Immersed in the unique Southern charm and sun-kissed beaches of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is an enduring tradition of horseback riding that has stood the test of time. This treasured pastime, deeply intertwined with the city’s history and culture, thrives amidst its lush woodland trails and serene beach landscapes. From its roots in the past, to the role it plays in the community and tourism industry, horseback riding in Myrtle Beach provides a unique perspective to explore and appreciate this idyllic coastal city. In this exploration, we venture into the history of horseback riding in Myrtle Beach, shed light on the best spots for equestrian enthusiasts, and furnish you with essential tips to make the most of your horseback riding adventure.
History of Horseback Riding in Myrtle Beach
Beginnings of Horseback Riding in Myrtle Beach
Horseback riding in Myrtle Beach has roots that trace back to centuries when horses were the primary means of transportation. The Horry County of South Carolina, in which Myrtle Beach is located, has a rich equestrian history. The horses and the riders from this region played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War, as well as in the Civil War, further adding to the historical depth.
Importance in Local Tradition
Historically, horseback riding was not just a mere pastime activity, but an inherent part of the local tradition in Myrtle Beach. The activity was seen in local celebrations, parades, festive activities, and even in some of the competitive sports. Arguably, it was these events that set the stage for horseback riding to transition from a necessity for mobility to a leisure activity and a means of exploration.
Influence on Tourism
As Myrtle Beach grew into a popular tourist destination, horseback riding also evolved and started to gain popularity among tourists. While initially, tourists were drawn mainly by the beaches, as the city’s tourist infrastructure developed, horseback riding began to emerge as a sought-after activity. It became a way for tourists to explore the stunning landscapes, lush forests, and serene beaches, offering a unique way to experience the surroundings.
Present Day Horseback Riding in Myrtle Beach
Nowadays, horseback riding in Myrtle Beach is an integral part of the city’s tourism industry. Several riding schools, training centers, and specialized tour operators cater to tourists of all levels of riding skills. Rides not only offer a variety of experiences, ranging from trekking through the forest to riding alongside the beautiful Atlantic Ocean but also provide an opportunity to learn about the local history and ecology.
Part in Local Culture
In the present day, horseback riding of Myrtle Beach has also retained its cultural significance. The local community organizes yearly festivals and parades featuring horses, emphasizing the city’s historical bond with horseback riding. Also, numerous horse shows and equestrian competitions take place throughout the year, highlighting Myrtle Beach as a vibrant equestrian hub.
Myrtle Beach’s Economical Impact from Horseback Riding
Horseback riding tourism in Myrtle Beach plays an indispensable role in strengthening the local economy. This industry not only furnishes employment opportunities but also bolsters local enterprises and boosts tourism by drawing in travelers. Keeping ecological sustainability at their core, these horseback riding businesses invest heavily in enhancing local trails and carrying out beach clean-up operations and nature conservation endeavors.
Top Spots for Horseback Riding in Myrtle Beach
Exploring the Equestrian Center at Myrtle Beach State Park
The Equestrian Center at Myrtle Beach State Park is much admired for its horse riding facilities, offering a picturesque snapshot of tranquil park pathways and stunning coastal terrains. To ensure a safe and enjoyable ride, the park provides trained horses suitable for riders of all proficiencies. The park usually remains open for horseback riding from November till February, with the timings ranging from an early 6 am till a late 10 pm. The charges are minimal, with a basic price of $5 per entry for a horse and an additional $5 for vehicle parking.
Inlet Point Plantation
Located at the northernmost point of Myrtle Beach, Inlet Point Plantation specializes in offering unforgettable horseback riding mirror experiences along pristine private beaches and a salt marsh. They also conduct moonlight rides letting you witness the serene beauty of Myrtle Beach under the stars. Helmet is mandatory for riders under 18 years of age and recommended for adults. Their operation hours differ throughout the year, so it’s essential to check their schedule in advance. Prices range from $60 for a one-hour beach or trail ride to $165 for a two-hour private ride.
