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“First and LAST trip to Ponderosa!!!!! Will enjoy horseback riding elsewhere!”

Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Horseback Riding, Petting Zoo, Fishing Pond, Gem Mining, ATV Rides, onsite Chow-Boys Cafe & General Store Free picnic area Heritage museum. peace/guitet swings around the duck pond playing area kids ,Horse shoes pit.or just rocking on the General store porch.And surrounded by little cove creek to wade in.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“First and LAST trip to Ponderosa!!!!! Will enjoy horseback riding elsewhere!”
Reviewed October 19, 2010

We had the SAME experience. We called ahead of time and were quoted $24.95 per horse and $16.95 for our small child who doubled. My wife paid for the horse ride (expecting a charge of around $80 or so) - she came out and told me it was $100.00. Shortly afterwards, we went back in to question the over paid cost. There was another clerk at the desk who was ringing up the cost for another family in front of us. He recognized the charges were higher than expected as well and he questioned it. The clerk behind the counter when asked about it said, "It is the sales tax - it is high and will get you every time." The man never did question it further. So after he left I asked the clerk the sales tax rate. She said, "I don't know but I do know if I charge $10.00 it rings up $10.98." Takes no Einstein to figure it and and WHO does not know their tax rate!!! GIVE ME A BREAK! Ready for some math and how we got took?

$24.95 x 3 = $74.85
$16.95 + $74.85 = $91.80
Less $16 ($4 per person coupon) = $75.80

Now - I will be EXTREMELY generous and give her a 10% sales tax rate!
$75.80 + 10% Tax = $83.38

We gave her $100 - go figure!!

First time we rode horses in the Smokies - won't be the last time - but it is THE LAST TIME with the so called Ponderosa!!!

Ponderosa!!! We felt we got took on our trip by you and we did!!! But you have lost this customer for forever!!! We will never be back to be scammed and cheated again!!!!!

Helpful?
8 Thank camp4_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
horsePigeonForge, Manager at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa, responded to this review, October 26, 2010
This person has not calculated correctly. The normal horseback ride price is $28.95. If a person has the $4.00 off coupon, then everyone in their group gets $4.00 off. The person figured his cost at $24.95 and then took another $4.00 off, which was incorrect. So, 3 rides at $24.95 and one at $16.95 totals $91.80 as he figured. Then, the sales tax is 9.75%, so the total would be $100.75.
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English first
Sevierville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“What a wonderful place”
Reviewed September 27, 2010

This past weekend i took my granddaughter and her friend horseback riding at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa. Wow what a great time. It was so clean and neat, the horses where so well maintained they even had fans for the horses. The guide was wonderful, one of the girls got scared and started to cry and the guide was so sweet to her. He claimed her down and lead her horse until she felt comfortable. We also gem mined and fed the animals. You can spend a whole day at this place. I thought it was a great value and a whole lot of fun for my family. When they took out photo even my son was smiling and that in it's self said alot about the experiance. My hat is off to this company. Great customer service...

Helpful?
Thank borem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“bring your ear plugs”
Reviewed September 21, 2010

My family recently went to the Big Rock Dude Ranch for a relaxing horse back ride in the Smoky Mountains. After arriving at the ranch, we stepped out of our car and was greeted with blasting music from their radio. After standing in line and listening to the rude sales clerk with other customers and seeing the high prices, we decided to step outside in the parking lot to decide what to do. Our kids wanted to go fishing but we couldn't even discuss what to do because of the loud music. We came there to have a peaceful horseback ride in the mountains, not listen to blasting music. We decided to leave and go someplace else. After reading some of these reviews, we definitely made the right decision.

Helpful?
4 Thank redbird9900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sturgis, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Guaranteed Best Ride in the Smokies...NOT!!!”
Reviewed September 6, 2010

Went to Pondorosa Aug 31, 2010. Their brochure states "Guaranteed Best Ride in the Smokies"...give me a break! If that was the best ride, then I hate to see some of the other stables. First, this place is EXPENSIVE! Depending on what you do there, they also charge extra for gratuity ($8). I always thought a tip was given IF it was earned, not demanded. So why don't you just make it part of the price. Don't state it as gratuity. And you definitely did NOT earn it. Now, I went horseback riding. I know how to ride horses but I usually like to take a ride in the mountains whenever I can. I figured this would be a great ride. First, they kept reminding everyone how to ride a horse (like we were in kindergarten). I understand that the majority probably never rode a horse in their life. But to constantly remind us "now, lean back when going down hill...". Then, the ride went straight up the side of the mountain. BTW, the view of the ranch was beautiful, the construction, trucks and buildings...nice all the way up. The view back down? The ranch, buildings and trucks. I didn't come for THAT view. I wanted a view of the mountains! Then, trying to keep a good pace behind the other horses was not easy. I tried to get mine to speed up just a little but I think these horses are trained to go in slo mo, period! If this place wants to make money, I have some advice. Set up separate areas for those who know how to ride and those who don't. Many other stables will also allow more than 45 minutes to 1 hour of riding (if you are up to it). This place does not. Do not go! There are other places much better than this. I haven't tried a place located on the road towards Tuckaleechee Caverns (btw, great place to visit as well). But, if you want a horse back riding adventure, try some of the ones off the main trail. Do not go to Ponderosa.

Helpful?
3 Thank confusedinUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
horsePigeonForge, Manager at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa, responded to this review, September 19, 2010
The gratuity that you are speaking of is NOT on the horse rides. The gratuity (for the guides-not the Ponderosa) is on the ATV rides ONLY and is discussed with and accepted by the ATV riders before they pay. Our horses have NEVER been allowed to run or go fast uphill - this is a "Cowboy Law" for horses. This is done for the well being of the horse - not the rider. We spend alot of time on the safety portion of the ride to assure everyone has a safe and pleasant ride. We have had over 500,000 riders and most riders tell us this is the finest stable they have ever been to. We invite everyone to come and see for yourself.
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Hamilton, Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not worth the money!”
Reviewed August 23, 2010

Our family wanted to fish and we had to pay over $50 just for three of us. (4yr old, 6 yr old and myself.) There were NO bites all day long, she also said bait was on the porch and she proceeded to show us where... she opened the door to show us and then just looked at us nudged her head and shut the door on us, as if we were idiots and were supposed to know where everything was. We wondered if the pond was even stocked at all. Not to mention that "greeter" at the front desk was rude and acted as though she hated her job. My daughter (who is 4) had to potty and the lady held up her finger to me when I went to ask where the restrooms were. Not only that... she told me they were at the top of the barn... they were NOT near the barn. We had to stop again to ask someone else. This place was not worth the money we paid OR the time we had taken out of our day to visit. We will NOT be going back.

Helpful?
3 Thank mrs_getz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
horsePigeonForge, Manager at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa, responded to this review, August 28, 2010
For fishing, there is a charge for each fishing rod and equipment rented. The rental is for the entire day. There is fishing tackle on the front porch and we have additional tackle when a guest asks for something that isn't on the porch. The pond is stocked and we have many people who catch and then release the fish.
The restrooms are across from the barn. We give many people directions everyday and have the restrooms well marked. We want all our guests to have a pleasant experience and am sorry this guest did not receive the customer service we always strive to provide.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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