A sunset horseback ride along the beach with hair tousled by the sea breeze is a bucket list item for many. Carmen Herrmann Hanson of the Tampa Bay area makes that dream a reality. Hanson’s business, CPonies, allows visitors to ride the beaches and trails of Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and more, not only to have the once in a lifetime experience but to also give back to the very horses they ride.
“Horseback riding on the beach is like a Florida-style trail ride – but better! Come ride our rescued Drum and Gypsy Vanner horses and even enjoy an exhilarating swim with these majestic beauties. Start with a ride into the beautiful water at Palma Sola Bay, right near Anna Maria Island. The tranquil, relaxing trip is sure to put you at ease, and the local sea life will amaze you!”
Carmen Herrmann Hanson, granddaughter of Col. Ottomar Herrmann (one of the first to import, breed, train, and exhibit Lipizzan Stallions in America), grew up surrounded by horses and was raised with a love for riding. Through the years, loving horses created a career of training new riders. Hanson started a riding academy, but it was by chance in 2012 that CPonies was created.
“On a beach outing one day with my horses, I noticed a crowd of onlookers watching and taking pictures. I was chatting with several people when an older woman explained to me that this was her lifelong dream, one of the things on her bucket list. Of course I offered her a horseback ride on one of my horses, even letting her swim with the horse. When we finished, the gleam in her eye and joy on her face kept me smiling for days.”