Sandy Neck Beach

Yesterday Jigs and I rode on Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable Massachusetts. There are not a lot of local beaches that allow horses, so I jumped at the chance to go with friends. It is one of those “bucket list” things to do.

I was nervous about riding on the beach. We ride often at Goddard Park in Rhode Island, but Greenwich Bay is small with minimal waves. There is not a lot of room to move out. While Sandy Neck is on the quieter bay side of Cape Cod, horses are allowed on 4.1 miles of shore. I was not sure what Jigs would do with that much beach in front of us.

Great Whites?

Off road vehicles are also allowed at Sandy Neck. There is a road for them between the tidal flats and the dunes.  Tire air pressure needs to be reduced so vehicles do not get stuck. Around June, a good portion of the beach is off limits to protect nesting Piping Plovers.

It is best to ride at low tide, so the horses do not have go through deep sand. Rather than drive two hours early on Saturday through Cape Cod traffic, we camped overnight at Miles Standish State Forest, about a half hour from the beach.  We got to Sandy Neck before traffic and hit the sand by 8:30.

Tidal Flat

It was a glorious ride but my vision of cantering through waves the like Alec Ramsey on The Black Stallion did not come to fruition. We managed some reluctant trotting through the water, but it took a lot of leg, and I mean a lot.


At the 4-mile mark, there is a dune trail through the scrub pine forest. Riding the dunes is breath taking. We even ran into a coyote who stared down at us. Amazing. In places, the sand was and deep and the dunes steep, I would not recommend this for beginners but our horses took it in stride.

Scrub Pine

The trail brought us back to the beach and we flew back to our trailers along the tire tracks. I even let Jigs go and we cantered quite a distance, exceeding the speed limit! In total, the ride was 11.2 miles. Not major mileage, but given the deep sand; it was a workout.

Speed Limit

Horses and Humans returned home tired. I was a bit sore, especially my cheeks from so much smiling and laughing! Apart from a quick spin around the ring, Jigs got today off. He deserved it.

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One Comment on “Sandy Neck Beach”

  1. Julia Dowd Says:

    Sounds amazing Anna!! Nice to see you so happy. See you in June! Can’t wait!!

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