Carousel Horse Farm

Carousel Horse Farm, Casco: Address, Phone Number, Carousel Horse Farm Reviews: 3.5/5

Carousel Horse Farm
3.5
Horseback Riding Tours
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We offer specialty trail rides year round by reservation. Three are offered all year, seasonally we have ice cream rides in the summer in Casco, sunset rides in the fall in Casco and beach rides in the winter on Popham or OOB. We offer carriage tours in Freeport and Old Orchard seasonally as well. Riding with your own horse here at the farm is a great option too, on 5,000 acres of Jugtown Forest land.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3.5
43 reviews
Excellent
17
Very good
5
Average
6
Poor
5
Terrible
10

nhlaker1961
Andover, MA114 contributions
Oct 2013 • Friends
I booked a “girls weekend” 1 hour beach ride for 5 riders one month in advance with Tiffany at Carousel Horse Farm. During each call I mentioned that I lived in Old Orchard Beach and asked if the ride went down to OOB. Perhaps I was not clear that I wanted the ride to go that far but it did not. I spoke to Tiffany each time. The ride was originally scheduled for 11am Saturday Oct 26th because low tide was 10:44am.
Tiffany called twice thereafter asking to change the time of the ride and I agreed we were very flexible. The second change in time came with “be there at 11:45AM sharp because we have another event later in the afternoon that we need the horses for. “ On Friday Oct 25th I had a call from Tiffany confirming the ride on Saturday an the “11:45AM sharp” start time. Kristen one of the five riders called Tiffany and confirmed the time and also was told “11:45AM sharp”. Well we are all professional well traveled business women in our early 50’s and we follow directions and we were there at the Scarborough parking lot ten min’s early very excited for another “bucket list” activity. A chilly windy but beautiful day for a beach ride in Maine!
At 11:45AM there were no horses. At Noon time I phoned Tiffany to ask where the horses were. We were waiting in the parking lot in Scarborough. She was surprised her team had not arrived. When her team did arrive they were very cheerful and upbeat and got to work quickly to saddle up the horses and have us sign the wavers etc.. The horses looked well nourished and groomed. The horses were calm and not skittish in any way. They were definitely well seasoned for inexperienced riders. Now here is the beauty of digital photography…. They opened the gate for the horses to disembark at 12:17PM. Stephanie our guide & her helper were very nice, helped us onto our horses’, showed us how to hold the reigns and direct the horses. While this was going on, our sixth friend was snapping photos each of us. It is all about creating memories and documenting our experiences since we have all been friends since we were 13.
We were riding through the parking lot onto the beach at 12:37PM all five of us very excited and happy for our adventure. The ride on the beach was great. The horses were enjoyed he beach and riding in a line and even riding side by side. We had lots of laughs while Stephanie led way. When we reached the first high-rise condo’s Stephanie turned us around to return to the parking lot. I questioned why we were returning so soon and Stephanie said that we needed to get back so they could get to their next event. I tried to explain that I wanted the horses to go past my home in OOB and that I had mentioned this to Tiffany. Stephanie was very sweet but turned us around and headed back to the parking lot. During the ride back I let Stephanie know that we wanted a group photo on the beach with each of us on the horses. Our 6th friend was prepared to take the photo. Stephanie ignored the request and brought us back into the parking lot. I again stopped Stephanie and asked why we could not have a photo on the beach and she indicated that the ride was over and they needed to get to the next event. I immediately let Stephanie and the gentleman with her know that we were not happy. We paid for an hour beach ride and they were more intent on getting to their next venue than to satisfy their commitment to our group of five riders. Again the beauty of digital photography, our friend captured a photo of us exiting the beach at 1:17PM. We had a 40 minute beach ride? The most annoying part of the experience was the focus of Tiffany and her team on getting to the next event rather than focusing on the one they were working with us!