For those interested in a more rural riding experience, Wampee Stables is a prime choice and a local favorite. Located in North Myrtle Beach, this site offers guided trail rides through 500 acres of picturesque South Carolina countryside. Though beach rides are not offered, the peaceful, treelined trails offer a great way to connect with nature. It is important to note that children must be at least 8-years-old to participate. The regular operating hours are between 8 am and 5 pm, and cost for a horse ride is about $50 per person for an hour-long trail ride.
Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach, LLC
For an immersive riding experience, consider Horseback riding of Myrtle Beach LLC. This local business offers a variety of rides – from beach to woodland trails, and even sunset rides. Ensuring a custom riding experience, the staff carefully selects a horse that matches with the rider’s skill level. Also, the safety instructions are provided before each ride. Operating hours change seasonally but are generally open 7 days a week from 8 am till 6 pm, with prices beginning from $85 per person for a one-hour ride.
L.W.Paul Living History Farm
For a historic take on horseback riding, the L.W. Paul Living History Farm in Conway, just a short drive from Myrtle Beach, is a must-visit. Providing a glimpse into the agricultural history of the Horry County, you can engage in horse riding while understanding more about local historical farming methods. The farm is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm and it is free to enter, though donations are appreciated. However, they don’t have horse rides every day, so calling ahead will be advisable.
Each horseback riding locale in Myrtle Beach provides a unique adventure, so it’s important to consider the amenities, operating hours, specific rules, and pricing at each place before making your final choice.
Essential Tips for Horseback Riding in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach Horseback Riding: A Guide to Ensuring Safety
When embarking on your horseback riding journey in Myrtle Beach, safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. Starting with the simple but critical step of choosing to wear a helmet for head protection, there are further precautions to be taken. Get to grips with the fundamental commands to control your horse, be prepared for unforeseen circumstances and remember the significance of keeping a safe buffer between yourself and other riders to avoid potential mishaps due to crowding.
Best Times to Visit
The best time to experience horseback riding in Myrtle Beach is during the spring and fall seasons. During these periods, the temperatures are mild, making it ideal for outdoor activities like horse riding. Also, these seasons offer beautiful scenic views of the shoreline. However, remember that different horseback riding companies have varying availability schedules, and early morning or late afternoon rides might be the most pleasant due to cooler temperatures.
Wearing the right attire is essential for a comfortable horseback riding experience. You should consider wearing long pants to avoid irritation from the saddle, and closed-toe shoes are necessary for safety reasons. Additionally, wearing a hat can protect you from the sun during hot days. However, ensure your hat is secure so it doesn’t fly off while riding.
Generally, most horseback riding companies in Myrtle Beach recommend that riders be at least nine years old before going horseback riding. But some companies have horses that are specifically trained for younger children and allow kids as young as seven to ride. Make sure you check the specific rules and regulations of the company you plan to use.
Always take the time to familiarize yourself with the horseback riding company’s policies. Some companies might require advance booking, while others accept walk-ins. Some companies may also require riders to sign a waiver before riding. It’s always best to inquire about these things beforehand to ensure a smooth and enjoyable horseback riding experience. Remember to apply sunscreen and bring bottled water to stay hydrated.
While horseback riding in Myrtle Beach is a fun and unforgettable experience, it’s critical always to respect the natural environment you are riding in. Avoid disturbing local wildlife and adhere to posted trail rules and guidelines.
Embracing the culture of horseback riding in Myrtle Beach not only enhances your connection with the local traditions but also allows you to create unforgettable memories against the backdrop of stunning beach vistas and tranquil nature trails. Now equipped with an understanding of this activity’s historical significance, insightful details about the best riding locations, and invaluable tips for planning your excursion, you’re all set to saddle up and explore the beauty of Myrtle Beach from a unique, horseback-riding vantage point. No matter which trail you choose to follow or what time of year you visit, the horseback riding experience in Myrtle Beach promises an indelible journey filled with mesmerizing sights, pleasant encounters, and the timeless charm of Southern hospitality.