For the Spirit of Horses

For the Spirit of Horses

Castro Valley, CA

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About For the Spirit of Horses

hired 2 times on Thumbtack

Want to learn to ride a horse? Then the best place to start is on the ground...literally!

In the East Bay hills of Castro Valley, Hideaway Ranch is a peaceful setting to learn natural horsemanship and to better prepare you when it’s time to get into the saddle.

It’s really about teaching humans to be around horses. You may find out more about yourself along the way. A natural horsemanship approach will give you the strategies to build trust and respect, while staying safe and learning how to read the horse’s body language. This knowledge applies to any horse because it’s building a foundation for any discipline. Whether you like Western, English, or trail horseback riding, you will benefit from this approach.

Or maybe you already have a horse, but want to build on your existing relationship and enhance your partnership. If you are local, traveling to your barn is a possibility.

I am at Hideaway most days and times vary. Reasonable rates with a few horses that are at my disposal for lessons.

Come observe a lesson or two and see for yourself.


10397 Cull Canyon Road
Castro Valley, CA 94552

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  • 5/5 stars

    Anyone interested in equestrian riding lesson's or just curious about horses, should give Susan a call. Susan has a world of knowledge to share with you. She was able to help me understand how a horse thinks and learns, and help improve my riding. All while having fun!!!

  • 5/5 stars

    Whether you are a beginner with horses or an experienced rider, Susan can help you. She teaches natural horsemanship, which emphasizes the nature of the horse and the relationship between horse and rider. She is patient and non-judgmental and willing to answer any questions. In my own case, it had been many years since I had ridden and it was like a new world of horses was opened to me. With Susan’s help, I realized that working with horses, both on and off the saddle, could be both challenging and rewarding. They are beautiful, intelligence animals and deserve owners and riders who appreciate and understand them. Susan is a genuine resource and excellent teacher.

  • 5/5 stars

    I wanted to learn to ride and be more confident around horses. I wanted to find someone who has a natural approach to this and stumbled upon Susan's natural horsemanship lessons. So happy I did! I have learned so much in the past year. I am more confident, enjoy and look forward to each lesson. Great and fun way to safely introduce yourself to the awesome world of horses. Highly recommend checking out Susan's lessons.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan is just amazing. She helps me to see things from my horse's perspective which ultimately leads to breakthroughs. I've had my fair share of instructors in the Bay Area and many do not have the knowledge, nor sensitivity that Susan has. Others are downright not trustworthy. But Susan is one of the rare people I know I can trust 100%.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan is an outstanding instructor, she works with myself and my two horses, two different horsenalitilie, one is an extrovert and the other an introvert so there are different approaches to each horse. The lessons are always productive and I learn something new each lesson.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan is an excellent teacher!

    What I’ve found in Susan is not only a person that will teach me how to “ride” horses, but a person who has the knowledge to educate me about everything from what horses should and shouldn’t eat to how to work with each horse’s “horse-onality.”

    Susan has patiently taught me how to groom, tack, and work with a horse. She is patient and has a great sense of humor. Susan bases her training on “natural horsemanship.” Susan has a great sense for knowing when to push her students out of their comfort zone. She encourages her students to take notes after the lesson and welcomes questions that may come up after the student has had some time to think about the lesson. Even though I am brand new to horsemanship, Susan is able to work with individuals of all skills levels.

    I am very lucky to have found such a great teacher/mentor in Susan.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan Tambara is second to none when it comes to her commitment to helping humans develop wonderful partnerships with their horses. Susan's vast knowledge of Parelli Natural Horsemanship coupled with being such a gifted teacher enables her to help you accomplish things with your horse that you never thought possible before!

    I have know Susan for about 16 years and the lessons I've learned from her are invaluable! It is because of her that I discovered the wonderful world of natural horsemanship and all my dreams with my first horse came true. Were it not for Susan, I would have never known what a wonderful partnership I could have with my horse. Susan will keep you safe, she will teach you want you need to know, what you want to know, and what your horse wants you to know. Susan is an extraordinary human being and is one of the nicest people that you will never meet! If you have an opportunity to work with her, go for it!!!! I recommend her without hesitation!!!!

  • 5/5 stars

    I came to horseback riding rather late in my life, and at first I was a bit apprehensive around horses. But right from the start, Susan was able to create a such a sphere of peace and calm around us and the horse, that I was able to center myself and let myself be totally absorbed in the experience. Any uneasiness I might have felt just evaporated.

    This first impression of peace lasted throughout all the lessons I took with Susan. She was able to gradually, naturally introduce new elements in the riding / handling of the horse so that I felt each time comforted and elated at what I was able to accomplish. At the same time she challenged me just so to make it interesting, especially since I always felt safe in what she was asking me and the horse to do. I knew I could do it, and my confidence and enjoyment grew steadily.

    What I like about her approach also, is that she considers the horse and the rider as a whole, as a team moving together. Doing ground work with her is an eye-opener. With fun and creative exercises, Susan will point out all the little details that make you understand and feel closer to your horse. And what a thrill to experience that you can, at a distance, be "in sync" with your horse, running along together at liberty, but being connected nonetheless by that invisible thread that is the mark of a real, close relationship based on trust, understanding, and respect.

