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“Just terrible!”
Review of Sombrero Ranch

Sombrero Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Attraction, Activity
Reviewed 4 September 2017

This is my 2nd attempt at a review with Trip Advisor of Sombrero Ranch - so I will do my best to keep this as toned down as possible - so as not to get it removed again because I believe deeply in my soul, people need to think twice before booking with this company.

First, I seriously seriously question the well-being of the horses at this Ranch. The horses we rode could barely walk. And in particular, the horse my sister-in-law was riding kept tripping on the trail and at one point fell to its knee. It was very scary to watch. When I asked our guide what was going on, she dismissed my question and said that sometimes the horses trip. But, it was clear from the way this horses legs were buckling that it was utterly overworked.

I have to believe there are other ranches in Colorado, if you do a bit more research - that take pride in their care of the horses. Happy horses=Safe guests. I'm upset with myself and my family for putting our money into this place. It was truly a horrific experience for me and my family. The kids with us were crying because they knew the horses were not feeling well. So sad. Start to finish.

5  Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 46 reviews
"hour ride"
in 243 reviews
"horseback riding"
in 64 reviews
"great ride"
in 67 reviews
"hour dinner"
in 9 reviews
"inexperienced riders"
in 13 reviews
"trail guide"
in 15 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 29 reviews
"longer ride"
in 11 reviews
"great guide"
in 25 reviews
"continental divide"
in 11 reviews
"rocky mountains"
in 14 reviews
in 592 reviews
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72 - 76 of 937 reviews

Reviewed 3 September 2017

My family and I have visited Sombrero Ranch twice. The ride's with dinner are an excellent value and the tour through the hills is amazing. Our guides have been friendly, safety-minded, and knowledgeable about the sites and history along the way. Certainly a must-do for anyone passing through Estes Park. Great to get off the beaten path for a couple of hours.

Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2017 via mobile

First of all, I have seen reviews that these horses are maltreated . They were healthy and well cared for. They have over 100 horses. They obviously get a break. This is the west!

The guide was friendly and attentive. My horse was good "C cross"! My husband and I had a blast on the two hour hike AND it's affordable!

Thank Wolfiewife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017

My horse was Austin and the wrangler was southern african from Namibia. Her name was Caitlin. There was myself from the UK and a nice couple from Kansas. I hadn't ridden before so was a little apprehensive but Caitlin was excellent, constantly giving advice and commentary on the local area. We rode high up above Estes Park with magnificent views over the town and the Rocky Mountains. A thoroughly enjoyable ride in excellent weather. Thankyou Caitlin and Austin.

Thank Topvelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 August 2017 via mobile

I am not an expert at riding or on horses. This is only my second time riding, so I'd say I'm a beginner. To me, those working there didn't seem too friendly or engaging or they were just busy, not sure. I didn't think some of the staff was very happy, but it could be just me.
I was assigned one horse but the man getting the horse prepared grabbed a different horse and said it didn't matter. I said ok because maybe that other horse was ok with beginners too. I wasn't really told much, such as what to do JUST IN CASE YOUR horse bolts. So do your research before. The guide was friendly and nice, but my horse was right on top of the horse in front of me, which I think is kind of unsafe for horses to be touching each other. Will they
spook each other or will one get mad at the other and bite and then get spooked? And we're going up and down Rocky Mountains, dangerous. But that isn't the Ranches fault. Just for me, it was scary, and the horse wouldn't listen to me! When I'd try to back up the horse or turn her, she'd get mad, shake her head, lie ears back and I think she'd turn her head to either bite me, bite at flies, or I don't know, she just didn't want to be told what to do, which is ok, for someone who knows horses. I didn't want to make her mad, didn't want her to buck me off or something, so she walked me into a tree. She was clearly a more stubborn horse not meant for a beginner. The 3 hour trail was very difficult for me. Steep rocky trail and inclines. And with horses nose to tail and the tails swishing and hitting the other horse in the face while going down hill. The guide said it's ok. Luckily she let me trade horses with someone else though. And luckily nothing bad happened, no one was hurt, everything was fine, at the end though I couldn't feel my legs, I could close my legs, had a bad headache, and was thirsty. Just so you know, 3 hours here is hard! A lot of steep trails. I asked to walk instead of ride but they said I couldn't, no people allowed on the trail. Though I thought was odd but just so you know, you can't get off the horse.
I kinda questioned the treatment of the horses as well, of course I don't know much. I just saw a few scars or rubs on the horses, looked like the halter rubbed fur off or something but no open wounds or anything. Horses also seemed to stand in the sun with saddles on for a bit while standing in poop, and I didn't see any water. I am not sure exactly how long or if they're understaffed or if that even bothers a horse, so I'm not saying they're faulted, it just makes me think. But overall I think the horses are taken care of, just s few things I was curious about. I think maybe their website needs to be more detailed such as describing the 3 hour trail as not for beginners (I don't think it says anything about it) and how it has rocky steep routes and how at the end your body may hurt. I was expecting a nice calm walk through a meadow or forest or town even, not mountain horse hiking. That is just me and what I expected to happen but didn't. Water is $1. Easily access just before the lake Estes and a very good exceptional view of the lake and horses (it looks like a picture). They take a picture of you on the trail and then print them out pretty for $10 (take it or leave it). They provide safety helmets and little bags to carry on the saddle. They help you onto the saddle with a stepping stool. Seems understaffed. Because I'm too lazy to read it's kinda hard to know what to do when you get there but just sign a waiver (outside) and take it into the office where you check in and then grab a helmet and bag outside if you want it. I did not give 5 stars because i felt like it was mediocre or I ether good or bad but it was great or exceptional so I'm sorry, Sombrero Ranch. I think you can make it better by improving your website. Maybe take pictures of the steep trails, maybe explain 3 hours is more advanced, maybe take pictures of some of the horses and their stories, explain that at the end you'll be sore and it's ok, just prepare people and educate them maybe? Explain horse behaviors and just add more? I would recommend this place and I would consider coming here again maybe when more experienced.

1  Thank jexterminatr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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