One Tank Trip: Riding 'C Ponies' in Tampa Bay

We all have things we need to do, and that means sometimes, we could use a break from them.

We can't always take a vacation, but if you live here in the Bay Area, enjoy the water and a bit of adventure -- an excursion with "C Ponies" is perfect for you.

After a brief drive out to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, you're in paradise.

"We found this little piece of heaven and we love it," said Carmen Herrmann Hanson, standing on a strip of sandy beach.

It's the spot where Carmen and the rest of the C Ponies staff set up camp, unload their trailer full of horses, and kick off horseback tours in the Bay.

The "ponies" in "C Ponies" are actually called Drum Horses.

"They're one of the top five rarest breeds, and they are really starting to become very popular just because of their temperament," explained Carmen.

They are strong, yet gentle, and easy for almost anyone to ride.

But riding the horses isn't all you're in for on a C Ponies adventure. The horses go swimming, and they bring you with them!

Waist-deep into the bay you go -- something Carmen said always shocks people -- but that doesn't last long.

"Within minutes" riders are put at ease by the sights and sounds around them, and the steadiness of the horse at their reins.

Carmen has always had a passion for horses. She's a member of the Herrmann family – known for their work with the Lipizzan Stallions- and runs her own riding academy.

Starting C Ponies was a natural next step for her.

"I would take my students out to the beach for birthdays and for fun days, and we would get this huge crowd of people watching and it struck me...'What a great business to start'."

So that's just what she did. The business has been up and running since January, and has allowed her to turn her passion for horses into paradise for others.

Click here for more information about C Ponies.