I am Carmen Herrmann Hanson, granddaughter of Col. Ottomar Herrmann. My family was one of the first to import, breed, train and exhibit Lipizzan Stallions in America, and thanks to such a background I have always held horses very close in my heart.
I have continued to explore my love of horses by starting my own Riding Academy, “Riding with Style.” However, during the summer months it is just too hot in Florida to show horses, so I use horseback swimming during the summer not only for fun, but also to keep my horses in shape.
On a beach outing one day with my horses I noticed a crowd of onlookers watching and taking pictures. I was chatting with several people when an older woman explained to me that this was her lifelong dream, one of the things on her “bucket list.” Of course I offered her a horseback ride on one of my horses, even letting her swim with the horse. When we finished, the gleam in her eye and joy on her face kept me smiling for days.
In 2012, I had a non-horse related accident that left me unable to train horses. In 2015, I hung my helmet up and retired as a riding instructor and closed my barn doors to Riding with Style. Time for a new chapter…
That’s when it hit me: I wanted to offer other horse lovers the experience of horses that are safe, gentle, and love to swim. Why not let others experience this amazing opportunity?
Most of my beautiful horses have come from not so good environments. I truly believe these horses find me! 90% of our beach ponies have been bought with horrible skin conditions, neglect and abuse. I have found the ocean heals almost all of the feather conditions neglect and bad breeding has created. I am very sad to say, not all of our rescue horses have made it. As I am buying horses in bad condition, we have lost 1 recently after two years of battling cancer, our beloved Panda has crossed the rainbow bridge. Your rides help us rehabilitating horses that are in horrible condition. Our next is a beautiful stallion, soon to be gelded to try to heal him. We love our horses and know that every ride purchased helps us save and care for this majestic breed of horse!
All of our Gypsy and Drum horses have been hand selected by me to ensure every rider has not only a beautiful but a safe, well-trained, water loving horse. Most of our Drums also compete in Dressage and Hunter Jumpers. As a 4th generation horse trainer, this will be the first time in my life I have closed my training facility to focus solely on Cponies Beach tours. I hope you get a chance to experience Florida an entirely different way. Let me make your dreams of a Tampa Bay beach horseback riding adventure come true.
Carmen Herrmann Hanson
We are a family owned and operated company offering our wonderful team of swim-capable Horses for horseback riding in the St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Island and Sarasota areas from Bradenton, Fl area on the beach as well as in the ocean.