We looked around the Luray area and decide to try Fort Valley Stables because of the mountain trails through the George Washington Forest. We chose the hour and a half ride. They asked us to be about 30 minutes early, but we probably got there about 50 minutes early. The check-in process seemed smooth, we picked our helmets, and the other group of three that were riding with us were already there. Then we waited a while. The horses were already tacked up, so we weren't quite sure what we were waiting for, but right at noon, then they started putting us on horses. In our group, we had two experienced riders, but they said it didn't matter on horse selection. I waited to mount last so I could be in the back just in case. I have led and participated in many trail rides in my riding days, so it was a good position to be in to monitor the group in case they needed help. So at 12:30, everyone was loaded, and we actually started the ride. The horse I rode was a nice horse, he listened to me and did a good job on the trail. The newbies had some trouble in the line in front of us, and the guide gave some instruction as he saw things happening, but he didn't see the issues arising all the time. Either my daughter or I tried to offer advice, which helped the overall trail ride flow smoother. We headed back to the barn after an hour of riding, so we felt a little deceived on the hour and a half ride. There was no mention that a half hour was to watch people mount their horses and learn how to steer their horse. Since we all got there so early, there was plenty of time to get everyone mounted before the ride. The horses and location seemed nice, but we didn't get what we paid for as far as the length of ride and our guide was just okay. I didn't mind pitching in and helping out, but I didn't even get as much as a thank you. Oh well, next time we'll try a different place.
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