Smoky Mountain Riding Stables

Smoky Mountain Riding Stables

Horseback Riding Tours
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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.

4.5
377 reviews
Excellent
242
Very good
79
Average
26
Poor
13
Terrible
17

MAC
2 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
Even if you are an experienced rider this will not disappoint which can be an issue with trail riding outfits that by necessity have to be so safe that one often has a Snooze ride. My husband and I were in the area for our 1 st anniversary 30 years ago and decided to come back to Gatlinburg this year. This was a fantastic mountain ride . We did 1 &1/2 hours and lucked out because it was just the 2 of us and our guide Dalton was super nice. It was far from a boring ride . Saw some wilde turkey and amazing views , narrow , steep trails & stream crossings . Really super ride. Spring is perfect time - not to hot , not to cold & no bugs .
Written March 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Caralyn D
Baton Rouge, LA17 contributions
Nov 2019 • Couples
We decided to do a trail ride while here for our anniversary. This was a great experience from the check in, to the guide, to the trails, to the photographer... Except for the old jackass that was helping us mount the horses that made an insensitive body shaming comment that hurt my feelings and caused another in our group to decide not to ride. He’s no hunk of masculine Adonis either... better to keep his big mouth shut.
Written November 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kurt C
Madison35 contributions
Aug 2013 • Couples
Follow the directions on the website carefully to find this place. Since it is part of the park, there is only one sign at the entrance and easy to miss. The parking area and stables are located behind a band of trees making it difficult to see from the road. No reservations are required and we were saddled up and riding within 15 minutes of arrival. They take pictures of you and your group for sale.

Our ride was up a dirt road which was quite muddy at times. My shoes and lower pant legs got mud splatters on them. My wife wished she wore her water shoes and short pants to make it easier to clean up upon completion of the ride. We took the 1 hour trail and the first 30 minutes was pretty level and slightly hilly. The second 30 minutes had us ascending and descending some steep areas. The entire trip is on a dirt/muddy road that would be impossible to walk - with the mud. Just trust the horse and maintain your balance and you'll have a fun time.

This was our 3rd time riding horses (once in Belize and once in Jamaica) and was very light on tour guide commentary. If you like a nice quite ride in the woods, this is the one for you.
Written August 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Matthew K
36 contributions
Oct 2018 • Family
First off, I should say that the staff in the "office" were very polite and professional. That is all that I have to say that's positive about this place.

I brought my family here thinking that it would be a nice, peaceful ride through the woods. Instead, our "guide" (I wish I got his name but he was the only one wearing a camo jacket) was very unprofessional and berated me and my family the entire ride. My horse was slower than the others and I was continually told that I needed to "kick the snot" out of him or he would not speed up. When I kicked him a few times, his ears when straight back and he looked at me like he was mad. I am not paying money to abuse animals. The horse was going at what I thought was a fine pace but the others in front would get ahead occasionally. He blamed this on me and said he wasn't going to stop to wait for me.

Not only that, but the "guide" was on his cell phone texting for most of our trip (when he wasn't yelling at me). Finally, when we got close to the end, he did end up waiting for me but that was only because he said his boss would get mad at him if they came in so far ahead of me... well, I hope his boss does get mad at him, he deserves every it of what he has coming.

I would NEVER go back here and I highly recommend that you don't go here ESPECIALLY if you have young kids. The language our "guide" used was inappropriate and he had my son more scared than anything for the entire ride.

