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: 2645 6894, 8385-2424, 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.

Sabine, thank you for this wonderful ride, I have got bruises everywhere and my muscles because I haven’t been on a horse for so long but that doesn’t matter.  

I loved the environment.

Monke, 18.02.2001

Thank you for a wonderful ride! I am very stiff today, but it was definitely worth it.  

What a beautiful place to ride! Very nice, happy horses!


Sabine, vielen Dank fuer den herrlichen Ausritt. Selbst wenn die blauen Flecken und der Muskelkater verschwunden sind, werde ich diesen Ritt in Erinnerung behalten.


Wanneer je hel nevelwound wilt bekyken en door de bomen zweven ga dan naar Sky-Trek. Als je echler een leuke en actieve tyd wilt hebben, ga dan een paar vur met Sabine te ryden.

De paarden zyn goed en zy kan je ook wel tips  geven om je ryden te verbeteren.


For you Sabina, now we write a little story in English, we had a great ride with you! You are very kind and treat the hoses very well (that is very important for you and us). We hope that you have a life with a lot of love, beautiful horses.

With love Corina and Brenda

Dear Sabina, a wonderful ride! Today was close to perfect, your horses, your guiding ability: the terram. I m… recommend a ride with Sabina. I am a novice, intermediate rider and after three hours today I felt right out of the US-w…, where I live.

We, my companion riders Brenda and Corina from Holland, gently rode and galloped through some great countryside today. The farmers trails, past bananas, farms, ranches and some great little villages.

Delightful Geraldo the no longer novice rider. 18.02.2001  

Dear Sabine, it was a pleasure knowing you. The beautiful horse ride… the beautiful site. Thank you for making Oliver love horses and riding.

It was nice having supper and getting to know you.

I hope that we get in touch and write. Je t’embrasse toi et ton petit bedon.

Josee Marchion

Fisicamente he tenido dolores en mi cuerpo, pero como este es increible pero satisfactorio a la vez. Sentir su fuerza entre mis piernas, ver sus gestos, es un animal sor prendente de gran vigor y fuerza.

Sabine, asi son los lazos que un en el gran sentimiento que florese dentro de uno por algo, alguien pr tus caballos, basto solamente ver tu ahora hay una gran luc que ilumina todo tu ser, tu hijo(a). Que suerte Andrea, 11.05.2001

Traeume werden wahr! Nach acht Jahren Reitpause bekommt mein Hintern endlich mal weider einen Pferderuecken zu spueren. Naja, fuer meinen Hintern war es vielleicht nicht ganz so toll... Dafuer war es aber fuer mich ein wunderschoenes Erlebnis. Tolles Pferd, toller Ritt...einfach schoen. Irgendwie schwer, in Worte zu fassen.

Tausend Dank, noch viele sonnige Zeiten in Santa Elena und alles Liebe


Mein Hintern schmerzt ganz schoen aber es wars absolut wert!! Meinen ersten Pferderitt werde ich nie vergessen. Du machst das echt gut.

Muchas gracias


Sabine, we had a great time on the horses. Even little Niels had a ball, although he won’t remember much of it when he grows up but we’ll show him the pictures. I have blisters on my hands and my muscles are sore, but it was worth it.

It was wonderful riding with our whole family in the countryside. Mel, 9 years, Liselotte, 8 years, never rode before and were trotting and galloping as if they were professionals. The baby was riding in front of Marvin our other guide who was so gentle with him that he fell asleep. Niels is two years old and also experienced and giggled whenever the horse snorted.

Sabine was wonderful. Staying at the Pension Santa Elena was “what can I say” groovy.

Jan, Charlotte, Mel, Liselotte and Niels van Londen, 12.03.2001

This was a lot of fun, horses are fun to ride. It’s fun to have the liberty to drive them. My butt s swollen but is was worth the ride.

Thanks a lot Sabine, 6.04.2001

It was really nice riding the horse and to see the beautiful view. And it was also interesting meeting sabine, you are passionate with horse and you can give that passion to others…thanks.

What a beautiful day!

Isabelle Schank and Marc Rondeau, Montreal Canada

  Full moon ride! Thank you for a wonderful ride. I haven’t had the chance to ride a majestic horse such as Valiente in quite a few years. Any stiff muscles on b… will be well worth it tomorrow. To anyone else who is considering a ride here it is well worth it. The horses are fit and well disciplined and the countryside is a fantastic setting. When I am back in Monteverde I will be riding again.