One thing I have learned in life is that one needs to make the customer feel like they are the only customer and that they are a valued customer. This did not happen with Tiffany or her staff. When I called Tiffany a week later to let her know our disappointment she was surprised as her staff had not shared our experience with her. Even after explaining the situation Tiffany challenged me on the time her team arrived, the time the horses got on to the beach and the time we returned to the parking lot. Tiffany did not attempt to make our group whole by offering any type of reimbursement or gift certificate for a future ride. In my opinion, Tiffany should have just put a gift certificate in the mail with an apology. Instead she did nothing except to put the burden on me. Well I found Carousel Horse Farm on Social Media and now I review the experience on Tripadvisor. Just beware you may not get what you paid for. Despite our disappointment we made the absolute best of our Girlfriend Beach Ride and enjoyed our time with one another. We have lots of photos and a fun video I was able to take while riding my very mellow horse! My message to Tiffany is “Be sure at a minimum your customers get what they pay for and work harder at making them feel like they are your only customer.” This will help grow your business and increase repeat customers.
Written November 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
To our customers, if at any time you think your ride is not going as planned please speak up and ask the guide for clarification. Please reread our website if you have not talked to the guide to ensure that you understood our policies and descriptions. And feel free to call me directly to work out any concerns that you may have. We are happy to improve our services and make things right at any time. I just want to clarify a few things. I did apologize during and after her first description of the things that went wrong with her ride. I also offered to take her group out again at her convenience. She said she could never get them all together again. So I offered her five rides at our farm, with anyone she wanted to bring and she could split them up. I'm not sure why she didn't mention this in the review? I only "challenged" her when on her second go around with the description of the ride, after I'd apologized and offered an alternative, she contradicted herself on the time the guides arrived and the time they returned from the beach. After hearing her description a third time I assured her that we would find a way to make it right and she was welcome to use any of our services including the carriage or wagons. I then discussed it with the guides and determined that their ride was indeed over 45 minutes long (we do this ride quite often and check our watch for 30 minutes before we turn around), our webpage clearly states that all rides are 45 min to 1 hr long. They only stated that they were working on other events as they were leaving. as an apology for hurrying out after the ride. Otherwise the only time our other events were mentioned were in my conversations on the phone when we changed the time of the ride. There are other inconsistencies in this review but I will leave it at the initial complaint in the title area and mention that all four of the other riders stuck around after the ride, had positive things to say and tipped the guides. Many photos were taken throughout the ride and I never promised to ride in front of her building, since I never knew what area of OOB she lived on.
Written November 20, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ann B
Portland1 contribution
Apr 2012 • Family
First, I want to say the farm is kept up beautifully and the horses are well trained and taken care of very well. The scenery on the trail ride was breathtaking. We bought a ride for 2 for beginners through Groupon. The owner of the farm was our guide. There were people in our group who never rode a horse before (it was for beginners after all) and it was quite awkward and made it hard to enjoy this experience because the owner had no patience whatsoever with a few of the people who continually needed to be corrected. She was very condescending towards them too and it seemed to us that she was intentionally trying to make them feel like they were idiots. I think if you are going to guide beginner riders, who are often/usually intimited to begin with, you need to have some understanding and patience. On our way out, I heard them all saying "never again". We have friends who have done the trail rides at this farm with a different guide, however, and they stated their experience was very positive with that particular guide.
Written April 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
As guides we strive to make the ride safe and enjoyable. We strive to counter any negative experiences with positive ones such as stories about our horses, places we have ridden and activities we participate in. The guide will cover some history of the farm and point out Mt. Washington and wildlife. Our releases do stress that the guide's job is difficult and that riders are responsible for their ability to follow instructions and be physically capable of all skills needed. Whenever a trail ride is mixed in experience and individual groups of all ages, differences in expectations occur. Guides are taught to "yell" because in a line of four or more, with the guide facing forward or sideways it can be very difficult for riders behind to hear them. As the owner I have a very strong voice. My goal is only to stress the importance of using the techniques we have shown each rider before the ride because these techniques maintain our safety standards. I have been in business for 20 years guiding beginner rides. Many of our patrons are repeat customers and groupon has been a great new way to expose our business to thousands of new customers. We have an unmatched record for safety with over 9 yrs without a fall. I am truly sorry if anyone was unhappy at the end of any ride I have guided.
