Smiling Horses Monteverde

Horseback riding vacation in Monteverde Costa Rica

Read some comments of our guest book below

sabines smiling horses in Monteverde Costa Rica home page

Stefan Loose 2008 - NEW guide book from Germany: Sabine's Smiling Horses (Tel: 645 6894, 385-2424, www...), Vollmond- und Sonnenuntergangstouren, Touren zu Wasserfaellen..., fuer Anfaenger und Sattelfeste auf gesunden Pferden. Sabine kennt die Gegend wie ihre Satteltasche.  

Best choice in Lonely Planet Costa Rica 2008: Sabine's Smiling Horses (Tel: 2645 6894, 8385-2424, www...), ...This outfitter has been recommended by readers year after year.

Recommended by Rough Guide 2004 to Costa Rica : ...In Santa Elena ..., who has several healthy, well-cared for horses and who knows the stunning countryside around Santa Elena well - you can stop at several look-out points with panoramic views out to the Pacific and the Nicoya Peninsula....

also Lonely Planet 2005 to Central America : Sabine's smiling horses...., run by Sabine who speaks English, French, Spanish and German and offers a variety of treks, from $ 15 US per hour day trips to specialty tours including a Full Moon Ride...  Several multi-day treks are also on offer... This outfitter has been highly recommended by readers.

The Tico Times Exploring Costa Rica 2008: ...well-trained, cared for horses.

April 2004 - multiday horseback riding with farm stay

Hallo Sabine!

Ich besuchte dich im April 04 aus der Schweiz.

Eigentlich wollte ich nur schnell sagen, dass ich immer noch sehr oft an euch denke, es hat mir so gefallen auf der Farm!! Ich sehne mich wirklich sehr nach diesem Reitstil, da wir ja in Europa nicht die Möglichkeit dazu haben. Ich checke auch immer noch regelmässig deine Homepage, es ist spannend zu sehen, wie deine Pferdefamilie ständig Zuwachs bekommt :-) Ausserdem hab ich gesehen, dass du jetzt auch Voltige anbietest, ich erinnere mich wie du mir erzähltest, dass du das gerne machen würdest. Ich bewundere dich wirklich sehr dafür wie du das alles zustande gebracht hast und welche Beziehung du zu deinen Pferden hast :-)

Ich werde bestimmt bald wieder nach Costa Rica fliegen, es lässt mir einfach keine Ruhe. 

Viele liebe Grüsse


30 December 2002 - Steve - 2 hour ride 

Dear Sabine, we just spoke to one another of "namaste" - that Tibetan symbol of thanks, love, and acknowledgement  of god-in-the-person. You wondered if we could teach this heart-felt thanks and love to our children. I'm not sure about everyone's ability to do this, but I definitely see it at work in the life and model of you and Tara, and the horses. In fact, I see it in your community here. Tara is a wonderful child, physically and spiritually; her way of being in the world already speaks of a heart that intuitively speaks "namaste" to all she meets. I was so charming with her grace at the stables and your grace with her.

As we return to our lives in the city that sometimes seem insane, I will try to hold in my heart some of the love-filled sanity that I experienced in (and through) our time here. My children and Angelika's daughter Maxine may not offer outurned expressions of their thanks and appreciation, but I know it is there, too. 

Thank you again for all your gifts. When you come to the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina, we will be honered to give you the gifts of our lives!


30 December 2002 - Angelika - 2 hour ride 

Liebe Sabine - Es war wunderschön zu sehen, daß es Menschen wie Dich gibt - die weit mit offenem Herzen leben und so frei die Welt mit anderen teilen. Ich bin sehr froh, daß wir uns getroffen haben und hoffe, daß wir in Verbindung bleiben können. Vielen Dank, daß Du mir Cheyenne für den Ritt gegeben hast. Von ihm und unseren Gesprächen habe ich viel gelernt und bin wieder erinnert wordenwie wichtig "Vertrauen" ist. Vertrauen in uns selbst und andere und wie alles in uns und um uns dieses VErtrauen unterstützt, wenn man es nur läßt. So einfach und doch schnell vergessen im täglichen Leben. Ich sehe, daß Du Dir Dein Leben so lebst, um daran nicht oft zu zweifeln. Bravo und viele Wünche für die Zukunft. Allen anderen, die dies lesen, kann ich einen Ausritt vollherzig empfehlen/vorschlagen (meien Rechtschreibung war noch nie sehr toll) meine Dankbarkeit aber groß!!!


20 August  2002 - Matt and Eric -  7-day vacation horseback ride 

from Volcano Arenal to the beach pick up and drop off in San José

Dear Sabine,

Thank you for an incredible trip to Costa Rica! The scenery was incredible, especially as viewed by horseback. Thank you for taking care of all of the details and for providing a great guide to take us all around the countryside and down to the beach. Thanks also for not giving me proud flesh. You did a wonderful job in customizing the trip for me and I would recommend your trips to everyone.