Muchas gracias y buena suerte.

Alex, 7.04.2001

Full moon story. Sabine, you threw an amazing full moon party. Your horses were fabulous. Oh no, my bus is here… Would love to write more about the smiling horses + but have to go. Thanks for a truly memorable event.

Michele and Jessica, 7.04.2001

Valiente was his name, a beautiful and powerful white horse. I will never forget this power when I start to run on him. I just remember when my knees hurt and bump into Cheyenne but it was a great promenade with the best sweet woman “Sabine” who has a lot of patience and really loves her beautiful horses.

We had a lot of fun even if Valiente control me more than control him. At the end we stop on a mountain between full moon and sunset that was wonderful.

Thanks for this afternoon and I keep a souvenir on my knees and for sure make me travel in first class.

All the best

Barbara and Olivier, France, (Barbara did horse jumping competition), 5.05.2001

Even if he was a little afraid in the beginning, Cheyenne and I rapidly became friend. For three hours it was a very friendly fight between he and I to get the control of the ride. Because he loves it, he tried to run when the other horses were running but was also ok when I asked him to do what I wanted. The highlight was when Cheyenne lost his iron shoe while galloping. The iron shoe flight t…, in the air and hurt (very lightly) my knee and made a hole in my pant.

Anyway it was a very pleasant ride that I will remember. Thanks Sabine.

Olivier, France, 5.05.2001

Wow! That was such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

I am so happy that I was able to see Monteverde and surrounding towns from horseback. It was absolutely beautiful. I love <Cheyenne, he is such a spirited horse. He has amazing power in his strong legs. I was so happy to experience the countryside. I loved Cheyenne’s lope and the spirited personality. I had so much fun, I am sad that I have to leave. I loved the trail ride, the best I ever had!! Thank you so much for letting us ride your horses. They are truly beautiful. I had an awesome time. Good luck and I hope your horse feels better.

Thanks again

Marilyn, USA Michigan (Marilyn is a trail guide in the states), 15.05.2001

In a world overpowered by corruption and self h… it is hard to find a spirit as pure and free as Apaches. It is hard to confront a real person who is not driven by money or greed. I am glad that such a place and such people exist., here in Santa Elena.

Today you have helped me to grow and remember the simple child that I once was. By riding Apache I felt a connection and rebirth of my native American ancestors and spirit.

Christina, US-Wisconsin (Christina is doing horseback jumping), 15.05.2001

This was a perfect way of spending four hours in beautiful scenery u… seeing Lake Arenal and the Pacific on a horseback. Nice to try a horse that is well taking care of and being in such great company as Sabine is. Thank you very much.

Anders, Denmark 21.05.2001

Sabine, thank you for a beautiful ride. Although it was n… and it was a really good experience. It seems that I’ll do part of my trip on a horse. I thank you for showing me this wonderful world. I am happy that I met you, Sabine. Best wishes.

Eli Zilberman, Israel 23.05.2001  

Der Ausrtitt war wunderschoen. Ich werde niemals Apache vergessen; weil ich Apache lieb hab. Es war wunderschoen, wie du uns durch Costa Rica gefuehrt hast. Ich werde dich und Shack (Jack) niemals vergessen. Ich freu mich, wenn ich wieder zu dir komme. Ich komm vielleicht in 3 bis 4 Jahren wieder.

Deine Lena (und Jan und Marion), Germany  

  Liebe Sabine, Jan und ich sassen zum ersten mal auf einem Pferderuecken und wir wussten nichts ueber diese Tiere und wie man mit ihnen umgeht. Doch du hast uns so einfuehlsam an diese Tiere herangeleitet, uns so viel ueber sie erzaehlt und gezeigt, dass es uns sehr viel Freude bereitete. Du zeigst, wie respektvoll und lieb du mit deinen Pferden umgehst als waeren es deine Kinder. Und glaube fast, das spuert man ein wenig, wenn man wie wir mehrere Tage mit deinen Pferden zu tun hat.


Fuer deine weitere Pferdezukunft wuensch ich dir viel Glueck und Erfolg!

