Donkey Rides on the Beach

DONKEY RIDES, a good way to meet equus.

When I was very young we used to go to Poole in Dorset for our holidays. We would drive down from London, along winding roads past fields of tall yellow corn waving in the breeze. There were haystacks in the fields and corn was threshed and placed in stooks. Life was gentle and slow, there were no motorways, and only one dual carriageway, the A 24 going to Dorking. Poole was our playground, the long sandy beach at Sandbanks and shallow child friendly sea, the colourful boat yards and a lovely model train which chuffed its way around Parkstone Park. We delighted in those rides, and I loved the smell of the coke smoke. England was recovering from the 2nd World War, peace smiled on us. My father had been through two World Wars, and was at last able to set up again in business as an architect.  We did not know if peace would last, and the threat of nuclear war hung over us but hope does spring eternal.

Caroline on donkey
Caroline on Tich at Sandbanks. Dorset

In those days there were Donkey Rides were a common entertainment at the sea side. Nearly every beach had its team of donkeys. They would take children up and down the sands, working very hard. They were much loved and they gave me a chance to connect with equus. I remember my first donkey ride. I remember the swaying of the donkey and the rhythm and those large ears I could see the world through. I knew I wanted to ride. I was pulling a face at the camera because I did not want to get off. I knew in those few moments that this was what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Despite my mother’s attempts to make me into a cook and a secretary, a wife, none of it worked. All I wanted to do was ride. They are still on the sands for children to enjoy, I saw some in Weymouth. Riding the horse is an important part of our development as people, we have ridden for centuries. To ride a horse is to participate in interspecie communication. We benefit from such a pastime. so my life has been riding, working with horses, learning from them about me, learning from them about patience, and confidence and communication. This is what this website is all about.