Written May 3, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HappilyRetired
Rio Medina, TX171 contributions
Oct 2015 • Couples
We ride on all our vacations all over the United States but this was the worst. Tiffany has poor people skills and less horse sense. She didn't seem to care that stirrups weren't adjusted properly. She spoke incessantly during the ride and constantly yell that we weren't handling the horses correctly. One of her mounts was actually a Newfoundland Pony that had a gait comparable to roller skates on a cobble stone street. Don't waste your money.
Written October 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Most of my horses have been doing this for more than 10 years, including our Newfoundland Ponies. I ride them bareback, regularly and they have very sittable trots. The only people who ever have trouble trotting on our horses are those that are beginner riders trying the trot for the first time or someone who hasn't ridden in years. We often explain that if you relax your seat and back and don't get tense the trot is much more comfortable. If you thought they were that rough it was most likely a symptom of your own skill and nervousness. I yell to be heard at the back of a 4 ot 6 person line. I am not yelling at anyone. I talk to the people directly behind me. And I don't talk incessantly to myself, its generally part of a two way conversation. I find it funny that there are two negative reviews here and one complains that the guide was too quiet and the other complains that the guide was too talkative. As our business grows and we get more and more people from around the world, it is inevitable that we will be compared to other businesses with other horses. They are not all the same, they are individuals and have good and bad days just like us. But most issues arise simply because a rider does not pay attention, is nervous and cannot follow directions or actually gives their horse the wrong cues. I watch it daily and my horses are super stars in their ability to deal with all the different personalities that come through our farm in a season. They are most likely more patient than I am, but they are that way because I train them to deal with it all. Our safety record is 100% in 23 years. My horse sense is reflected in the fact that my horses have a home and are not traded out for new ones each season like many of the public trail ride places around the world. One last note, I always adjust stirrups, sometimes someone shows up who does not fit our equipment and we do our best to get as close as possible. We have changed saddles, moved riders from one horse to another before the ride and purchased new equipment to accommodate as many body types as possible. Its simply not possible to have a perfect physical or mental fit with only a few minutes to get to know a customer before each ride. We absolutely do our best and follow all safety guidelines.
Written October 21, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carebear7951
Portland, TX57 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
Our guide, Michael, was great! He was very calm and reassuring (apparently I have new and unexpected anxiety regarding horseback riding). He chatted easily with all of us and helped us understand what our horses were doing and why. My kids LOVED it!
Tiffany worked with me via text to get our ride in around weather issues when we told her we couldn’t reschedule.
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shahzad M
1 contribution
Jul 2020 • Family
This is the first review I’ve ever written, but Tiffany’s (owner and guide) unprofessionalism warrants it. I’m all about safety, but Tiffany was consistently rude, condescending, unprofessional, impatient, and unpleasant with her directions. Despite this being a beginners ride, she repeatedly barked commands in an exasperated way and set a tone of fear and anxiety for anyone who is an unexperienced rider, especially my three children (ages 12, 10, 7). I assume Tiffany has good days and bad days, but judging by other reviews, this behavior is not an isolated incident, and it’s not worth risking your valuable time on vacation. The beautiful horses were unfortunately not able to overshadow Tiffany’s terribleness. To cap off our experience, I am sure this review will generate a combative response by Tiffany, and a litany list of how she was in the right and our perceptions were incorrect, since this seems to be her response to all negative reviews.
Written July 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeff H
Tampa, FL1 contribution
Mar 2022 • Family
I can’t really rate the rides since they literally lost our reservation. Then stated “we usually don’t take reservations during the week”, then blamed the weather conditions for not being able to complete the rides anyway. Understand if that’s the real reason but not being aware a party of 7, who drove 1.5 hours for a trail ride, is inexcusable. My 9 year old stepdaughter was looking forward to this ride for months. What really amazes me is the defensive responses to any negative reviews given on TA (there are many)- perhaps you should learn to apologize without excuses. A 3 hour round trip wasted. But our Maine vacation was wonderful otherwise.
Written March 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Crystal P
1 contribution
Feb 2021 • Couples
I am eager to visit maine and horseback ride, I have been looking at different barns and places to have this experiance with, and sadly after reading the responses this owner has to all reviews with her downtalking and rude attitude I found it clear she would make a terrible time for my fiance and i. We both can see through people's fake personalities, and we both wouldve called her out if she treated us and talked to us the way shes been talking to all the paying customers that took time to leave a review, so you can change things. Lost out on my $$, will be going else where! Thank you for all the reviews that steared me away of this place. Just from reading the responses the owner has to every comment that's not a 5 is discusting, rude, and so so so unprofessional. Good luck to you and your business, looks like you need all the luck in the world. We will have a great experiance elsewhere!!:)
Written February 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

turkington4
Poland, ME21 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
My first phone call I was told that since I had two twelve year old girls, that an adult would ride with them. My initial reaction was that this was not clear in the online reservation. But that I or another adult would ride along. We showed up 20 minutes prior to our appt. Sean the guide began getting horses ready, we were awaiting another party. When they arrived, he realized we were over the 6 person limit, as there was a total of 7 people between the two parties. He went in and spoke to the owner (I assume, though she never introduced herself to us or the other party). She came out and said who is Lynley. I said I am. She proceeded to say I only have two people for your reservation, I reminded her of our earlier conversation that she told me I needed to ride with the two girls as they are not yet 13. She asked me to come back later and I explained we could not. She could not accommodate our party of 3, along with the party of 4. I was extremely upset, as we had a groupon for my daughter's birthday we needed to use as it was expiring. And clearly this was their error, no apologies though and very rude behavior towards us. The girls were in the end allowed to ride along with the other mother and her kids, I asked if this was possible. Otherwise I would have had two very sad and disappointed girls who had been looking forward to their ride. The owner was very rude and condescending to our guide. To the point that the girls were afraid to tell him that their stirrups were not completely comfortable. They feared if they said they were to long he would get yelled at further. She spoke to him harshly and rudely in front of us which I felt was extremely poor customer service. I do realize it is our safety and our helmets etc need to fit correctly but she was angry and abrasive towards him. She also was abrasive towards the children when they did not hold the reins correctly. This was a beginner trail ride and her tone can still be direct and clear with out the harshness and condescending we all heard. The girls did enjoy their trail ride, the guide
(Sean) was very kind. The views were gorgeous. The horses stay in a line and do most of the work. Thankfully the other mother, Cindy was very accommodating and helpful and made this ride possible. We will not return due to the customer service. Though the girls enjoyed themselves on the trail they were very uncomfortable with the behavior of the owner. Had we had no interaction with the owner we would have rated this 4-5 stars. If our reservation had been put in correctly by her we would have probably had no interaction with her. As we did not see her interact with the people who came after and during the ride.
Written July 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
When this lady first made her reservation I informed her of the requirement of a guardian to ride with children 12 and under. She stated that she was scared of horses and did not want to ride. I told her I would keep the reservation if she thought she could find a rider to join them. She told me she would call back if she could find an adult to go so I left it on as two riders. This was probably not best practice, but it is rare that an adult will call to send children this young out without a parent so I held it waiting for her call to change the time or add a rider or cancel. She never called back. When she arrived she was very upset about having to go and, I had filled the ride without realizing that the 2 person spot was supposed to be a 3. This type of situation is rare and I will not hold a spot this way again. So we didn't have room for three. We offered a later ride, but she was very upset. So we arranged to take her children, against our guidelines, and did what we could to make her happy. In the process of working out the problem, I noticed that a helmet was not fitted properly, and several hadn't been adjusted. The guide was over by the horses so I asked him (yelled over) to come watch as I fitted the helmet properly. He is new this season and a cowboy that has never used helmets so we continue his training from time to time. He informed me that they had put the helmets on while he was attending other business and I asked him to make sure, when that happened to double check and not assume everyone knew how to do it. We went over all the fittings and he moved on with his program. I have discussed it with him and he did not think I was reprimanding him, he took it as training, of course, he knows me better than this lady does. So in the future we will not do training while customers are present. I will just fix the problem myself. We sold 800 groupons this year, out of those we have not had a single complaint except for those who feel they should be able to bend the rules. But if we do, we take a chance of losing our insurance, and if you look around you'll find that there aren't many of these places left in Maine or New England. So we will keep enforcing our standards and make at least 799 Groupon customers happy every year!
