Horses appeared healthy and stable area was clean and attractive. However, some of the staff made me feel uneasy. Alex was great, friendly, and informative. The man who led us on the trail had an odd manner about him that may be best described as cynical and judgmental. He may not have been, but I did not feel particularly welcome as a customer, but rather looked down upon has a person without professional experience with horses.
This outfitter advertises itself as the only one permitted to take customers on the trails in the Picayune Strand State Forest. The setting was beautiful. However, I was deeply disappointed that the guide provided absolutely NO narrative about the area. I didn't expect him to be a professional naturalist guide, but I expected some information about the Forest to be given to us as customers, especially to spark the interest of the children. What we got was complete silence along the trail except for two questions. One question was asked about where we were from, and the second was asking if we could keep up with the lead horse. It was the employee (Alex) at the back of the line of horses who gave us guidance on how to prompt the horses if they fell behind, Instruction before the ride was non-existent. This was a new experience for my children, I have not been horseback riding in years, and I did not personally know these horses, so I viewed this at best as an extreme oversight, and at worst a disservice and safety issue for the customers and the horses.
Lastly, the ride did not start on-time even though we called ahead the day before (ad states an appointment is required), and we arrived 20 minutes before the scheduled appointment. When we arrived, none of the horses were ready, and we had to stand around and wait until 15 minutes AFTER our scheduled time to start on the trail. The ride was supposed to last one hour, and we got 50 minutes total ride time. I did not view this a good experience for the money I spent.
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