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“Horrible, traumatizing experience!”

Equestrian Adventures
Reviewed July 3, 2013

My family just returned from the sunset trail ride. Things turned sour from the very beginning. The owner greeted us by yelling about the former group with his beer-drenched breath. He seemed very upset about a family letting a 5 and 6 year old ride when the age limit was 8. First thought: if that is your policy, why did you allow them to ride?? We found out later the 6 year old had fallen off the horse. Our trail was supposed to begin at 6:30, but we didn't take off until closer to 8. The sun was already close to setting. As we started on the trail, my brother was told that his horse did not get along with the one in front of him. Instead of re-arranging the horses, they just let them be in that same order. My brother asked at least twice to move to a different place in line since the horses kept fighting one another. They ignored him. Later, this turned into a nightmare as the one horse spooked my brother's causing it to run away, throwing my brother onto the ground. He got a concussion from this.

This however, is not the end of the nightmare..... throughout the trail, I realized this was not for beginners at all. The hills were steep and slippery, the horses were not calm, they were agitated from missing their meal earlier. We were taken along a narrow cliff, and the horses wanted to do their own thing disregarding the pulling of their reigns. My sister's saddle kept slipping to the side and at one point her horse slipped in the mud, causing her saddle to slip, throwing her into a tree.
It was at this point that she asked to leave the trail. SHE WAS NOT ALLOWED. She was forced to continue through the trail. The guides were inexperienced and the girl who "tightened" my sister's saddle had been there only 3 days and could not properly tighten it. The head guide finally came back and tightened it for the third time.

Later, we reached a hay field where the horses tried to roam even more. The guides were not helpful in keeping the horses in line. One guide let her horse eat whenever it wanted which was one of the main things they warned us against. When one horse tries to eat, they all will. My sister's horse was trying to eat instead of follow, even though she was pulling at the reigns. The lead guide came back to help my sister's horse and slapped it making it run ahead with my already scared sister on top. At this point, my sister asked again to get off the horse and go back. She was clearly upset and did not desire to continue. Still, she was FORCED to finish the trail!

The sky was almost black now, we could barely see, and we were concerned about getting back to the stables by way of a very steep, slippery downhill slope. My father asked the lead guide about letting the whole family off the trail before the steep hill. He did not feel comfortable with beginners riding a horse down a muddy slope in pitch black. Especially since the horses had already slipped and had not followed the pulling of reigns. The guide agreed and contacted the owner. The owner met us along the way, but to our horror, he was still making us go down the hill in the dark. He begged for us not to have to go down, and my sister again asked to get off the horse and just walk the rest of the way, but again..... THEY FORCED all of us to ride down the scary slippery hill. My father was very upset because my sister didn't feel like she had control of her horse and was getting scared. The owner called her a sissy and said that 6 year olds do this all the time. (Wait, wasn't your age limit 8??) My father was shouting over and over that we do not want to go down this hill because it was too dangerous for beginners. The owner then began to cuss out my father claiming we were the ones being dangerous since apparently one is "safer on top of horse sliding down a mountain than walking down a mountain on your own feet".. hmm.. The owner then grabbed the reigns of my sister's horse and pulled the horse down the slippery mountain as she screamed for him to stop. The owner fell in the mud, releasing the reigns, causing the horse to run wild into the woods before finally coming to a stop. This was extremely terrifying for my sister and all of us.

Shortly after the slope we were back at the stables where the owner basically tried to talk us out of a lawsuit by making the ride free of charge.

I would NEVER recommend this stable to any riders who want to actually enjoy themselves. It was a time of stress and overall doubt if any of these people even knew what they were doing. Equestrian Adventures is putting money over the safety of their customers and has made our entire family afraid to ever go near a horse again.

7  Thank reagane77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 - 47 of 51 reviews

Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

They were able to accommodate us at the last minute. It was a drizzly day but we chose to ride anyway. Really long trail and were able to gallop some.

2  Thank GagelTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

I have been to Equestrian Adventures a couple of times and love the place. I have been to many riding stables and have never seen such well behaved horses.

I read some of the comments on here and have to laugh. The people that mentioned muddy trails both say it rained...well what would you expect after a rain on trails in the woods?? Also.... if you don't want a couple hills here and there don't ride a scenic trail in WV lol. Anyone who REALLY knows horses can tell you what a problem burrs can be. If he had to pick off every burr on 30 horses everyday he would not have time to take people for rides and it is a seasonal thing anyway. I can assure you the horses are well fed and taken care of. Please take a look at the picture I took in Nov 2012 absolutely nothing wrong with these fine animals.

I have and will suggest Equestrian Adventures to everyone I know. When my family comes in from out of town you can be sure we will be going for a ride or two.

2  Thank MKBWV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

My wife and children had a awesome time with Equestrian Adventures! The horses were beautiful and very easy to ride. The best part of the whole adventure was our guide "Gerry" who is also the owner. Gerry told stories about the history of the area and it's rich coal history.
The next part of the adventure that you'll never forget is the awesome trails he took us on looking down on the New River Gorge. The New River is one of the oldest rivers on earth that actually runs north and the views were simply amazing.
If you have children and are looking for a adventure the whole family can enjoy this is your destination. We trail ride on every vacation and Equestrian Adventures is above the rest.

1  Thank Frank A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband and I decided to take a scenic ride with friends. Upon showing up not only was the place a mess the horses were not ready. The price we paid was quite high compared to other stables in the area as well. No problem we thought, we would just wait but little did we know that meant waiting with the owner. This jerk not only went on and on about his divorce from his wife who was in the barn doing all the work apparently but he proceeded to tell us their whole history and boasted about what a great person he was. His ego alone ruined the trip for me; my husband was still willing to get on a horse and try to enjoy it. To our dismay the owner was our guide. The horses were very skinny and along the steep trails with no view they seemed to be desperate to eat. Many of the horses in their field were bony thin and his excuse was that they were old. I grew up with horses and we had many well into their late 20's that never looked that poor. The horses were obviously unkept and half starved. after 2 1/2 hrs of listening to this man's self-proclamations of how wonderful he was and what a success he was, even though he mentioned being broke not two hours before, and all the other ramblings of an obvious narcissist the trip was over. My husband felt sorry for this man's wife as did I and our whole group felt for the horses that looked emaciated and overworked. Their hooves were unshod with no shoes and many were cracked. This is a horrible stable and not worth wasting your money on.
We were warned by many at the Rafting Company where we were staying that it was a bad stable.

10  Thank Joan_M_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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