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“Rude staff, poorly trained horses, negative atmosphere.”
Review of Dead Broke Farm

Dead Broke Farm
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dead Broke Farm has a 110 acres of wood trails and more than 75 horses for all experience levels.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

I have ridden many a horse, few as poorly trained as the one at Dead Broke Farm. I have never been treated as rudely, so consistently, in a pervasively negative atmosphere as at Dead Broke Farm. The horses were so poorly trained, we were indeed grateful to be only broke, but not dead, after our ride at Dead Broke Farm. With so many wonderful places to go horseback riding, don't waste a minute of your life at this one.

I was appalled at the rude staff, untrained horses, and unprofessionalism and negativity that defined Dead Broke Farm. The staff was rude throughout, from the reservations, paperwork, to the very last moment we were on the horse. They snapped and YELLED at the customers very inappropriately throughout. A cloud of negativity seemed to emanate from the owners and seep into everyone and every horse on that farm.

For an hour after our reservation was supposed to start, the staff readied the horses. They did not fit us to our horses, however, as inexperienced riders were put on wild horses and vice versa. Also, they did not fit the stirrups to all of the riders, as one new rider complained mid-ride that her feet did not reach the stirrup. She was YELLED at for this, although it was the staff's fault for misfitting her.

From the get-go, the trail guides (the owners) callously ignored our concerns that the horses were fighting with each other and not listening to simple commands. (I am an experienced rider and the horse I was on reared its head at the slightest command.) The horses were obstinate and unruly, which is a sign of either poor training, not being able to roam freely on a regular basis, mistreatment, or all of the above. (Many of the horses seemed to be accustomed to being tethered, having to stand in mud all day.)

The trail guide (owner) went far ahead of the pack and did not check on the customers, many of whom were beginners. When customers shared concerns with the trail guide (when they were finally within speaking distance and she was not talking on her CELL PHONE), the owner either completely trivialized our concern or blamed us. When the horses did not listen to our commands, the owner rudely yelled at us to control them, although most of the riders were beginners and the horses were not responsive due to their being not well trained by the owner. Also, the trail guides gave contradictory information on how to handle the horses.

The owner chose to ride as the trail leader a horse she'd only had for a week, whose temperament and social hierarchy were unknown/unestablished. The horse reared into the air several times, making the other horses and customers even more anxious.

The owners of this farm just don't seem to know the appropriate way to treat other human beings. I feel sorry for them for this, and we tried to demonstrate to them how one should treat others. Please do not subject yourself or your children to these people.

17  Thank Beth K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carla C, Owner at Dead Broke Farm, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Beth, our horses are very well trained, but you have to be willing to listen to the guide's instructions and advice. You flat out refused to use your reins to control your horses. You said so in as many words. You would only yell "whoa" even after I reiterated that our horses don't respond to voice commands - only to leg pressure and use of the reins.

In your reservation request, you asked for a horse that "likes to run", because you used to ride when you were a teenager. In my mind, riding as a teen doesn't constitute significant experience, so you were given horses suitable for beginners. I'm sorry you couldn't handle that.

We want our customers to have a fun and safe ride, but there is a minimum level of cooperation required on your part in order for that to happen.

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257 - 261 of 341 reviews

Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

A bit disorganized but overall a great wAy to spend a few hours especially with the kids. We came away all smiles.

3  Thank GeorgeSmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We had our daughter's birthday party there last year and she had a blast!! All of her friends also had a great time! I really like their service... The only thing is that the birthday/cake room is a bit small if you have more than 20 people...

2  Thank Omar S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

We had a very nice time at Dead Broke Farm. The workers there were friendly and helpful. The horses were well cared for and fit our experience levels. The most impressive thing to me is that most of the horses are rescues. With that in mind I am impressed with the work they do for these horses in need. They are able to help the horses as well as give those of us who can't afford a horse the opportunity to enjoy the horseback riding experience. I did a blog post with pictures of our time at the farm.
http://kathieysworld.blogspot.com/2012/11/horseback-riding-at-dead-broke-farm-2012.html

2  Thank kathieyv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

My 7 year old son and I went on the hour long trail ride. Our ride was scheduled for 2:00. After waiting around for 45 minutes while they saddled the horses, and got paperwork together, we were finally assigned to our horses. Another 15-20 minutes went by while everyone was put on the horses. There was little communication between the workers and the customers as to what was going on or when we'd be leaving. When we finally left over an hour after arriving, we were led by a very nice and capable young lady. The ride went well, until, while trotting down a hill, my son's saddle came loose and tipped over, sending him to the ground. Luckily, he was fine, but quite shaken. The lead got him and he rode with her for the rest of the time. Someone at the farm had not put the saddle on correctly, as verified by the lead. This horse apparently had been selected for a child rider, so I cannot for the life of me understand why the saddle wasn't checked before we left. It was quite chaotic and no one seemed to know who did what. There were multiple people handling the saddles and horses and it seemed very unorganized. My son received a free tee-shirt, and an apology from the lead. No other concessions were made for their negligence. Next time we can find a better run farm.

6  Thank Eillie71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carla C, Owner at Dead Broke Farm, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2012

We make it very clear on our website that it takes up to an hour to get customers checked in, up on their horses, and out on the trail. Given that you said the ride went out in an hour to an hour and 5 minutes, the ride went out on time.

We're sorry that your son's saddle slipped, but riding a horse is much like riding a bicycle: it requires some balance on behalf of the rider. You must shift your weight from time to time to keep the saddle upright, since you're on a moving animal, and leather stretches when the horse sweats. This phenomenon is addressed in the riding demonstration prior to going out on the trail and in our liability release form that you signed.

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