on a horses back as it's made to wade into the water (or swim into the water, as they say). The one site I looked at that offers horse surfing charges $139 per person to do it. In my opinion, I say explore the water on a kayak (change it up by taking a moonlight kayak tour) or paddleboard tour. This will save you at least half the money. Then you can donate $25 bucks to an organization fighting to help save the American wild horses of the west, and still have money left over for doing more exploring of the sunshine state!