Horseback Shrimp Fishing – No Horseback Riding Vacation for Shrimp Fishermen
It’s rare to see them anymore. The Belgian draft horses carrying shrimp fisherman on their backs while they drag fishing nets behind them. Horseback shrimp fishing is no horseback riding vacation for the fishermen or the Belgian horses of Oostduinkerke, Belgium. In days gone by, coastal farmers used the fish as fertilizer in their fields, while the fisherman brought home their shrimp to feed the family and sell the majority of their catch at market.
Shrimp Fisherman – Equestrians of the Sea
Today, tourists enjoy seeing the fishermen dressed in their bright yellow slickers on horseback. However, the trade of horse shrimp fishing is all but extinct. Personally, I’m glad the horses are no longer worked in the North Sea. While I’ve not witnessed this profession first-hand, I have heard that many Belgian draft horses suffered from early on-set arthritis resulting from many hours working in the frigid waters of the North Sea. When I have the pleasure of visiting the seaside resort of Oostduinkerke in West Flanders, I look forward to a horseback riding vacation on the beach.
Have you had a horseback riding holiday in Belgium? Let me know your recommendations.
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Photos courtesy of Visit Flanders