I wanted to try tor royal as had read on trip advisor that it was very good! I am a nervous novice and get frightened easily if a horse does scary stuff like spook or bolt etc. I was v.tense and nervous before going and had a long drive on a motorbike and was stressing about getting wet on bike from rain. Anyhow made it to Tor Royal and I was nervous but the boss lady was great and really understood my nerves were jangling big time!!! She introduced me to Sam a young lady who was taking me out on my trek! The yard was neat and tidy and not a chaotic mess of visitors and staff. Did paperwork and boots for riding. Sam brought a 14.2 black cob out the stable called Grace aged 7. Sam was brilliant she didn't pressure me at all and did it all in my own time and she was most professional and didn't laugh at me or make me feel an idiot! Anyway got on Grace and had a lead rope attached and Sam walked on the ground! We walked up a flat lane and I felt fine after initial tenseness. Walked up on to Dartmoor and all was well until about 10 mins in when out of nowhere Grace spooked BIG TIME. Their was nothing around for her to do this at all and I screamed and grace threw herself around and I got THROWN off. I was PETRIFIED but thankfully landed on soft mossy grass and although I was shaken and traumatised-no lasting damage done. Sam was brilliant and just gave me my space and time to recover. However I was not happy with Grace as a horse for a novice. I got thrown off at walk and on a lead rope. I know horses can be unpredictable but at that pace with a rope attached - why would Grace even try anything silly?? Sam even said it was v.odd for Grace to spook like that but nonetheless she did and much as the staff looked after me so well that horse needs to be taken out of trek work and suitability for novice riders re-evaluated and re-assessed. She is dangerous and in hindsight perhaps still abit young for novice riders. I don't blame anyone at Tor Royal at all...the staff are 5 star. I don't know if I would return to Tor Royal for a ride as my trust with their horses is abit shattered but it was a one in a million that happened so perhaps when psychologically I feel stronger I might go again but on a different horse! My thanx to Sam who really was 5 star through it all and she saved my life as I think it could have been a lot worse if she had not have clung on to lead rope with everything she had!!! Don't be put off by my review as Tor Royal is excellent in every other way but be wary if your a novice rider and get put on Grace. Happy trekking!!!
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