Und wuensche dir und deinen Pferden, dass die Reitgaeste deine liebevolle Arbeit und die der Pferde zu schaetzen wissen bzw. erkennen.

Deine Marion (und Jan und Lena), Germany 13.05.2001

The horse ride was great. We went to the forest and went to Marvin’s house to drink a cup of tea and to see his horses and his other pets as well. The weather was good it was only a little windy and rainy. Marvin was a very good guide. He knew a lot about the surroundings here. We saw one Tucan and a lot of other birds. Sabine takes very good care of her horses, I can see that. They looked very well. It was the second time for my husband (horse riding) and he did some galloping as well. He rode very good.


Though it was only second time on a horse. I felt very confident with the horse. The galloping was exiting. My legs hurt a lot now but it is worth the pain. This was not the last time on a horse. I will do that more often.

Marcel, Netherlands 24.06.2001

Today a friend and I went with Sabine and her smiling horses on a four hour trail ride. It was worth every penny to see properly cared for animals and some amazing countryside. The ride was tailored to our skill level and we were given plenty of time to “lead the way”. The views from the ridgeline were very pretty and we were able to get very far away from the busy, dusty  roads. We even saw some sort of giant r… like animal. The horse were very willing and Sabine is a great guide.

Go if you have the chance and you will definitely enjoy it.

Hilary Garrison, North Carolina 2.07.2001  

It was a great trip, I was the friend (of Hilary Garrison),Sabine trusted us so much with her horses. She has wonderful horses and do not have broken spirits like most tourism horses. Great time! Thanks!

June Ginther, USA Ohio 2.07.2001

This is the second year I have brought students to study the ecological and biodiversity in Costa Rica. Sabine’s horse trips offer a great opportunity for my students and I to experience the “natural” Costa Rica, away from the busy towns. Her horses are well mannered and she and her guides are the perfect hosts. I highly recommend this tour even when you are not experienced with horses. The views and natural beauty of the surroundings countryside are breathtaking.

Gordon Massengill, North Carolina, Since Adventures 8.07.2001

Great time, great view, great horses, great time!! If you don’t do it you are missing out one of the best times in Costa Rica. Yes, it gave me a hard-on, you are stupid if you don’t do it!!

John and Ilhan, New Mexico, 2nd LT US Army , 14.07.2001

Dear Sabine, I feel doubly gifted to have met you last year as you were “conceiving” so much of what you have manifested now. And then to return this year and see the reality of what you have created in your life – love horse and that you are once more on the edge of creating new possibilities, new dreams.

Thank you for sharing your time, your horses, your smiles, your questions and your answers. I hope to see you again and when <I do I know I will have even more beauty and happiness in your life.

Kelly 22.07.2001  

Thanks so much for everything you’re offered! I really loved your horses, they made me really happy and relaxed. The hotel and the people were wonderful and I wish nothing but the best for you, the horses and the baby. I hope when I come back (next year?!?) I’ll get to meet your boy/girl?

Take care and good luck.

Lena D.  

Liebe Sabine, wuerden doch so gerne reiten… kaum Reitkenntnisse… kaum Sprachkenntnisse… kann das wohl gut gehen…??


  1. Sabines vertrauenserweckende Vorbereitung

  2. Sabines „smiling“ horses

  3. individuell zugeteilte Pferde

  4. Guide: Juaquin- nett und kompetent

  5. wunderschoene Landschaft

  6. ausgezeichnet organisiert

... ließen uns einen unvergeßlichen Tag in Santa Elena erleben.


Edith, Christine, Sonja (Austria), Jose (Holland) 31.07.2001  

Dear Sabine, thank you so much for your kindness towards myself and my family. We all loved our ride yesterday with Enrique. If it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have had as much fun as we did! His animals were amazing, his two monkeys were so cute and they were climbing all over us.

I would also like to make a personal thank you for taking me on the ride to drop your horses off at the other field only minutes after you had met me!   That has truly been the highlight of my vacation so far. Say hi to Apache for me, he was very fun to ride bare back.

