The riding is incredible, the hospitality unmatched. No one can work harder than Ray and Terri Smith, owners of Cook Forest Scenic Trail Ride, to make your stay a memorable one. I guess it is just human nature that hundreds, no, thousands of people over the last 25 years have really enjoyed themselves at Cook Forest Scenic Ride but have not taken the time or did not know about this website to express their appreciation for the experience they had. While conversely, those few people who have something to complain about are very active in making their complaints known. Is it as interesting to you as it is to me that most often they do not sign their names? And what do they complain about? That the trails are rocky, that there are tree roots on the trails and there is mud. Duh? It's nature, it's the mountains. I don't think they would ever get permission, but would they be happier riding on a golf course? How long would it take how many horses to turn the golf course into a mud pit? Then there are the people who complain about the maps which are provided for their convenience. Since the number of complainers seems to be quite small, I have to wonder if it is a problem with the map readers and not the map itself. And how about the complaints regarding the cleanliness of the bathrooms? Maybe the complaints should be directed at the people who leave the bathrooms in a condition that causes people to complain about them. Dogs barking? Yes, that can be a problem. And what is ironic is that the owners of the barking dogs do not know it is happening, unless they are told, because most of the barking occurs while they are out on the trails riding, and the dogs are, most often, locked in the horse trailers. Hey, I know! How about if Ray and Terri hire a canine specialist to provide doggie daycare while their owners are away? But, I guess the owners would not be interested in the additional expense. How about some of the other absurd comments. There is the person who was ticked off because Tommie Turvey did not show up. Is that Ray's fault? I don't think so. Take it up with Tommy on his website or Facebook. Someone complained that cow sorting took too long and was too crowded. "It took 90 minutes between rounds." What can I say? Someone complained about too many flies. Really? It is a horse campground. I guess that person was there the week before Ray and Terrie paid the Pennsylvania Air National Guard to fly over the campground with fly spray. Someone else complained that "they won't allow picketing even with tree protectors". I don't know the definition of picketing but it's my understanding that you can put your horse just about anywhere as long as they don't damage the trees. I really like the one about the person who rented a tie stall but could not get his horse to go into it. Perhaps if they had been there during a different phase of the moon, it would have been easier. And someone was unhappy that the "stalls were too far away from the cabins." My guess is that it would take about a minute and a half to cover the distance, maybe a little bit longer if you are using a walker or if you were on crutches.
So, people who are website savvy know there is no way to guarantee the veracity of the comments made, or the integrity of the people making them. No matter what one does, no matter how hard anyone tries, it's just reality that you can't please all the people all the time. So, if you are looking for an incredible horse riding experience, this is the place you want to be. Believe all of the good things you read. There is one more organized ride at the end of September. If you can not make a ride or weekend this year, plan on signing up next spring and helping Ray and Terrie begin their second quarter of a century of fabulous equine adventures!