Explore the waters of Tampa Bay on horseback

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Water is certainly the key feature of the Bay Area. Whether from the edge on the beach, by motor or human-powered boat, on a paddleboard, or from the air, exploring the Gulf of Mexico and the Tampa Bay is a top activity among locals and visitors.

A retired horse trainer wants to add horseback to the list of ways you can explore the bay.

Before Carmen Hanson started C Ponies Beach Horseback Tours, she worked as a horse trainer, but after suffering an injury she retired.

But her love for horses did not stop with her training career. She began rescuing horses and training them to walk through water with a passenger on board. 

“They are extremely smart and extremely gentle,” Hanson said. “This breed was bred to be strong and very calm.”

Hanson instructs and gives tours near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Pete and in Bradenton.

She says many of her customers have told her it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially when the horses swim.

“Horses really swim,” Hanson said. “They swim pretty fast and that's their favorite part."

If you’re interested in a tour they run in the price range of $150, you can visit cponies.com.