This review is for the stables inside the park, not the one in Townsend. I wish we'd known about the original Cades Coves Stables.
The trail was pretty and the guides were nice. The horses were very manageable.
However, when we paid, we were told the wait would be about an hour. We waited over two hours. There was only one bench and most of the people waiting had to stand the entire time or sit on the gravel for hours. They took up to nine people in a group. Several groups left with as few as four people. Rather than filling each group to ensure less waiting time, they took each person in the order they came. One woman was riding by herself and they didn't add her to a previous group that only contained six people. It was a very poor system and defied common sense.
I also noticed that the majority of the trail was gravel. The horses came in, got a quick drink, and then were taken out again. No one ever checked them to be sure gravel hadn't become wedged in their hooves. We watched some horses come in and go back out immediately for the next ride four times straight without a single person looking them over. It was also obvious that the horses hadn't been brushed prior to starting their long day. They were loosing their winter hair. They were dirty and shaggy. It just seemed to us that they were prone to saddle sores. They certainly were not cared for very well.
If you own or manage Cades Cove Riding Stables, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.