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Horseback Riding, Andrew Molera State Park

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Posted on: July 27, 2014 at 2:23PM

By Guest

Something “doesn’t smell right” at this place. They definitely are not in the business of making their guests feel welcomed or comfortable! When we showed up for our scheduled ride on July 25th, we were immediately told that we were not allowed to park on the shaded side of the road because it would “upset the horses”. Strange, we thought, but we moved our cars to the sunny side of the road as requested. We then started to complete the lengthy required paperwork detailing the rules, etc. We were shocked to learn that on our two hour trail ride we would not be allowed to bring any personal items. No water, no snack, no gum, no sunscreen, no lip balm, no phone, no camera, no binoculars, no tissues, no hat, no visor, no fanny pack, no shoulder bag, no medication etc., etc., etc. Basically, nothing is allowed but the clothes on your back. No water on a two hour summer adventure? It seemed crazy and inappropriate to me. We were told the guide could carry the emergency asthma inhaler but nothing else. If you needed anything else during the ride, you were out of luck. When I inquired about these rules, explaining that I felt uncomfortable venturing out into the wilderness with absolutely nothing, they said that the rules were in place because at some point in the past, a guest had accidently dropped one of these items, causing two people to be thrown from their horses. I was shocked and said that I thought it odd that a “trail horse would be that skittish. Is this ride safe for children?”. She replied “We hope so.” Not the reassuring response I was expecting. I have never met a trail horse that would throw its rider because somebody dropped a chap stick. I wondered to myself what would happen if we encountered a squirrel or a seagull….. In any case, we did not feel that this was the right experience for us. They did not seem confident that the horses were reliably safe, and what is the point of experiencing a beautiful scenic ride if you cannot take any photographs to remember it by? We left without riding and decided to find a better tour operator.

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