It’s not every day you see a horse on the beach but in this case Rosie’s owner brings her out a couple times a week, just to give children free rides on the beach!
“Because it’s fun,” said Marty Knowles.
Three times a week Knowles and his wife travel from South Kingsville to Whitecap beach with their miniature horses, offering free rides to children.
“I have problems with COPD and depression, so this helps me,” said Knowles. It’s something that I can do and its giving back to the people.’
But back in April, Knowles says he began having issues.
“After I had been driving on the beach I got a call from parks and rec saying that I wasn’t allowed on the beach,” said Knowles.
He says after speaking with city officials he was told he would have to either stop offering children free rides on his horses or register as a vendor and pay vendor and permit fees.
He says the issue began because he occasionally takes donations from families if they offer them.
“The rides are free but we accept the donations,” said Knowles. “We call it the treat fund, it just helps cover expenses because we travel 70 miles on way to get here.”
But Knowles says the money he receives isn’t nearly enough to make a profit.
“I’ve had little kids give me 5 cents because that’s all they had,” said Knowles.
The last time we spoke to the city they told us Knowles would need to register as a vendor because money was exchanging hands. Then they told us the horse rides were a liability.
5 weeks later, and now the city has now retracted their decision.
The Corpus Christi Assistant Manager Samuel “Keith” Selman said that after further review, it was determined that Knowles ‘no longer met the definition of a vendor’.
Something which Knowles says he’s happy about.
“I can drive on the beach and I can do what I was doing,” said Knowles. “Business is going back to the way it used to be.”
Knowles says now he only has to sign a waiver of liability stating the City is not responsible for any injuries.