    If you are in the SF Bay Area, I would highly recommend that you check her out. I don't live there anymore, but if I did, I would go back to her. Why don't you give yourself a little break, especially if you feel stressed out? Take the time to be out in a beautiful natural environment, get close to these great animals and be helped by this special teacher, and it will make you forget about everything else, leaving you very relaxed, joyful, and revitalized.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan is an inspiring horsewoman. Working with Susan not only taught me about horses but about life. I met Susan at the very start of my horse journey. I took lessons at several Bay Area stables and felt something big was missing. I encountered either very snobby horse people with whips or cowboys with spurs and a show them who's the boss attitude. I knew there was a better way. I didn't want to use force or dominate a horse. Susan taught me horses are highly sensitive and deeply intuitive. I learned how to have a partnership based on mutual respect and being the kind of leader your horse wants to be around. Done right horses are a life changing experience and above all fun.....and Susan can show you how to get there! Thank you Susan, Lauren

  • 5/5 stars

    As a beginner just getting into horses I was looking for a place that would not just teach me to ride but also to be able to really understand the horse and know how to handle a horse safely and effectively both under saddle and on the ground. We talk about putting a good foundation on horses all the time, but we riders also need a good foundation and Susan really gave me a solid start in true horsemanship and how to cultivate a relationship between human and horse that is built upon developing a mutual trust, respect and understanding instead of fear. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone.

  • 5/5 stars

    I took lessons with Susan with my spooky Arab/Saddlebred cross gelding. When we first started lessons, I was as jumpy as my horse, so Susan had to work on getting us both to calm down and start acting sane! Slowly but surely, we both started gaining confidence and started to do more and more things. We went from me being scared to ride my own horse to jumping on him bareback with just a halter and bareback pad on him and a helmet on my head and riding around at a walk, trot, and canter all on my own. I don't think I would have gotten this far without her help, knowledge and support.

  • 5/5 stars

    I have been taking horse riding and horse training lessons with Susan Tambara for many years. She has helped me from being a beginner rider to now being the owner of two horses. Susan is always patient and good humored, no matter what I do! She stays current in studying riding and horse training and honing her own skills, which I think is very important. She knows just when to push me a little more, or when to give or my horse a break, and is always guided by what is best for the welfare of both horse and rider. I have been to other riding instructors before I found Susan. She is the one I am happy to stick with.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan gave me some bareback lessons a while ago which really helped me with my balance in riding. She is very patient and works with you on what you feel comfortable with. I have taken lessons from other instructors who are ultra critical of every little insignificant detail about where your hands and feet are exactly placed at all times to the point where it takes the joy out of riding. Susan's lessons helped me to enjoy riding even more than before.

  • 5/5 stars

    Susan is a fantastic teacher. My goal was to not be afraid of horses. Who would have thought that after 6 weeks I would be walking out to the pasture get my horse and have the horse follow me!! . Walking out in confidence and ease. Susan was responsible for that transformation. The method she teaches is so natural and intuitive Thank you Susan for changing my life. Vicki

  • 5/5 stars

    I had always wanted to learn to take horseback riding lessons but as I got older I felt that maybe it was too late. Then I found Susan. When I had started I had never been on a horse. Her Natural Horsemanship method of teaching gave me a wonderful foundation and made me very comfortable around horses because I learned how they think and how they may respond.
    Susan, is a wonderful, patient instructor and I highly recommend her.

  • 5/5 stars

    I've been riding horses all my life, but Susan's teaching has brought me to a whole new level of skill, confidence, and understanding. She also helped me through my fears after a bad accident trail riding (somewhere else). If you've always loved horses, this is the place for you! She inspired me so much - I fulfilled my lifelong dream and bought my own horse.

  • 5/5 stars

    I have been taking horsemanship lessons with Susan for nearly three years and, in that time, I have improved my riding skills and my confidence working around horses immensely. She's an extraordinarily patient teacher and I value her natural approach above other forms of riding I have tried before. At the ranch where she teaches, Susan has access to a large covered arena, a large outdoor arena, round pen, and trails... plus, with any number of horses to choose from, you are guaranteed to find a good fit for whatever your horse riding goals are.

    I recommend her natural approach without hesitation. Try it... I think you'll like it!

  • 5/5 stars

    I wanted to learn how to ride horses with confidence after always feeling as though the horse was in charge of the ride instead of me. I have gotten that and so much more in my lessons with Susan. I have gained a deeper understanding of horses and what they respond to and have gotten in better shape physically in order to be a better rider.

    Susan is an excellent instructor/coach who paces lessons according to individual needs (i.e. very patient) and who emphasizes learning by doing and then by practicing. Natural Horsemanship is a training method (for people and horses) that values nature, individuality, respect, and fun in a safe and caring environment.

    Best of all, I have gained friends who share my interests and a quarterhorse who enjoys going out on a trail ride or just hanging out and grazing. I never imagined that my interest in taking lessons would lead to this, but it has added depth and so much enjoyment to my life.

    Come on out and watch a lesson or two to see if this makes sense for you!

  • 5/5 stars

    I've been Susan Tambara's student for many years and her knowledge and help with my two horses has been invaluable. She teaches Natural Horsemanship and the changes that happen for both horse and rider are amazing. I can't recommend her highly enough! She not only teaches you quite a lot in each lesson, but you have fun while you're learning, which isn't always something you can say in the equine world! Definitely check her out for both riding and groundwork lessons!

Question and answer

Q. What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

A. Watching DVDs, going to clinics if schedules allow and reading or researching the current goings-on.

Q. How did you get started doing this type of work?

A. Always have loved horses. Started helping out my instructor at the time part time along with another full time job. Then an opportunity came up to go full time so I took it.

Q. What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?

A. Come observe a lesson or two. Talk to the existing students and the instructor.

Q. What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?

A. It's a passion, not just a hobby.

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