Welcome to Florida: ‘C Ponies’ offers unique ride, swim with drum horses

Local News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s described as a “once in a lifetime experience.”

Local company C Ponies allows tourists and locals alike to not just ride a horse, but to swim with one.

Owner Carmen Hanson got the idea for her business as she tried to keep her horses cool during our Florida summers.

“Well we got started – I’m a seventh-generation horse trainer and during the summers it would be too hot to show horses, so I would have summer camps. And on the last day of summer camps we would take the horses out here to the beach and have a cookout and a barbeque,” Hanson said. “And every time we brought the horses out, people would stop and ‘what are you doing’ and ‘oh my God the horses are out here!’ So I decided to start a business.”

At that time, Hanson said she only had one drum horse, which folks flocked to.

“Because of the crazy hair and the feathers and as we started progressing with the business, we found out that the smaller horses just couldn’t keep up with the bigger drafty-type horses. So then I was on the market to buy these horses and they were very expensive.”

Hanson and C Ponies came up with another way, a way that helps not just their business, but horses in need.

“And that’s where the rescue kind of came into play. We didn’t start this wanting to do a rescue. As we progressed, we found more and more horses that were just in horrible conditions,” she said.

“It’s a very hard upkeep with these horses because they are so heavily feathered, they get a lot of diseases in their legs and in their skin,” she explained. “So we kind of started to accumulate those horses and we found out that that saltwater was the best therapy for them because the salt just heals everything.”

The horses are initially put on a “strict training regiment” at first to get them used to the water. They are taken to the beach to splash in the water and to just have fun.

The horses never have to carry a rider until C Ponies guides know the animal enjoys the water.

Hanson said that the company’s riders are a big part of the horses’ rehabilitation. Riders are always encouraged to reach down and pet the horse and give them a hug.

Hanson said it teachers the horses that not all humans are bad.

“You know the island on Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer where all the broken toys go? That’s us. All the broken horses come to us and we take our time and we rehab them. We spend thousands of dollars to get them back into physical shape, but the hardest part is the emotional shape,” she said.

Children must be at least 10 years old to ride unless they are in a lesson plan where they can walk, trot and canter. In that case, C Ponies can be contacted.

C Ponies currently has 22 horses. This is their sixth year in business.

Here is some more information to help you plan your next horseback ride with C Ponies.

Ticket prices:
Weekday (adult or child) – $150
Weekend (adult or child) – $155 
Double riding is not permitted

The company also operates at Bradenton Beach, but only horseback riding, not swimming, is available. Those prices are $10 cheaper than what is listed above. Click here for availability.

Travel time to C Ponies’ St. Petersburg location (links will update to current traffic conditions, weekday afternoon conditions listed):
– From Downtown Tampa: 39 minutes
– From Brandon: 44 minutes
– From New Port Richey: 1 hour, 5 minutes
– From Lakeland: 1 hour, 11 minutes
– From Bradenton22 minutes
– From Sarasota: 39 minutes

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Huge law enforcement presence at Fivay HS following several issues

Thumbnail for the video titled "Huge law enforcement presence at Fivay HS following several issues"

Officials investigating fire at vacant home in Clearwater

Thumbnail for the video titled "Officials investigating fire at vacant home in Clearwater"

Crash closes State Road 54

Thumbnail for the video titled "Crash closes State Road 54"

Amber Alert issued for 1-week-old baby

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber Alert issued for 1-week-old baby"

Wednesday Morning Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday Morning Forecast"

Tampa water main break could slow down traffic on Wednesday morning

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa water main break could slow down traffic on Wednesday morning"

Tampa police investigate assault of teen near Gasparilla parade

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa police investigate assault of teen near Gasparilla parade"

Years after fire, Palm Harbor church nearly ready to reopen

Thumbnail for the video titled "Years after fire, Palm Harbor church nearly ready to reopen"

Fivay High School teacher arrested for having loaded gun on campus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fivay High School teacher arrested for having loaded gun on campus"

Florida College isolates unvaccinated students after measles case on campus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Florida College isolates unvaccinated students after measles case on campus"

Gift cards destroyed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gift cards destroyed"

Senator urges Trump to orchestrate coordinated approach to prevent spread of coronavirus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Senator urges Trump to orchestrate coordinated approach to prevent spread of coronavirus"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss