Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm

Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm, Moretown: Address, Phone Number, Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm Reviews: 4.5/5

Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm

Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm
4.5
Horseback Riding Tours
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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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4.5
75 reviews
Excellent
59
Very good
5
Average
2
Poor
3
Terrible
6

ELF
Gloucester, MA1 contribution
Oct 2020
Our group had a good time -- 7 of us, all experienced riders. We were planning to ride 1 1/2 days, but it was raining the first morning, so we rode in the afternoon. Lots of riding along the sides of dirt roads, with just one short dip into the woods. Big hills, up and down along those roads.

My horse was the only one in the group that apparently didn't have a natural tolt, so the guide gave me pointers on lifting his front end and using my seat to help him go into the tolt. It was difficult, as I have lower back issues, but I did manage to get a little tolting in here and there. Frustrating seeing the other horses go right into it— everyone else was gliding along as I tried to get my guy to stop trotting and start tolting. As I said, I did get a few short bits of tolting, enough to get a sense of what it's like.

I couldn't ride the next day because my back was a bit strained from the tolt situation and leaning back on the big hills. The group that did ride the 2nd day got to go on trails, which look beautiful in their photographs, so I missed the best ride, which is a huge bummer. If I had ridden the 2nd day, I would have asked for a different horse, but I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to drive home if we did hilly roads again the 2nd day.

Oh well. It was still fun, and the horses are cute as the dickens. Everyone else in the group had a wonderful time, lots of smiles. The guide we had (Kaileigh) and Karen, the owner, were great, very nice, and helpful. The horses were well-behaved and clearly are very well taken care of. And the scenery is gorgeous. Highly recommended.

We stayed at the Mad River Inn, which Karen's husband Luc runs, and it was excellent in every way.
Written October 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bgrant722
Colombo, Sri Lanka74 contributions
Aug 2020
The horse are well cared for and probably the most sure footed breed I have ridden. the scenery and the staff was excellent and the social distancing and mask rules adhered to. These horses have an extra gait which is the tilt and very comfortable.
you have to try this. I have ridden in Ireland, Scotland , Egypt and Costa Rica and this was special.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Laura H
Irvine, CA75 contributions
Sep 2021 • Solo
If you love riding horses, this is the place to go. Icelandic horses are my favorite breed because they are so easy to ride. Plus, the farm and country here are so beautiful and peaceful! The owner Karen and her family live and work on this ranch- she is very generous with her time and flexible with your needs. Our friendly tour guide (also named Karen) owns several horses here and was an absolute pleasure to ride with. So much so that I came back for a second day of riding. I’m most grateful for meeting these amazing people and can’t wait to return! Takk fyrir ❤️
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ridgewaypilgrim
Swanville13 contributions
Jun 2021
The Icelandic horses on this farm are in excellent condition and very well-trained and steady. I've ridden in Iceland, and these horses are on a par with the horses there. Friendly, experienced staff and beautiful Vermont views!

Jean G
Written June 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phlebotomy2012
Monterey, CA10 contributions
Jul 2021
I came back to the Icelandic Horse Farm in early July 2021 and had another wonderful 4 days with the horses. The weather was pouring rain the whole time but the farm managed to squeeze in a ride for me 3 out of the four days. This time I was a much more confident rider so everything was easier. The lovely personalities of the horses are still the most amazing part of the experience. Such a beautiful part of the country. My favorite place!
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mcgregpub
Tampa41 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
I cant say enough about what a wonderful experience my husband and I had this morning. While the weather did not cooperate, the ride was still magnificent. These are truly wonderful animals cared for by a great team of people and the ride could not have been more enjoyable, rain and all. I only wish we had the opportunity for a longer ride. A don't miss stop on your travels through Vermont.
Written October 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sharon_phila
2 contributions
Aug 2018 • Couples
We booked a horse vacation package at the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm and Mad River Inn. Horrible experience!

The package confirmation letter claimed the final ride ended at 4 pm on our last day. The website claims "Our Inn Ride prices include ride with guide, meals​, and lodging". Owing to the final ride ending at 4pm and that we had an 8 hour drive back to Pennsylvania, we opted for the 3-day/4-night package for $1,050 pp. Upon arrival, we were told that "we were on our own" for dinner our final night. (Why would we get dinner the other nights we rode but not this night?) Awkward start. We then learned that the final ride ends at12:30/1:00 pm, not the 4 pm stated in the confirmation letter. Had we been given correct information, we would have booked only the 3-day/3-night package for $950 pp and left at 1:00pm after the final ride. So we asked to check out on day 3 and to be credited for $100 pp, since the error in booking was due to their
incorrect information.

