A group of Horse Enthusiasts recently banned from riding their horses on the beach inside the city limits showed up in force at yesterday’s Myrtle Beach City Council meeting.
The city began enforcing a 2011 enacted code on the request of City Manager John Pedersen this past January 2016, with officers turning riders heading north away at the North end of Myrtle Beach State Park, where riding is allowed.
More than 45 horse lovers showed up in solidarity to ask the city council to rethink this ban.
“Nobody knew the law was on the books,” said Richard “Buster” Ray, owner of Horseback Riding in Myrtle Beach, LLC. Ray asked City Council to reinstate the original law that allowed beach riding from November through the end of February.
As the local Sun News Reported: Ray said horseback riding on the beach has become a big tourist attraction and brings in visitors that spend money in the city. “Horseback riding is listed as No. 12 on the list of top outdoor activities among things to do at Myrtle Beach on TripAdvisor.com,” said fellow equestrian Brooke Doswell. “I think it’s really important, on behalf of the horse riders and owners to think about how important the horses are,” she said. “The horses are big to the tourists. When we ride on the beach it’s like the paparazzi is out there. All of the families with children are taking pictures of us. They love watching the horses.”
A major complaint raised by the city has been Horse manure that the horses leave on the beach. Doswell commented, “The waste issue is a big one [issue],””But unlike dog waste, which is “toxic,” horse waste is not. It’s very natural. It’s used in garden compost. It’s 75 percent water and grain and grass. We understand the size of the waste intimidates people,” she said. Doswell added, “but if the city were to require horseback riders to ride “within 5 feet of the tide line” the manure issue would wash out with the tide. During the offseason when this was allowed previously it was just in the offseason so the water is very cold. The water is like 45, 50 degrees. Children aren’t building sandcastles in the cold water. They’re up higher on the beach so the horses could stay down by the water line, which would prevent safety issues,” Doswell said