Matt Bennett

horseback riding vacation Costa Rica Matt and Eric

13 Jul 2002 - Deb and Rob - Campesino trail ride 3 hours

Dearest Sabine.
After many weeks of e-mailing back and forth, our trip to Costa Rica finally happened. I'd expressed in my e-mails my fear of horses. The few times I'd ridden , I was thrown. Hence, I had not ridden for approximately 35 years!  
Rob had never been on a horse. All the reassurance you gave in your e-mails helped us feel comfortable and safe about doing a 3 hour ride through the forests and mountains. Even my special need for extra padding on the saddle, you handmade and had ready for my use! Also, I was grateful to you for helping select places to stay while in Santa Elena and Arenal. 

The actual horseback ride was even better than we'd expected. Your horses are smart, responsive and as you said, "Trust the horse, you sit back and enjoy the scenery." Well we did and it was beautiful. We saw leaf cutter ants and their enormous mounds they live in, we heard a variety of birds and even spotted a couple. We saw a huge variety of tree, plant and flower species. Views from the
mountain tops were magnificent. Rob thanked me for arranging this activity. He enjoyed it so much! Minor was a perfect guide; polite, great with the horses and knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. 

You however, are the special and gifted woman who said, "Horses are like children, you get back what you put into them". Your horses are an extension of your love, intelligence, sensitivity and genuineness. I was grateful to meet you and Tara, who also is an extension of all those qualities you possess. 
Costa Rica is a great place to visit. We will return next summer with our daughter and we will ride again. Tell Cheyenne I miss him! Sincerest and heartfelt thanks,
Deb & Rob Klipper from Texas

21 May 2002 - Marie-Jacques - volunteering in March 2002 to Matt that wanted to get some feed back directly

Hello Matt,

I am very jealous. You don't know how lucky you are to plan such a trip to Costa Rica with Sabine and her horses.

I was in Costa Rica for three months, from January to April. I traveled around, and as a broke horse lover, I offered my time as a volunteer worker to be able to ride without busting my very small budget. I spent three weeks in Santa Elena working with Sabine, and two weeks in Jaco beach, working for a man called David Klostermann (Jaco Beach Equestrian Center). I also had the opportunity to ride at other places without working.

Working with Sabine and her smiling horses was by far the best equestrian experience I had in Costa Rica. Sabine is not in the horse business for money like many in Costa Rica. Passion is her number one motivation. We became friends very quickly.

What disappointed me was the fact that Sabine could not come to ride with us at that time, because she was busy taking care of her 5 months old lovely daughter, Tara.

What I liked best is very hard to tell... I just loved everything! 

The horses are cute small costa rican criollos, except for Apache, her appaloosa, who was my team partner. I loved Apache. Very calm, yet very energetic when it is time to gallop! He goes from speed one to five in a fraction of a second! But he will always listen to you when you want him to slow down or to stop. I had the great priviledge to ride him bareback to the field a few times. I did not ride Cheyenne and Valiente but I know they are also friendly and generous horses. I only heard good comments about them. Sirena is on break now, Sabine wants her to have a baby! I also had the priviledge to contribute to beautiful Tango's training while I was there. But Tango is not for clients. He still needs more training. Sabine loves her horses, and you can tell right away. They are in excellent physical conditions, and friendly with people.

I had the great joy to go from "The Mirador" to Arenal volcano on my way out from Santa Elena. Everything was carefully planned by Sabine and her husband, Jacques. The ride was amazingly beautiful. We only had to enjoy. A lunch was provided, transport of our luggage was done by taxi, a boat was waiting for us at the lagoon near Arenal, and accommodation was reserved for us at a beautiful resort called "Los Lagos". We were staying in a clean and very convenient little camper right at the foot of the volcano. The large pool with warm volcanic water was a real luxury. You could visit the numerous small ponds with tilapia fish (possible to catch and eat!) and even crocodiles!

I could write forever. I will stop here.

I can only recommend to you to go. If you love horses and want to explore the cloud forest area of Costa Rica, you won't regret it. The most dangerous thing is: you won't want to leave! Or you might suffer from a severe blues when back at home.

Would you have any other question, please feel free to ask again.

Have a beautiful trip!
(I'm sooooo jealous!)


horseback riding volunteer Marie-Jacques in Monteverde Costa Rica

Horseback Riding   (
The best way to experience the diversity of the Monteverde area is on horseback. Sabine's Smiling Horses in Santa Elena offers 3-hour, 4-hour, and all day trips through the surrounding campesino, to waterfalls, and even all the way to Arenal. Her horses are well cared-for and well trained and the guides know all the back roads and secret lookouts. $10/hour per person.

