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“Hope the horses are treated better!”

Kensington Stables in Brooklyn
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hope the horses are treated better!”
Reviewed September 23, 2011

In case you're pressed for time, I'll give the summary first:
a) I hope stable manager, Sam Sam, is good with horses. She certainly doesn't seem good with people.
b) Kensington Stable's phone service representative was apparently not knowledgeable of the business's practices, as what he told me was entirely different from what I was told when I got there.
c) I had no contact with the horses, so I have no basis to judge their quality, such as character. However, on the morning I showed up, the stables and surrounding area were not well kept, which may be due to under-staffing.

Now for the long, narrative version:

We have a 19 month old daughter who, over a number of days, when reading one of her books with animals, gesture excitedly at horses. My wife asked her if she wanted to ride a horse and she said yes. My wife researched and found that Kensington Stables is not too far from where we live. So, this morning, on my day off, I phoned a little after 10 am and specifically asked the following questions: 1. "Are appointments required for the 18 month and up pony rides?" 2. "Would rain affect the ability to get a pony ride?" The second question came from my knowledge that rain was expected that day (possibly a thunderstorm in the mid-afternoon. The man on the other end responded that no appointment was necessary and only a severe thunder storm with thunder and lightning would prevent rides. My wife got my daughter ready, and off she and I went. We arrived at about 11:15, and there was a woman there waiting for service who suggested I take my daughter to walk around and see the horses while we waited (this becomes important in a moment). I didn't take her up on her suggestion, and we waited for about 10 minutes before she went around the stables and found a woman in one. She told the woman she had an appointment for a ride and that she believed someone was there for a pony ride. We waited another five minutes or so, then the woman emerges from the stable, looks at me and declares, "There are no pony rides today. We don't have enough staff." I was about to say, "But I called just earlier and was told . . .", but the woman had already turned her back on me and hurried into another stable. I waited yet again, and when she finally approached the other customer to deal with her paperwork, I asked if I could have a word. The response was more rude than previously: "I already told you, there is no pony ride today!" I then got in the bit about having spoken to a man just after 10 and what I was told, to which she replied, again with her back to me, "He's not here. He doesn't know." I then went into the mode of gathering information for my complaints. When I asked, she did tell me her name was Sam Sam, and that she was the manager. But, I suspect the idea that I planned on complaining infuriated her further, as I was immediately asked to leave. She declared, "This is a private property, and I'm going to have to ask you to leave." I asked if I could at least show my daughter the horses, and I was again asked to leave and was told they don't do that sort of thing. Now, given the other woman there had suggested it to me I asked her and she confirmed that she'd been able to walk around with her daughter, unsupervised by staff. That woman was nice enough to give me her name and number in case I needed to have a witness verify my experience.

I am sure various people have have various experiences at Kensington, including with Sam Sam and with pony rides. However, based on the experience I just had with my daughter, I can't imagine giving them any business. A business's representatives should be both knowledgeable about its practices and respectful to customers, especially when given no cause to be rude. If I could rate Kensington Stables a zero, I would.

Visited September 2011
5 Thank kaliband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
new york
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2011

The instuctors were awesome. I forgot their names but they were very patient and I kept adding more time because everyone loved the beautiful hoarse and pony.

Visited June 2011
3 Thank newyorkjustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Do not go”
Reviewed January 18, 2010

There used to be one really awesome instructor plus two other really decent ones there, but once the head, and awesome one left, the other two did as well, and insanity reigns. Incompetence, foolishness, and outright dangerous behavior dominates this barn. Not to mention incredibly rude attitude towards the customers. I used to come once or twice a year on business from the west coast to NY, and rode with the wonderful head instructor/ barn manager for 8 years, but since she left I have been back twice and cannot in good conscience recommend this barn to anyone. I am a lifelong rider but would think this place would be even worse for a nervous beginner.

3 Thank beenthereCa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Response to terrible instructors”
Reviewed February 3, 2008

In response to your comment about rude instructors-I am currently taking lessons at Kensington Stables, and there have been numerous occasions where people run in front of the horses, small children scream and carry on loudly, and although the horses are well trained to deal with a variety of city stimuli, the instructors must always keep safety a priority. You are not familiar with the particular horse the instructor may have been dealing with, i.e. the horse could have spooked easily, and may have been ridden by a beginner, etc. The instructor was most likely looking out for the safety of the horses and riders, and horses can be unpredictable at times. I know the website states that anyone can watch lessons in the ring, but sometimes circumstances change. I wouldn't be offended.

Thank SaraBrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awful instructors”
Reviewed November 10, 2006

Was spending an afternoon with my 2 year old son in the park. We stopped to watch the horses, along with 20 or so other people, when the instructor started to yell at us and using foul language around my two year old to tell us to move away from the fences. Even though that on Kensington´s website they tell you that everyone is welcome to watch the horses in the park. It is a public park anyways. Would not trust that instructor with my children, I am sorry.

3 Thank kok_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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