Swimming with dolphins? That's so last year. Try riding with dolphins. A Bradenton, Fla., horse owner is offering "horse surfing" for those looking for a different type of aquatic adventure.

Reported on HeraldTribune.com, former polo player and 10-year horse surfer Tim Mattox offers horse rides in the bay. Patrons have the option to ride or stand atop the wading animal and jump off into the waves. He says "surfers" have come from all over, including Europe, since the beach option was first offered in May 2008.

Mattox told HeraldTribune.com he has nine former polo horses in his string. Most seem to enjoy their job, which can include an occasional close encounter with dolphins and manatees.

"You need a horse that is unflappable, a horse that will tolerate surprises," Mattox told the paper. "It's a public beach and if you came down here with a horse that was spooked by a dog or a fishing pole or Jet Skis or that kind of thing, it would not be a happy horse."

Read more and see the photos.


A 14-year-old girl riding in Epping Forest in the UK had a scary encounter yesterday, but might have been saved by her horse's reaction, Horse and Hound reported.

A man approached the girl and pulled her from her horse. The report noted: "It is not known what the man's aim was but the girl was saved by her horse, which reared up then kicked the man with both hind legs, knocking him to the ground." [GOOD BOY! CARROTS!]

She was able to remount and gallop back to the stable.