28 April 2002 - Holly & Peter - Campesino Trail ride 3 hours

Dear Sabine, Thank you so much for your warm welcome and your wonderful horses. Pete and I had a wonderful ride on Sirena and Apache - they were both so responsive and full of energy - not the lazy fat horses we are used to at most riding centers in the States. The ride itself was spectacular - through the forest, over field, through farmland and villages. The terrain was vained and the views were stunning. Our ride in Costa Rica willl be something we remember for years to come.

Good luck to you and Jack & beautiful Tara. Best Holly & Peter

 02-02-01  -  Simone  -  4 day Adventure Tour Costa Rica

..."Usted tiene muy buenos caballos" war ein Satz, den wir in den letzten Tagen nicht nur einmal zu hören bekommen haben, und es trifft sehr zu, finde ich.. Für mich war es sehr schön zu beobachten, was für ein Händchen du mit Pferden hast. Soll heissen, dass dieser Aspekt auch einen grossen Teil dazu beigetragen hat, dass mir die Reittour unvergesslich bleibt. Aber der eigentliche Grund war auch das pionierhafte Entdecken von Möglichkeiten und Wegen, die verschiedenen Varianten, wie sich die Klimazonen gezeigt haben, das bewußte Geniessen jeden Tages und die vielen guten Gespräche mit Dir...

horseback riding vacation Costa Rica Simone


01-21-01  -  Allan  -  3 hour Tour Campesino Trail Ride Monteverde Costa Rica

thank you for the ride through the hills and valleys of Sta. Elena, it was very beautiful despite the wind and light rain. I  also have ridden from Mirador to lake Arenal, which was scenic, but a very long trip and very difficult for the small horses that we rode. It was a pleasure to ride with you and your well kept horses. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Ps: thank you for the instructions.


01-21-01  -  Susan  -  3 hour Tour Campesino Trail Ride Monteverde Costa Rica

Thanks to your thorough instructions, I felt completely comfortable on Apache, even though I haven't ridden in a couple of years. The ride was magnificent (even though it was windy and rainy), and I loved wandering through the countryside. Your flexible schedule made the ride even more interesting, allowing us our own pace to walk, trot or gallop. It was an excellent ride and I highly recommend it! Good luck in the future!


01-09-01  -  Kate  -  3 hour Tour Farmland and Forest around Monteverde

We love horses in Texas, but that was one of the best darn trail rides ever. Great horses, great guide. Awesome scenery, spectacular conversation. Best wishes for the future that I know will work out just the way it should.


01-08-01  -  Mark  -  3 hour Horseback Riding Tour Monteverde Cloud Forest

Thank you for a wonderful day. You were a joy to talk with, you showed me a beautiful countryside, you taught me how to ride a horse, you went out of your way to help me when I lost my camera, and through you I witnessed an honesty in people (the local who returned my camera) that I did not think existed in reality. You your horse trip and this day will go down as some of my most cherished memories.

horseback riding vacation in cloud forest of monteverde Mark


01-08-01  -  Virginia  -   3 hour Horseback riding Tour Monteverde Cloud Forest

Muchas gracias por los lugares conocidas. los recuerdos en mi vida seran realmente preciosos. nos diste tres horas de alegria y tranquilidad. te agrederco mucho.

horseback riding pause climbing string tree in monteverde costa rica


01-06-01  -  Susanna  -   4 hour Tour Campesino Trail Ride Monteverde 

Thanks for the excellent trip around the valleys, we really had a great time with you and your beautiful horses. Feels good that they are so well kept. We also enjoyed the amazing view from the top of the hills ( "this is heaven").

horseback riding in monteverde costa rica Susanna


01-04-01  -  Lauren  -   2,5 hour Tour Farmland and Forest around Monteverde

from horsewoman to horsewoman: Thank you so much Sabine. I could not imagine a better couple of hours exploring the beauty of Sta. Elena and Monteverde. You possess an incredible gift with horses and an experience people wait their whole lives to feel. Anytime you are in CA, drop me a line and I would love to show you my Carlisle. Best of love and luck to you, Apache, Cheyenne, Tango etc.


12-24-00  -  Anke  -   4 hour Tour Monteverde Campesino Trail Ride

das Leben geht manchmal seltsame Wege... wer hätte an der Bregenzer vor 2 Jahren gedacht, dass wir einmal diesen Weihnachtsritt zusammen machen würden - Du und Apache habt mir einen unbeschreiblich schönen Heilig Abend - Nachmittag beschert, vor Glück ist es mir kalt den Rücken hinuntergelaufen, und so sag' ich einfach nur: DANKE!

horseback riding in Monteverde Costa Rica can make people happy!!!


12-21-00  -  Jean  -   3 hour Tour Campesino Trail Ride Monteverde Costa Rica

Thank you so much for such a lovely and informative ride in the area today. We very much enjoyed seeing the area from the perspective of horseback, and with such .... and sweet horses. We very much appreciate what you do here and the way you look after your horses.

horseback riding vacation in the cloud forest of monteverde Costa Rica

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