During the weekend of June 22nd myself and 7 friends stayed at Governor Dodge Campground for a bachelorette party and made reservations to go horseback riding for an hour at Doby Stables- we were looking forward to it for quite some time when we started planning this party back in January. The ride turned out to be a giant disappointment. The gentleman who took my reservation information on the phone was very nice and friendly and made the point of saying business has been very slow ( I figured they'd be booked solid on a Saturday during the summer). We were hastily assigned horses and the tour guide took a few seconds to show to stop and steer the horses and that was about it, they never bothered to adjust stirrups or ask riders important questions: have you been riding before? do you feel comfortable trotting, etc. The guy never bothered to introduce himself or the other female guide who was coming along. There were three other people on the ride with us who were not part of our bachelorette party group and it was quickly discovered that one of the girls was dating the tour guide and she brought two friends along. Those are the only three riders he paid attention to and it seemed as if he completely forgot about the 7 other riders he was leading. 95% of the trail ride was fast- paced trotting and my friends were very uncomfortable and scared since they rarely ride a horse. Myself and two other girls, who own multiple horses, are very experienced riders so we knew how to handle the horses and enjoyed ourselves a little more than the rest of the group. The female tour guide stated to one of my friends "all we do on this trail ride is trot, didn't anyone tell you that?". NO! We were never told that! It was very fast paced trotting, borderline cantering and it was constant - up and down rocky hills which is a big safety issue for both horse and rider- it was way too dangerous of a ride to have that many inexperienced riders on. The group was often separated by great distances and the guide rarely stopped and waited for us to catch up, when he did he looked very bothered and displeased with us…like it’s our fault some of the horses are pokey and stop to eat grass. The female tour guide was the last horse in line and she rarely did anything except occasionally shout "trot your horse so we can catch up", which we gladly ignored.
It seems this place is only worried about making a buck and rushing you through the park to get back to the stable. We had no time to relax and enjoy the scenery of Governor Dodge. The guy didn't explain ANYTHING about the park - he didn't bother to share any interesting facts or just even make small talk with anyone in the group, he was too preoccupied with this girlfriend. The horse my friend Katie was riding had very labored breathing- it should not have been out on that ride trotting up and down hills with weight on its back. They chalked it up to him being "old and out of shape" -- sad.
If you are not an experienced, confident rider or are looking for a leisurely, slow-paced trail ride save your money and go elsewhere, I would hate to have someone else have a horrible time like we did. I thought it was odd when I was told “business has been very slow” – but now I have a pretty good idea why.