Thank you again. Sincerely

Lauren Ratz

Cheyenne und ich sind Freunde geworden! Und ein Kindheitstraum ging in Erfuellung! Im Westernsattel durch die Highlands (wo auch immer), Freiheit spueren und genießen und einen warmen Pferdekoerper unterm Hintern. Ein ganz schoener eindrucksvoller Ritt mit Sabines Pferden, Phillie und Marvin hier oben in Costa Rica.

Lo mejor posible!

Endlich wieder das hoechste Glueck der Erde!

Vielen Dank, keep up the good spirit.

1000 happy smiles

Stephanie, Muenchen-Germany, 19.11.2001  

Ein wunderbarer Tag, ein wunderschoener Ausritt, eine nette Begleitung “Phillie” und wunderschoene Ausblicke ueber die Region Monteverde. Die Pferde voller Tatendrang, sie wollten „rasen“! man sieht, daß sie gut gehalten werden.

Vielen Dank an Phillie, fuer die ich ihre erste Tour war.

Pascale, Zuerich-Austria, 28.11.2001

As I had never been on a horse before, I was a bit apprehensive about riding one for the first time. After ½  an hour of talking to Sabine all of my nerves were settled. She assured me that the horses were well trained, friendly and caring- all of which were absolutely true. I showed up a little early to meet my horse “Cheyenne”. He was a little put off at first but quickly warmed up. Sabine could not join us herself due to the recent birth of her child, in her stead she sent her very able assistant Phillie.

The three hour ride was more than I could’ve imagined. Cheyenne was responsive to my commands, the countryside views were spectacular, making the ride feel more like 15 minutes than 3 hours. Although it was my first time I was able to trot and gallop both of which were a thrill, due to the guidance of Phillie.

If you are going to go horseback riding you must choose Sabine. She is warm and caring as are her horses. You will be a bit sore the next day but it’s a “good” sore, one that tells you’ve had a great experience.

Sam Borek, USA-Florida 19.12.2001

Liebe Sabine, Phillie, Apache, Cheyenne und das Porschepferd, es war wirklich mein aller aller schoenster Ausritt und nicht nur eure Pferde sind smiling, sondern auch ich werde mein Grinsen wahrscheinlich ein paar tage lang im Gesicht haben. Hach!

Auch fuer Robert, dem Anfaenger auf dem Pferderuecken, war es ein echtes Erlebnis. Er hat sich wunderbar auf Apache gehalten, auch als er einen schnelleren Gang eingelegt hat.

Vielen vielen Dank fuer diesen wunderschoenen Tag.

Julie und Robert, London-England, Silvestertag 2001

It was a spontaneous decision to go horseback riding on my part but the guide, Marvin, had the perfect trail planned for us. We rode Sabine’s wonderful horses through painfully beautiful tico country. We covered areas very few visitors have the opportunity to enjoy. No other tourist in sight made me almost feel I was in an “undiscovered” area. What a treat it was to exchange greetings with the locals sitting in front of, leaving and coming to their homes. We saw children smiling and playing and climbing trees. Despite my inexperience of horses, Sirena, my horse, was amazing to ride. I almost felt off but of my own stupidity but all else that followed was beautiful.

Breathtakingly beautiful! Amazingly free!

Debbie, New York-USA, 14.07.2001    

Date:           Sat, 5 Jan 2002 12:32:46 -0800

  Thank you Phillie (guide) for a wonderful ride!  Even Michele enjoyed it after

you adjusted her stirrups, and told everyone how much fun it was.

  should you, or Jack & family, ever decide to visit California, you are

all welcome to stay at our home.  We would be overjoyed to have you visit!

  Robert & Michele Olson

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 14:20:52 -0500

Sabine, Thank you so much for the photos and above all, for everything you did to make Clare's first solo horseriding experience such a great success. You know I was quite nervous about it at first, but you made it so easy for both of us, and she had a wonderful time. - Beth Fuget

"I love the horses - especially when they go fast!" - Clare Fuget, five years old, first-time rider

Sabine: Please forgive my long delay in writing you but I've been meaning to send you these comments for your guestbook, which I forgot to sign before we left. How are you doing? How's Tara? I looked at your website the other day and saw some more recent photos of her. She's getting big!

I also wanted to tell you that someone recently told me about a stable just outside of Managua which is supposed to be good - I remember you asked about that. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but will let you know when I do.

I'm not sure when we'll be able to come again but I hope it won't be too long.

abrazos, Beth

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