2012-09-08 Equestrians at Border Field

Horse Training
Things you see at the beach! This brave gal was working with her horse’s fear of the water. Tijuana River Mouth in Imperial Beach, California. San Diego County.

I headed south on a Saturday morning to the beach at Border Field. One cannot go further south along the Pacific Coast unless one wants to go into Mexico. When I reached the beach, I took a left turn and rode south to the border fence and visited the terns, gulls and shorebirds loafing on the beach. After spending most of an hour with scores of birds there, I began the ride northward toward the Tijuana River Mouth, stopping to capture Snowy Plovers as they rested above the high tide line or ventured toward the shore in search of a snack.

As I approached the trail leading down to the beach, ten riders on horseback rode onto the beach and turned north. I paused my own northward movement to give the riders some space, and not to spook the horses with my bike. I watched the group huddle on the dry sand, surrounding one rider who’d stepped off her horse. You can imagine my curiosity when I this rider began shedding clothes. I could not figure what was going on. Then she broke away from the group and lead her ride to the water’s edge, but her ride was not having any of it. It was quite a scene seeing this slender 100 pound gal in a bikini trying to lead a 1200 pound unwilling animal into the waves. The scene demanded I take photographs. I realized this act by the rider, required some courage. After 15 minutes of struggle, the horse went into the waves only as far as its belly before the young lady thought the day’s goal had been met. She mounted her steed and continued north with the rest of her group and I never saw them again.

There were large numbers of Elegant Terns, Sanderlings and Black-Bellied Plovers on the beach. I was able to stay still, sitting on the sand and wait for the occasional disturbance, then capture the groups in flight. That was fun!

Birds I met this day were Snowy Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Peregrine Falcon, Pomarine Jaeger, Marbled Godwit, Elegant Tern, Heermann’s Gull, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover, Whimbrel.

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