I agree with the other reviews that there were a lot of great aspects of this experience.
However, mainly we were disappointed in the riding. Perhaps my expectations were too high from reading the reviews, and from my past experiences when we owned horses. Our first ride was a 2-hour walk through woods, generally over fairly narrow trails where we rode one behind the other. We definitely would have enjoyed some variety and some scenery. We'd been told that we would ride the first hour with the guide and then could go on our own, but this didn't happen, and we plodded along, walking in line in the woods for two hours. It had rained two days prior so some low areas were muddy; but even so, with over 200 acres, there were plenty of areas that were dry and open, where guests could have done a little trotting or cantering and have some variety, but this was not offered in the first ride. In the afternoon ride, we rode partly on our own and then joined a group that was doing some cantering. We found that neither of our horses had a particularly comfortable gait, so that was also disappointing. I later learned that some of the horses are considered more comfortable than others.
We also got frustrating mixed messages from staff--some of whom were relaxed, and some of whom were controlling. For example, as we were tacking up in the afternoon, the barn manager said it would be fine to canter as long as we were in a dry area. But five minutes later, as we were going out, another staffer gave us a lecture that it was unsafe to canter, and that we could not do it. There were several instances like this when we felt like children being scolded.
The lodging was very comfortable, but there was room for improvement--it was like you were staying in someone's home and they just couldn't get to all the small things needing attention. (I probably wouldn't go into this stuff except for all the 5-star reviews, which to me means there is almost nothing that needs attention.) Some examples: Our spacious bathroom needed tile repair and the toilet wasn’t properly bolted to the floor; there was a pretty two-story foyer but the stairway carpeting showed the heavy traffic from dirty shoes. We loved features like the metal artwork and beautiful furniture and bedding in our room, but the artificial flower arrangements throughout the facility were not to our taste. The driveway to the main building is one part attractive landscaping, one part equipment parking. A large tree centered in front of the main building blocks the view of what would otherwise be a focal point as you drive up. None of this is a serious complaint especially when the lodging staff is so pleasant; we’re just saying that five stars is an overstatement.
We would have preferred that the staff find a place to smoke other than on the porch at the entrance to the dining room; it's a pretty place to sit and wait before mealtime, but it would be much nicer if smoke-free.
Also, our bed had a quality mattress but was seriously too soft for my comfort. I think some rooms may have firmer mattresses, so you may want to ask if you have a preference.
Our room had a quality mattress but it was very soft.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.