Horses that are not used to the beach may be excited by the different environment, even if they are normally calm. It is often breezy and the atmosphere is stimulating and very different. Horses will respond to the change and you should be prepared. Be wary of faster paces, especially in company, as horses may be stimulated into racing by the atmosphere, even if they would not normally do so in other places. Being out of control could be particularly dangerous where there are people who may not realise that you cannot stop. There could be areas of softer sand, debris, holes or other hazards – you need to be able to avoid them. People commonly exercise dogs on the beach, and the dogs can become excitable and more difficult to recall, so be particularly alert if you see dogs and keep to a walk near them.
Be cautious of the sea, and on first entrance ride slowly. Some shores are shallow for some distance, some shelve steeply or suddenly. Approach the sea at an angle rather than head on because if your horse spooks at the breaking waves, it is then more likely to shy away from the water than rear, which is potentially more dangerous. Approaching alongside the shallows often encourages nervous horses to get their feet wet Be aware that loose horses (and other animals) entering the water tend to head straight out to sea which of course has a high risk unless they can be reached in time.