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.