Written July 21, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bob V
Alpharetta, GA118 contributions
Sep 2015 • Family
I was greatly disappointed. This was a surprise to my granddaughters I took to Maine for the week and a "GUIDED" tour was part of it. They love horses. So much for guided tour, their guide did not say a word and only looked back to make sure we were still there when I requested we stop for a minute. They put me on a horse, Melvin, that was controversial (their words) and couldn't see where he was going because of the flies. So much for a beginners guided tout.
Written September 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
No horse here is "controversial", the guide is there to make sure the horses are ridden and handled safely. She will answer any question posed but is not required to tell stories throughout the ride. She should, however, point out Mt. Washington when its in view and will often share stories about the horses or give instruction when needed. If she didn't have much to say its probably because the horses were behaving perfectly and maybe she had been yelling all day and her voice was tired so she chose to make one ride a quiet one. All of our horses can see where they are going. This fall has been very hot, and the flies will be gone for a week and then reemerge on a warm day around 11, we often don't know they are coming until we are already on a ride so we don't get a chance to get fly repellent on them until we return. That may have been why Melvin seemed to respond to the flies.
Written October 21, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Run_ar0und
Dallas, TX584 contributions
Sep 2013 • Friends
After reading the reviews on here, we have decided to give it a try. There are 2 of us, my friend got a horse that is very steady and she is a beginner. I got a younger horse and have ridden a few times before. We call in advance to book on the phone with Tiffany, she seems nice. Our appointment was at 5pm for the sunset tour. We arrived at around 430pm and was told that we need to come back at 5pm. Drove to the gas station to get some snack prior to the ride then receive a phone call 10til, telling us that if we are not there in 5 mins, our ride will have to be cut short? We met up with Tiffany, she provided us as the guide.
Honestly, the ride mostly was inside the forrest and plain fields. Nothing really impressive. Tiffany can certainly improve with her attitude, she is constantly yelling at both of us on how we don't know how to hold onto the horses. Being that we don't ride horses daily. I wonder at times if i am on a tour trying to enjoy the view or in elementry school? The whole trip feels like i am in a redneck horseback riding tour. Would not return for sure! We spent $100 each of us regreting the whole trip. Do keep in mind that you guys are dealing with tourist and not your stable boy. Alittle honey goes a long way.
Written October 6, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
There are a few inaccurate statements in this review. First our sunset rides are $75 per person and have to leave on time or it is dark before we return, you are asked to arrive 10 minutes before the ride time to get fitted for helmets and sign releases. We did not ask you to leave because you showed up early, only that we couldn't leave early due to the idea of seeing the sunset. We have picnic tables, chances for photos of the horses and portopotties while you wait. At 5 pm I called because many people who leave will decide not to come back without calling to let us know, since these are specialty rides that keep us out later than normal we wanted to be sure you were returning since you were already late. We did not cut your ride short, we don't do that at any time, unless the customer requests it. We've had some gorgeous pictures of this ride if "the ride mostly was inside the forrest and plain fields. Nothing really impressive." was all less than you expected, I'm sorry. The sunset over Mt, Washington and the Presidential range is the highlight of this ride. I also took several pictures of you and your friend for you. You are given instructions on how to hold and use the reins properly before the ride. We go over it again on the trail and maintain the lesson throughout the ride. Yelling is a necessity so that the entire line can hear us clearly. Holding the reins properly is important throughout all of our rides. Letting a horse eat and wander off the trail continuously is rare, only some riders are incapable of taking care of this problem within five minutes of the ride's start. And unfortunately we have to keep reminding them throughout the ride. Its a necessity, for liability's sake. One last note, you make it sound as if you were put on a "young" horse because you had some experience, we do not have any horses that are considered "young:" for this job. The youngest being 10 yrs old. Just wanted to make sure our potential customers do not think we are putting anyone on young, untrained or inexperienced horses at any time.
Written October 8, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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