This is adjacent to Springfield beach where he and nine other families have the ‘rights’ to operate. He must make a judgment about when it is worthwhile to take a horse or two to the beach, typically on weekends and holiday periods. This involves crossing the main highway, perhaps a hazardous journey but one that is not daunting to either horse or rider. We met ‘Jackpot’, ‘Pepsi’, ‘Sri Mok’ (cloudy) and ‘Khan Mahk’.
Jackpot is the favourite partly because his cream coloured coat is appealing to customers, clearly good for business. All horses are male, some gelded, some not. Apparently keeping to one gender resolves any ‘relationship issues’ between horses on the beach! We understand that a female horse on an adjoining property is a major distraction enroute to the beach for Sri Mok! Pepsi (the colour was right) will soon be sold off to a breeding farm, perhaps lucky for him, but really because his behaviour on the job is causing Khun Jung some concerns. Kicking is the problem, an unacceptable trait. Horses have a potential working life of about 15 years. Training takes about two months and the younger horses may be two years old at this time.
Horse prices are in the vicinity of 60 -70,000 THB, no small investment for these families. Another cost to be added is the saddlery which can only be purchased in Bangkok. Horse rides generally cost around the 600 THB mark. Perhaps this sounds a little pricey at first glance, but considering the investment these families make and the operating costs, maybe a reasonable rate. Next time you are taking one of those mandatory beach photos with a horse featured in the shot, think about a decent tip to the horse operator, they’ve earned it.