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“Winter Tonic”

Forest Park Riding Stables
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are a hacking centre located right in the heart of Brockenhurst, in the New Forest National Park. We house 15 horses and ponies of varying height and breed, there is something suitable for everyone! We offer direct forest access and welcoming, friendly staff. We are one of few hacking centres that can offer cantering for the experienced riders, as well as walk and trot rides for any ability of rider. Please visit our website for full details and to have a peek at the gallery!
Barton-on-Sea, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Winter Tonic”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

The 2 hour hack at Forest Park Riding Stables is just perfect to get out in the countryside and enjoy your horse. The horses are all lovely and the escorts are excellent. Would fully recommend either as your regular ride out on the forest or if you are visiting the area on holiday. The staff will help you pick the right ride for you and also the horse. Also do not be put off by the winter weather, there is nothing like being in the forest on a winters day to give you a tonic!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel_L1924848
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pirate18, Manager at Forest Park Riding Stables, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write us such a positive review. I am very pleased to read that you feel we put your requirements first and am thrilled that you have had such an enjoyable experience with us time and time again.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
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    9
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Just returned from a 2hr experienced ride today and it was wonderful,good horses,excellent escort and lovely open Forest.What could be better to lift the January blues !

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Meryl E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pirate18, Manager at Forest Park Riding Stables, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you so much for such a complimentary review. I am really pleased that you enjoyed one of our 2 hour hacks and hope to see you again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“great”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I've just returned from the stables and felt I had to write what a good time I had. I found that all riding abilities are catered for and the staff made sure you rode a horse matching your capabilities. Reading the reviews I noticed that one person mentioned he hadn't been told how to improve his riding, well it's not a riding school and you don't receive instruction. I ride a lot at home and found that at long last the weather had improved enough for me to do some decent riding. I thoroughly enjoyed my hour and wished it could have lasted longer.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank isis23_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pirate18, Manager at Forest Park Riding Stables, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write us such a fabulous review. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your experience with us. It's nice to know when we have got it right!
Many thanks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“in need of some TLC”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

shabby stables, attached to even shabbier hotel. Ride out to open forest, but on horses so slow and ploddy they were almost going in reverse. £33 per hour seems a bit steep for this poor level.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank 63Robert63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pirate18, Manager at Forest Park Riding Stables, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
I was sorry to see that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion. Unfortunately the yard is owned by the hotel and therfore responsible for the maintenance, we are simply tennants and do the best that we can with the facilities available. We do offer a variety of rides for differing abilites and have horses of varying breeds and temperaments to suit all levels. The 1 hour hack being the most sedate ride we offer. We prioritise customer safety and conservation of the National Park over tearing around the forest. Please bear in mind that you can request a different horse on another visit if you found the horse allocated for you unsuitable for your ability.

Many thanks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

I booked this for my girlfriend and I several weeks in advance, as part of a surprise birthday treat. My girlfriend is a very experienced rider and I am a novice. I called the stables and explained that I would ideally like to do a ride together but that my preference was to give my partner a proper experience and if need be I wouldn't ride. I was told that if we went on the 1 hour hack, the experienced riders would separate off and get to canter. This seemed ideal, so I booked.

On the day all seemed OK and a large group of us went out with 3 instructors. In the 1 hour I was out I didn't receive any instruction other than the 10 second brief given at the stables. Not really a problem as the horses are very placid and well behaved, so just kind of followed each other.

After about 10 mins we stopped and were asked who was experienced and could trot etc. My partner and 2 others were then divided off. Within 1 minute they returned to our group having trotted for a hundred yards or so. That was it! That was the experienced riders only hack!

As a group we trotted twice for a few minutes but otherwise we all walked slowly stopping every few moments to let the others catch up. As I we approached the stables I tried to ask one of the girls who was leading us why there had been no proper riding for my partner and she actually ignored me!!

When we returned I spoke to the stable manager about the lack of proper riding for the experienced guys and was told it was due to ice and insurance. I just don't believe this. Firstly it had been frosty overnight and there was very thin ice on puddles but the ground could best be described as wet and a little water logged, not even firm, never mind frozen. There was no risk of slipping due to ice. I was also told that I couldn't have expected her to tell everyone that this was a possibility but I did specifically have a conversation about a proper hack for my girlfriend and the booking was in December.

If I had to guess what the problem really was, I'd say that the group was perhaps to large, or at least it was at capacity and that there weren't sufficient experienced riders.

Apart from that it was actually a good experience. The stables are set adjacent to beautiful New Forest countryside and the horses seem well looked after. If you are a total beginner and are happy to sit on a horse, with no instruction, that is happy to just follow the horse in front then this is for you. If you are more interested in riding then there seems to be a real chance you will be disappointed.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank B3cksy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pirate18, Manager at Forest Park Riding Stables, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. I was dissappointed that your expectations were not met. However, as I discussed with you on the day we can not allow clients to canter on unsuitable ground. We take the safety of every customer very seriously and will not put anybody at risk to avoid a complaint. I apologise that this was not made clear at the time of booking that we will not canter over frozen ground. I have now ammended what we tell customers on the phone that we will slow the pace due to weather conditions if necessary. This information was already included in the client forms that you both signed before riding out. I can assure you that this was the only reason for slowing the pace of that ride and had nothing to do with group size. We cater for groups of up to 13 and will still provide the cantering when safe to do so even if only 1 of those 13 people is an experienced rider. I did discuss this with all 3 of your ride escorts and they all independantly told me that the ground was not safe for any pace faster than a trot on that day. If you are visiting the New Forest please do try us again, we really do strive to try and please every client and would like the opportunity to change your opinion on us!
Many Thanks
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