I didn't attend MM, but my riding instructor did and she always talks about how wonderful it was. I think she was a '98 graduate. She went straight from high school to the manor, and said that when she arrived, she thought she knew everything already. She told me that it was definitely tough, but she enjoyed her time there.
I didn't know about the "no hitting" rule, but she did describe a time that a particularly nasty mare bit her in the thigh, and she kept herself in check. I think the main lesson there might have been self control, even when in pain (and she still has the scar...). She also described to me how even the schooling horses were hopped up, and how you could lunge them 5 minutes before your riding class. She said that the lunging arena was 5 minutes away, and usually it'd be completely full of crazy horses being lunged, so most people just opted out and decided to ride them as is. She knows how to keep her seat on a high energy/rambunctious horse though, so I'm guessing it worked in her favor.
The programs seem to be pretty short (1-2) years, so they have to be intense to pack everything in. It's the same for condensed nursing programs.
I think that no matter where you go, you're going to get out what you put in. Maybe you should ask to sit in one of their classroom teachings, and observe a riding lesson as well, before committing to any decision.