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“Great ride and well looked after”
Review of Bells Farm Western Rides - CLOSED

Bells Farm Western Rides
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Reviewed 9 May 2013

My fiancée and I (casual, occasional riders) booked a 2-hour ride for mid-May. Everything met or exceeded expectations - from the booking communications, to the Western instruction to the ride itself and the post-ride offer of a mug of tea. Rachel is an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. Making sure we understood the basics she led us off and coached us through each part of the ride, increasing our speed/strides and making sure we were comfortable and safe. Rachel has an amazing ability to for ride out in front and, even at a canter, still look back and talk to us, making sure we are okay. As Rachel and her husband work cattle in the surrounding area she knew exactly where to go and we had a really enjoyable time. We will be back :)

2  Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 2 April 2013

The B & B facilities at Bells Farm are ideal for western riders. Rachel and her farmer husband Andrew are friendly and helpful hosts.

Internally, the farm house is newly decorated and provides a clean and pleasant environment at a reasonable price. The bedroom that my Wife and I occupied has a comfortable, firm, Kingsize bed, with wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside cabinets, TV and ‘welcome’ tray including hot chocolate. The en suite has a large shower with much hot water (but patience is necessary initially before the hot water ‘comes through’).

The breakfasts were tasty and plentiful. We particularly enjoyed the fresh fruit salad before the ‘full English’ which included sausages from the farm pigs (Aberdeen Angus beef cattle, and sheep are also reared on the farm).

From the bedroom window we could see the farrier at work, and Rachel grooming and ‘tacking up’ the horses in the small yard that is between the old barns.

The B & B complements the western riding superbly, and we will have no hesitation in staying at the Farm when next in the area. The visit also enabled me to ride another of Rachel’s fine Criollos, Cencerro, a very willing and forward going gelding.

3  Thank UKTerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Welcoming,safe & fun! Rachel genuinely seems to enjoy taking out novice riders on her lovely, well mannered Argentinian Criollo horses. (I am a novice weekly rider and my husband joins me for a hack once or twice a year.) He instantly felt more secure in a Western saddle (who doesn't?!) and we had a lovely ride on the Wiltshire Downs - he was even able to have a few canters....sorry - 'lopes'! I rode Cencerro - lovely little forward horse, who was impeccably well mannered, and my husband rode Buck - a real gentleman who looks after his rider. We can't wait to go again, and have enquired about another ride for next month. There were very few roads, lots of fantastic views and Rachel leads a very safe ride. She will teach you the basics of western riding and give you little pointers along the way, if you want her to - a Western lesson 'on the hoof'!

2  Thank Thomson_Clan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 December 2012

My boyfriend and I went for an hr trek in a Sunday morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have ridden previously before but my boyfriend was a complete beginner. Rachel was very patient and made him feel at ease as we mounted and set off. By the end of the ride he was confidently trotting and even went up to a canter. The views were beautiful, showing us a new side of the area that we're local to. The western style riding gave it an interesting twist and the horses were all impeccably behaved. We would definitely recommend this for any ability rider, even the complete beginners and will be returning for a second visit in the near future.

3  Thank Luke H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 28 March 2012

Bells Farm is about 3 miles south of the A4 at Stockley near Calne, Wiltshire. The riding is run by Rachel Brown whose husband Andrew has a large herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle which graze on the nearby Downs. Their horses which are mainly Argentinean Criollos, are used to work with the cattle in preference to a quad bike or land rover. This environmentally friendly approach helps to keep the horses fit, interested and alert.

My Wife and I have had two relaxed and enjoyable rides on the scenic, undulating Downs with Rachel who is very competent, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. She willingly took photographs for us with our camera, so that we could concentrate on the riding.

As the Farm is in close proximity to the Downs there is very little road work, during which we encountered minimal traffic. As my Wife hadn’t ridden for 6 months, we had a one hour ride initially, and then, two days later, had a two hours ride.

My Wife was impressed with, and very pleased to ride Sapo. I particularly enjoyed riding Buck who was well behaved, willing, and responsive, although Rachel did mention that some of her clients do not like Buck’s “rocking horse” canter. Personally, I found Buck very comfortable on some excellent long lopes/canters on the grassy down land, and will welcome the opportunity to ride him again.

We also appreciated Rachel’s kindness in making coffee for us after each ride (tea was also available).

Unfortunately, Bells Farm is about 120 miles from our home in Essex, but we found riding the Criollos on the Downs so worthwhile that we intend to return. By leaving the M4 at Junction 14 for Hungerford and then joining the A4 for Marlborough, we completed the latter part of the journey on a more peaceful and scenic route, with much less traffic.

Rachel has about eleven horses, and takes a maximum of about six clients on each ride (my Wife and I were not accompanied by other clients). She regularly rides each horse which helps to ensure that should any horse start to develop a “bad habit” it is soon eliminated. With her additional horses, Rachel no longer provides livery facilities.

5  Thank UKTerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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