Travel Myrtle Beach, SC: A Mid-summer Morning’s Dream Ride at Wampee Stables

Riding at Wampee Stables, North Myrtle BeachWampee Stables is all about trail riding. Actually, it’s all about the horses that just happened to do trail rides, and only trail rides. At this farm, it’s like saddling up at a friend’s house – a friend who considers his horses family.

“Sadie is the only horse here that gets this excited about treats,” says Richard Parker owner of Wampee Stables with his wife Debbie Parker.

True to promise, Sadie, a beautiful grey warm-blood, brays and nods at the sight of Sadie at Wampee Stables, North Myrtle Beachalfalfa squares heading her way after our hour trail ride through the forested lands adjacent to the Wampee Stables family home.

Located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina worlds away from the biker, boardwalks and beer fests the region is known for, Wampee Stables is only a 20-minute drive from the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of Myrtle Beach.

I’m escaping the noise of ‘bike week,’ an unofficial annual event filling the streets of Myrtle Beach proper. Hundreds of bike enthusiasts rev iron horses through Broadway Street Myrtle Beach.

I happen to be in town this week because BlogPaws – a yearly conference for pet bloggers – is also on. This year, I brought my dog Victor. (Please check out ‘Myrtle Beach dog-friendly?’ on dogtrotting.net for details).

Yes, I’ve brought Victor to the stables with me and he’s waiting in a horse stall with a bowl of water – not a service Wampee usually provides, but pre-arranged it’s indicative of the southern hospitality here at the Parker estate.

Like me, Victor needs a rural reprieve from the energy of Myrtle Beach.

But when isn’t riding a welcome escape?

Riding at Wampee Stables, North Myrtle BeachToday the treat-excitable Sadie is saddled and waiting for me. I love mares, especially the boss. Sadie, who’s lived at Wampee most of her life, is head of the 20-horse herd and she knows her way around the trail. She’s an easy ride and smooth trot through the paths mowed through the Parker’s property.

Sadie even trots in the ‘training’ ring for me, though she knows this isn’t part of the drill. Mandatory at Wampee prior to the one-hour ride is an orientation lesson in the sand ring.

Photographs are also mandatory.

While owner Debbie Parker is a born and bred horse person – she’s the third generation to live on this property – Richard’s passion is clearly photography, which works its way into the package at Wampee. Each person riding gets photos emailed of themselves in the ring and at the beginning of the trail, included in the $65 hour riding fee.

Granted, my photos clearly reveal why ‘leg back’ is a constant reminder throughout my lessons, but who doesn’t love professional photos of themselves on a horse?

Sadie neck reins easily and I can literally ride her with one hand behind my back – in fact, I have to at first to remind me not to pick up the reins English style.

On a perfect morning ride (earlier is better in the summer – it gets hot in South Carolina) my guide Annick, a longtime family friend of the Parkers, leads my ride. “I showed up to visit one day,” she says, “and I never left.” This summer she’s riding in the morning, waiting tables in Myrtle Beach in the evening and today riding bareback on her own horse Winston, a Western Paint.

Winston bowing at Wampee Stables, North Myrtle BeachWe’re riding in an area called Little River, partly on the Parker property and partly on Heritage Conservation land safe from the residential development encroaching closer to Wampee Stables.

Riding at Wampee is like riding with friends: there’s no set times rides go out – call ahead to book. I’m offered a cold drink at the end and by the time we are finished, my photos are emailed to me.

While Sadie whinnies for her treats, Winston bows for his – a trick that both entertains and stretches out his neck after each ride.

My favourite part? Two thoroughbreds roam the farm at leisure, retired from a life of trail rides. Few operators look after their herds, or customers, this well. Little wonder Sadie’s happy.

 

TRAVEL GUIDE: Myrtle Beach is a warm-weather destination host to a range of activities. Know to some as the ‘Redneck Riviera’ because of the party/midway atmosphere at the central beach and boardwalk, the actual Myrtle Beach region extends further than many people venture.

Further south, Murrell’s Inlet boasts both casual and really casual (this is a beach town) fresh seafood restaurants such as Wicked Tuna and Marshview Seafood Kitchen and Bar with a view of the water and inlet boardwalk.

Huntington Beach State Park is worth a day visit because the beach there is less crowded (and dog-friendly) thanks to the park’s $5 admission.

Nearby in ‘lowcounty’ Brookgreen Gardens is a sprawling private estate established in 1931 by Archer and Anna Huntington. This huge public with its own small zoo of indigenous wild animals, butterfly conservatory and pontoon boat tour is home to almost 2000 outdoor sculptures from the private collection of the Huntingtons.

Wondering if Myrtle Beach is dog-friendly? Find out here.