Decent, honest business owners, who genuinely care about their customers would admit they made an error, apologize profusely, credit the difference and correct their information going forward. Not this husband/wife team. Luc, the Inn owner said we needed to take this up with Karen, the Ranch owner (adding tersely that "she's not going to give you any money back"). When we then spoke with Karen, she instantly, dismissively and angrily refused any responsibility and said all the
details were stated in the contract we were sent. Fortunately, we had a copy of that contract with us, and we agreed to review it later that night. And later that night is when she actually YELLED at us! With our contract in hand, we asked if she had a minute to discuss it. And she screamed "No! I'm tired, I worked hard today and I'm not giving you any money back!" We were stunned. We tried to calmly discuss this with her and Luc, but to no avail. Luc also raised his voice and neither would calmly hear us out. And, this whole scene took place in front of another guest's child.

We all work hard. We worked very hard to earn the money to spend on a vacation at their establishment, which was ruined with that confrontational outburst. Read the bad reviews of this operation. These are true. Right down to the small details. These two owners have an underlying simmering contempt for customers. When we arrived, Karen was in the kitchen and didn't even introduce herself or say hello or welcome. At every turn, we felt like intruders. A fellow guest asked to freshen up after the final ride before heading home, and she was told "no" by Luc because he had 3 parties coming in and no room was available. We know for a fact that one room (ours) was available. The only warmth, graciousness and hospitality you'll find is on their website.

And the funny thing is that Karen admitted to the incorrect information and still would not make us whole! After that outburst, she came to our room and offered to take us on an extra ride. So, let me get this straight. You just yelled at us and ruined our vacation, and you think we want to spend more time with you?! The next morning she be grudgingly offered to refund us the cost of the room for the extra night we wouldn't be staying. That was $150. When I explained, yet again, that her incorrect information led us to choose the wrong package, and the package differential was $200, she refused to refund us that amount. We filed a disputethrough our credit card company and won for the difference in package prices. No wonder their website says they prefer to be paid by cash or check.

As for the riding, it was fine but not great. The barn is well run and the staff is competent. However, you will literally do about two 20-30 second bursts of tolting per ride. And about half or more of each ride is on lightly traveled gravel roads. Except for one longer day ride, you'll spend half your time getting to the beautiful meadows, mountains and forests to ride in.

I'm a regular ranch vacationer having gone to almost 20 ranches around the country. I have never been treated so poorly. We were yelled at, belittled, and made to feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. All of my other ranch vacations have been wonderful, with hosts who truly enjoy what they do, who are warm, gracious and caring and who want their guests to have a wonderful experience. Luc and Karen may have passion for the horses (Karen) and for cooking (Luc), but there is no
warmth or compassion for the guests who help make their livelihoods possible. There are far, far better horse riding and lodging experiences out there. Don't stay here!

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Written October 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bridget H
Boston, MA50 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
I would like to reiterate the sentiments expressed by an earlier reviewer, @GJ1964. If only I had heeded that warning before coming here. I got the impression that this would be a good experience for intermediate or experienced riders, but for beginners, there was not nearly enough instruction provided for adequate safety. What's more, they clearly took out too many people at once, with a group of 9 horses total and only two "guides".
On our two-hour ride, one of the guides was actually thrown from her horse, and at least two of the horses being ridden by beginners broke out into uncontrolled gallops, which the guides didn't even notice because they were too far ahead or behind to see. We had to shout for help to get them to circle around. Finally, towards the end of the ride, some unknown thing spooked one of the horses and ALL 9 horses broke out in a panic, throwing one of the other riders off into the bushes and running all over the road.
I was so shaken up after this experience that I didn't even have the stomach left to ask for my money back - we just raced to our car and drove away from that place as fast as we could. I would strongly recommend any beginners to avoid this place at all costs, and find a horse farm that offers proper instruction your first time out.
Written January 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

GJ1964
Boston1 contribution
May 2012 • Couples
I was really hoping for a nice experience here, and was expecting it to be the centerpiece of a vacation I took to Vermont, but I was so shocked by how rude everyone was that I almost asked for my money back. i also felt very unsafe on the horses, since no one bothered to help me learn about basic safety. Even when trying on helmets, nobody would help me find a correct fit. "Just whatever you like," was all they said. Then, when our group came to some difficult crossings, they just snapped at us for not doing things right, even though they didn't bother to tell us HOW to do what we were supposed to do! I wouldn't go back here if you paid me, honestly. And i heard NOTHING at all about Icelandic horses, nothing about the surrounding countryside. The guide just rode ahead and sulked the whole time. It was so depressing. It felt like I was a kid again and my mom was mad at me or something. A complete waste of a lot of money.
Written August 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JeannetteBerglund
Hjo, Sweden43 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
If you are going for the first time to ride an islandic horse, fine, you can go and have a try here, but believe me - these horses are very lame compared to the islandic horses you get to ride in Europe. My friends and I all own islanders and we were massively disappointed as Karens horses were, for our experience, poorly ridden and all they could do was follow the horse in front of them.
The second day we met Karen she was nice and helpful with was a nice change from the first day when she was exceedingly rude and yelled at us because of a simple misunderstanding. We understand that she had had a bad day as one guest had fallen off its horse and broken some ribs, but if you are going to deal with customers, its good to remember that they are, in fact, paying your bills, and act accordingly towards them.
Written October 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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