My husband, I and our 5 year old son travelled to Arizona to visit family this past June. We decided to take our son to the Canyon Creek Ranch based on the reviews we had read.
I have ridden horses most of my life, although I am NOT a skilled rider. I opted to not wear a helmut which was my first mistake. I have never worn a helmut and have ridden both English and Western.
Our trip started out uneventful enough until we got to river bed which was about 15 minutes into the tour. My horse stopped at the bank and wouldn't go any further. The horse stopped because the saddle, which wasn't secured properly at the stables, was too loose and slid off my horse. It was so sudden that I was immediately dumped onto the river rocks, landing on both my back and head.
We spent the next 45 minutes in the river bed cleaning my head wound and waiting for management to meet us with ice, water and bandages. Our tour guide (Doobie-sp?) was kind enough to take the shirt off his back to help stop the bleeding from the back of my head. Management seemed ill equipped to handle events such as this, however, improbable. Accidents happen and it is good to know that the facility you have entrusted your safety with, is capable of taking care of you should you have an accident.
I wanted to continue on with the tour for my son's experience and hadn't realized the scope of my injuries until later. Doobie was very kind and obviously rattled by the experience. He refused to let our son be by himself and was mindful of the horses and whether we should continue on.
The gentleman who had put the saddle on my horse arrived with a replacement horse. He explained that sometimes the horses will hold their breath while being saddled so that it isn't too tight. Once they let their breath out, the saddle is loose and more comfortable for the horse.
All this is fine but I was then blamed for falling off my own horse. I was told that I should've had pressure in the stirrups to prevent the saddle from slipping off the horse. What?!! Really? In all my years of riding, I have never had to apply continuous pressure to the stirrups so my saddle wouldn't slip off the back of the horse onto its side.
My one big complaint is that not one person from management has ever called to inquire about the tour or if I was alright.
I would highly recommend you wear a helmut. It may not look cool but it could save you a head injury.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.