Horseback riding on the beach

The Inlet Point Plantation hour-long horseback ride on the beach is the best way to start a Monday.

It is not every Monday morning that you find yourself looking forward to starting the work week. Most Monday mornings you can find me hiding in my bed until the last possible minute when I have to rush to get ready for the day.

That was not the case at all this past Monday morning. I was beyond excited to go on a horseback ride on the beach in Little River with Inlet Point Plantation. 

It is 9:30 a.m. Monday. 

The smell of horses is in the air and heat is not yet pressing down.
The horses are taken carefully out of the trailer and are ready to go.
I strapped on a helmet and carefully climbed onto the horse. The large animals started walking the short trek from the woods to the open, private beach as if they knew the trail by memory.
These horses love the beach.
They love the water and they splash through the waves as if they were playing in the surf like children.
My horse’s name was Jango, without the silent ‘D.’
The sun is shining and there is not another soul to be found on the private beach, except for the fellow horseback riding tour members along for the ride.
This is an experience anyone can enjoy on any Monday morning, or other day of the week, thanks to Inlet Point Plantation in Little River.
Pittsburgh natives Verna Gardner and her husband Kevin on vacation in Myrtle Beach recently went on the one-hour beach ride and loved it.
“It was amazing,” Mrs. Gardner said. “I loved the beach, I loved riding the horses and it was so beautiful. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Mrs. Gardner said she loves horses and loves that horseback riding is offered in the Myrtle Beach area.
“I have ridden since I was 5-years-old and to be able to ride here, on the beach, is amazing,” she said.
Established in 1995 and opened for business in 1996, Inlet Point Plantation was started by Paul and Gloria Smith as a way to join locals and tourists like the Gardners with nature and horses.
Now run by Mark Smith and his family, Inlet Point Plantation offers memorable family excursions on horseback.
“We give anyone a chance to not only ride a beautiful, well trained horse, but to experience the quiet, pristine beauty of one of the South’s old southern plantations that still remains undisturbed by the surrounding growth in and around Myrtle Beach,” said Mark Smith.
Visitors can enjoy a multitude of horse riding experiences on the beach, on the plantation or near the Intracoastal Waterway.
The horseback rides take visitors through a 4,000-acre plantation that the owners keep in a wilderness state.
A photographer meets you on the beach during the ride.
According to the history on the Inlet Point Plantation website, the plantation was once the home of Fort Randall, a Confederate fort from 1861 to 1863. During the War Between the States, the U.S. North Atlantic Squadron was very active in the area. The open fields at the entrance to the stable were once cleared by 9,000 Confederate soldiers.
The property was also once home to Billy the Kid and even Blackbeard was said to have used the land as a safe haven. Waties Island, used by Coastal Carolina University for research, is also part of the property.
The one-hour Island beach ride is $100 per person. A two-hour combination plantation and beach ride is $125. Other tours are available including a Moonlight Island Beach Ride and a one-hour sunset beach ride.
There are also $50 waterway trail rides and $35 pony rides for children.
No riding experience is necessary.
“We loved our experience and would recommend it to anyone,” Mrs. Gardner said. “The horses are well taken care of and we can tell they love the beach.”
To get to Inlet Point Plantation, visit for directions. The stables are at the end of a two-mile sandy road that takes the driver through the woods.
Inlet Point Plantation is located at 5800 Little River Neck Road in North Myrtle Beach.
For reservations call 249-2989.

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