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Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

We went riding here for a work function a few years ago, and as lovely as a beach ride was, the horses were unmanagable. I had been riding for a year or so prior and know how to ride (the only one in my group!).
We went for a ride on the beach and the ride leader took out a VERY skittish Friesian who spooked on the ride home, causing all the horses to break into a panicked gallop on the beach. We all managed to hold on but it was very unprofessional and scary for the beginners.

We also had to keep this horse away from that horse and all ride meters apart as some horses didnt like each other and would attack and kick, which defeated the purpose of a nice chilled group ride.

I havent been back since, although I'm sure the horses have been changed somewhat by now.

4 Thank Rat_Tails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Experienced Rider Recommends”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Having read some of the reviews below I felt it very important to post in response to my ride at Sleepy Hollow this week. I thought it was an excellent place, the horses were very well cared for an all in good condition and I thouroughly enjoyed the ride.

I would say I am (in relative terms) a very experienced rider. I am not going to enter the olympics but I have been riding for over 20 years and have owned and trained many horses. I am actually always very reluctant to ride when on holiday as I am concerned a. the horses will not be cared for to the standard I expect or b. it will just be boring. I can categorically say neither of these were the case at Sleepy Hollow.

I must comment on the review which states the horses were "lame". I presume this is not meant in the equine sense of the term in that they were unfit for riding, it is not unusual for horses to learn to walk in single file on rides such as this, I would suggest saying a horse wouldn't do something is a sign of rider deficiency not the horses. When I arrived some of the girls were trotting up a pony as they thought it was a little lame, which it was so they were putting it out to rest as is wholly appropriate. Our horses had all had their feet trimmed the day before so we took an alternate route to the beach not on the gravel track. Again the sign of a very conscientious place which cares about its animals. All the horses were fit, in good weight for the heat, had neat tidy feet and lovely coats, something which only comes from being well cared for.

I was given a fairly lively horse to ride which was great, I had requested a forward going ride and I got it. Yes this pony was not for everyone but then the other less experienced riders got horses suited to them. I also had the opportunity to go for 2 canters while Maddy the guide stayed with the other 2 less experienced. All the horses were excellently behaved, I cannot say the same for most horses I know - mine would go bonkers if you took one away from the pack, this is a sign again of very good steady horses. My pony may well have been a fire cracker but I had told them I was experienced and requested this.

Horses are unfortunately just spooky animals, this is nothing to do with Sleepy Hollow or being poorly trained, in fact conversely the best trained, i.e high standard competition horses I would say are probably the biggest spooks of the lot! I am not surprised they are scared of surf boards, it has nothing to do with seeing them every day, my horses are all scared of wheelie bins and walk past them at least 3 times a day!

Maddy again mentioned in a review, was the guide on or hack as well and she was excellent. She knew all the horses well so was able to give appropriate guidance on how they should be ridden. I certainly did not find her unsociable in any way. We had a lovely chat.

Also walking in single file again is 100% correct. Horses like to compete and run as a pack, thats why they race well, by keeping them in single file you lessen the chance of someone loosing control and the horses trying to compete with each other. This is standard practice of any establishment running rides such as this. I wouldn't expect them to do it any other way.

Note its actually a condition of the beach authorities that you are not allowed to gallop on the beach - but cantering is ok if its safe of course.

In summary I had a lovely afternoon with Sleepy Hollow,the horses were in excellent condition, the beach is a beautiful location for a ride, even if you are an experienced rider and you don't get to canter its still a great hack out. It was nice to be given a really fun pony to ride out on, made for an excellent day. Thoroughly recommended.

Visited December 2012
7 Thank JennyS80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Very anti social guide..... Don't do it!!!”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I'll keep it short. I rode with the girlfriend... She can ride.. I can't. The horses did nothing. Tried to bolt a few times. Walked in single file for two hours and weren't allowed to get a photo on the beach. Poor maddy the guide refused to talk to either of us. I only know this was bad because I had been horse riding a week earlier in Knysna. The positive reviews seem to be made up.

2 Thank Mcdainty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Stay away!!”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Really lame horses, wouldn't / couldn't do anything but walk in single file! Very unresponsive but easily spooked- definitely not right for beach rides where dogs/ surfers are!
Guide acted as though taking us out was the last thing she wanted to do, only spoke when spoken to & refused to take a photo of us even when asked!
We paid r800 for two hours of plodding along, the scenery is beautiful but we could have enjoyed it more alone not in the uncomfortable silence of our mute guide!
Every other horse stable I've been to in Capetown has offered a more enjoyable ride at more competitive rates!
Honestly the worse experience- don't do it to yourselves!!

1 Thank Rachaelsylvester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The horses got scared and sent all of us to the hospital”
Reviewed November 3, 2012

WE found the ranch on a booklet from the tourist information. WE had already an experience in horse riding (about 15 times). We were very surprised by the way the handle the excursion. There was only one guide for 4 people (their website mentions guideS) and the horses were brought one by one. Usually guides would check that horses get along well but it was not done there. Some horses were actually quite excited and unresponsive to guidance. We asked to change but we were told that things would be fine. Suddenly, one horse got scared and started to gallop throwing his rider hopefully on the sand.The guide went to fetch the horse but herself did not manage to master her horse and the scared horse. At one point she had to give up and the scared horse ran away followed by all the other horse galloping behind. Two riders managed to jump off in the sand, but last one got hurt badly when the horse threw him down some hundreds meters away on a paved road (the person was screaming in pain). At this point, we were divided in two groups, one still on the beach and the other one in the residential areas.
The guide called somebody to fetch us by car, and when we inquired about the other group (the one who fell on a paved road when their horses got mad), the driver told us they were fine and already went back home. The truth was that the group arrived at the ranch and the people were shocked and wounded and two ambulances were called to the scene.
The medics suspected a spine injury and handle the wounded people very carefully. We all ended up at the hospital for treatment and checks. From the medics, we discovered that, contrary to what Sleepy Hollow people told us, regularly people were thrown off their horses at Sleepy Hollow.
One of the lady managing the ranch ask the medics where they get their blankets from!!! While medics were busy caring for the shocked and wounded people. There was no sorry or apologies.

In short, I would not recommend at all this place. People are dishonest and incompetent. Horses get scared very easily and the guide is not to be trusted.

When I mentioned the story to my friend, he said he had clients who went there and experienced the same problem. The daughter was badly wounded at the back and to stay several days at the hospital. His clients were experienced horse riders (every week). The issue is clearly with the way they train the horses.

This place must be avoided at all cost.
Their website is inaccurate on many issues. Stay away!!!

Visited October 2012
2 Thank D B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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