Save your money and go somewhere where they treat their horses and their customers with respect!
Written October 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alicia S
Jackson, TN24 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
I really had trouble deciding how to rate this place. The staff at office, as well as the young woman taking photos, and our trail guide we're all nice and professional. Another man there, however (manager?? Middle aged, ruddy complexion) was unbelievably rude. I mean SERIOUSLY ridiculous!! I surprised my 12 year old daughter with a trail ride, and this man was helping me mount my horse.. I'm an experienced rider, but haven't ridden in 15 years, so it took me a second to pull myself up there. He actually began yelling at me, saying that I had to pull myself up, and that I wasn't doing it right. While yelling at me, he helped boost me up, then made a big production and loud huffing, exclaiming how it wasn't easy giving ME a boost! Really?!? I didn't say a word about it, and turned to attempt to take a picture of my daughter on my phone before we began the ride. He then yelled at me AGAIN to "put that thing away and pay attention!! ". I tried to ask him if tour was guided, and if we would have opportunity for pictures... He ignored me completely and walked off. Meanwhile the teens in same group as us were taking selfies galore, without being chastised. At that point I was nearly in tears, but didn't say another word, since I'm too polite for my own good.
When ride ended HE was there to help us dismount. I stupidly attempted a pleasant comment. He again pointedly ignored me, then went right over to help my daughter dismount and ask her if she had a nice ride.?!?
All I could manage to do was to ask lady at office if he was incredibly rude to everyone or if I was special? She said she would speak to him.. Luckily I made it to car before I burst into tears. I was so mad that this appalling man so badly ruined the memories of this special trip with my daughter. Unless you want to pay for verbal abuse, please go elsewhere.
Written July 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B34142
Miami, FL6 contributions
I wish to complain about the Smoky Mountain Stables on N. Hwy 321 in Gatlinburg, TN.
On Sunday August 1, 2010 my family went there for a ride. I was placed on the horse named “King Kong”. They told me it was their biggest horse, even though I am only 160lbs, and I am smaller than many of the other riders that were there that day. They assured me it was their best horse. I was surprised that we were given no instructions. They merely helped us onto the horses, told us not to pull back too hard on the reins, not to let them eat, and then we were off! After we were 10 minutes into the ride the employee leading the pack informed us that due to rain the horses did not ride the previous day and would be on edge and overly anxious to run and misbehave. All along the ride many of the horses did act unruly, and many stopped to eat vegetation on the trail. The employee leading the pack yelled at the riders to pull back on the harnesses to stop them. At one point one rider’s horse got out of control and all her friends were calling for help. The leader only yelled at her to keep up! About 45 minutes into the ride “King Kong” began to eat vines on the path. When I pulled back on his harness he went into violent convulsions and tried to buck me off five or six times. My left hand came down hard on the saddle horn. (My hand swelled up very badly, and even today I cannot use it without experiencing pain.) The leader yelled at the horse, but offered no assistance. He later said he had never the horses act so badly. The next day I called to discuss my problem, but the manager “Larry” (he would not give me his last name) would not listen to anything I had to say. He would not even let me complete a sentence! He yelled at me, then hung up on me! I realize I have no legal recourse regarding my injury, but I must complain about such unprofessional treatment. This was a horrible experience for me and my family.
Written August 25, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

micaelakronzek
1 contribution
Jun 2015 • Family
Do not go here!!! My experience was so bad. I am a very experienced rider... but not according to allen my tour guide! Allen was EXTREMELY rude to me. He kept saying to whip the horse, after refusing to do it multiple times and being screamed at (youre lazy, youre not a real cowgirl, if youre the experienced one we have problems, etc) allen took it to the whole next level and tied my horse to his with a rope. It was like being on a leash! There is definitely some animal abuse going on there.. like whipping the horse very hard for no reason at all! Allen argued with me the whole ride. As of being a tour guide, that was a joke. The only "tour" we got was when he said "Oh look to the right theres three turkeys." All I have to say is terrible place, ruined my day and I would never ever recommend ANYONE coming here!
Written June 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

angelmay577
San Antonio, TX189 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
Also called Sugarlands Riding Stables.
Where to start:
1. rude angry older man that prior to the ride was yelling at us to follow the instructions. What instructions?
2. As stated, no instructions, no introduction to the name of the guide or the horse.
3. No platform to assist you to get on or off the horse. You’re basically grabbed by the seat of your pants by a male worker to get on and off the horse.
4. Single file walking up and then down the mountain. It was very muddy and scary on the Saturday we were there. No information on any sites or wildlife, NOTHING.
5. The male guide kept yelling at everyone the ENTIRE time keep up. He got so angry about 15 minutes into the one hour ride with one woman, that he got off his horse saying “I’m going to take care of this right now”. He took the humiliated woman to the back of the line and had the guide in the back, that I never saw, lead the woman’s horse for the rest of the ride.

I’ve been horseback riding in several locations and I’ve never experienced such a horrible ride.

Do yourself a favor and go elsewhere.
Written July 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brianna M
1 contribution
Jul 2015 • Family
I went with my family last year to ride here. My family has little experience with horses, but I do. The horses are tied, without shelter, in all their tack, and their bridle (is it really that hard to just hang it on the horn, and not have them sitting with a bit in their mouths all day?). While waiting, I went to go look at one of the horses. I asked a staff member if I could walk in the barn. He seemed very sketchy as to why not. While waiting, a belgian horse (large draft) was being walked by a staff member. When the horse walked a bit faster than the man leading it, he grabbed the bit, and YANKED on it, hard, over and over again, until the horse tripped up on a wheelbarrow, and almost fell. The horses have no pasture to be horses in. Staff was rude, too. Trail felt dangerous to the horses, and we were up to knee-deep mud at some points. The guide's advice to make the horse go faster was to "kick until you can't kick anymore". Don't waste your money here, from someone who actually knows horses.
Written May 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Heather M
Brooksville, FL16 contributions
Nov 2015
This was my first experience horseback riding. The gentleman helping on the horse told me I should be scared about riding. Then, the horse started to run and he yelled at me to calm down and not grab the reigns or I would break the horse's jaw. We were not even 2 minutes in to the ride and the horse started to buck and flail around. I almost fell off. The guide for our ride told me it was my fault because I did not keep up! He was rude to my daughter calling her Rudolph because her nose was red due to the cold, and he was rude to my deaf step-mother, because she couldn't hear his instructions he was shouting. Please do NOT waste your money here! They are unprofessional and do not understand the proper way to treat people. For a quality time, please consider Next to Heaven adventures instead. It is a further drive away from Gatlinburg, but well worth the time and money!
Written November 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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