Spend the 4th of July with Motel 6 – check out our most relaxing properties! (affiliate link)

40 comments

  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time.I would definitely want to visit and go for a ride here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. raisingyourpetsnaturally · · Reply

    That’s great you took some time for yourself before the conference. We did too! Spent the first few days touring dog-friendly MB activities and the beach. Great trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to hear what dog-friendly activities you found. I didn’t find many … post on that soon.

      Like

  3. Ahh, that looks like such an awesome escape! Way to turn your trip to BlogPaws into an awesome mini vacation. I just love horseback riding, even better at really nice stables with friendly people and extra happy horses!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, I’ve rode at every BlogPaws … hope to keep the streak going.

      Like

  4. This looks fun. One of these days I’ll be brave enough to try a horse ride. I love looking at horses but being up close makes me nervous. I think I’m more nervous about them than they are of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Horses are awesome. I find being close to them incredibly relaxing, though you do have to watch your feet.

      Like

  5. It looks like a wonderful and relaxing break from the busy Myrtle beach area. It sounds like you and Sadie are besties. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful getaway from the busy Myrtle Beach area. It looks like you and Sadie are besties! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I recommend visiting outside the downtown ‘core’ in Myrtle Beach.

      Like

  7. Sadie is beautiful! I too love mares although most of my horses have been geldings. We used to have lovely places to ride but things have changed around here. No more places where we can go ride other people’s horses either! So sad. I am so happy to see these photos of you enjoying nature on horse back! Brings back memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many areas are being lost to urban sprawl. Even here, within a mile, there’s housing development.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That looks so fun. Beautiful horses too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These horses are well loved

      Like

  9. tenaciouslittleterrier · · Reply

    Looks like a great way to take a break. And you get photos too out of the deal! What is the horse doing with its head down in the photo?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a trick he learned to get treats – and it’s actually a good way to get horses to stretch

      Like

  10. Sadie is beautiful…I wonder how fast she runs if she ever gets the chance! Looks like you had a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likely not that fast. Most would rather move slowly and lazily.

      Like

  11. That’s nice that you were able to escape and ride for a little while. I kept wanting to take a break, but every time I stepped outside it was SO LOUD from the bikers that I just stepped back inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was loud. I managed to get to the beach too (after 5 pm of course) with the dog.

      Like

  12. What a wonderful idea before the conference! South Carolina has numerous places for horseback riding and horses, especially in Aiken, SC, but I didn’t know there was a place in Myrtle Beach. I used to ride a lot when I was younger. Injured my neck with a fall when a stirrup broke, so I’m hesitant to ride again at my age.

    Like

    1. Trail riding is usually pretty safe – at a good place. There are a few places in the MB area, but this one got back to me the quickest and was very professional.

      Like

  13. What a wonderful side trip from the conference! I would have loved to do something like that, but there was no extra time as usual. I love these photos, I had to Pin the one of Winston bowing, he’s just beautiful! Paint horses have always been my favorite. I love that you could bring Victor along and that he got his own stall, LOL!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Like

    1. Paints are beautiful – each one different. I was surprised bringing the dog wasn’t a problem – he didn’t love being contained but loves the smells in a barn.

      Like

  14. Shayla · · Reply

    I’m so jealous, this looks like such an amazing adventure! What amazingly stunning animals!

    Like

    1. These where nicely cared for animals

      Like

  15. hpwallace · · Reply

    Frankly I’m a little jealous that I didn’t get to ride with you in Myrtle Beach! Wampee Stables and their horses seem like a great treat that I will definitely mention to my family in the area. I usually ride English and love when I get to neck rein on a trail horse and just chill.

    Like

    1. Yes, compared to my lessons this was definitely chill. Maybe next BlogPaws – so far I’ve arranged to ride at each one (twice in Arizona)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hpwallace · ·

        Definitely! I have family outside of Kansas City, I’ll have to set them on a hunt for a good place.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. That sounds like my kind of (relaxed, slow-paced) ride. The horses and grounds are beautiful – love the personality they demonstrate. Glad you found this place and were able to add this to your itinerary.

    Like

    1. Because it was just me and the guide we moved a little faster in place than the ride would normally.

      Like

  17. That looks like the perfect antidote for biker week! I enjoyed Myrtle Beach but would have loved to visited Huntington Beach State Park.

    Like

    1. I recommend it. More natural and scenic.

      Like

  18. This sounds like a great way to escape bike week for a little while. Sadie is a beautiful horse.

    Like

    1. Thanks. Sadie was one of those horse I admire.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This looked like a lot of fun! What an epic opportunity while you were traveling!

    Like

    1. I try each place I go.

      Like

  20. I’ve visited Myrtle Beach so many times and never knew this was there!

    Like

    1. Yes. A little off the beaten path but worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. […] I did trail ride at Wampee Stables in North Myrtle Beach and they welcomed Victor with an open stall. Please read about our adventure on […]

    Like

Been here or near? Share your experiences

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: