About Us

Sundance Ranch is located on fifty hectares near the town of Odemira in the Alentejo Region in South-West Portugal. This area of the country is known for its untouched nature and proximity to the wild beaches of the Atlantic coast.

We are dedicated to teaching week-long courses in Western Riding and Natural Horsemanship, in order to promote horse-friendly riding and a natural way of keeping and handling horses. Trust and respect are the cornerstones for this way of being with horses.

Riding Courses

Courses are offered in spring and fall when the weather conditions in Portugal are perfect for outdoor activity.  Typical activities include groundwork, riding lessons and rides into nature at a walk. Our guests experience the courses as a life-changing event, which touches emotions about the horse and oneself in a lasting way:

“As if I was blind and now I can see.” Claudia, December 2017

Our philosophy is based on the principles of Natural Horsemanship, with a special emphasis on Freedom Based Training, inspired by Elsa Sinclair. When the horse is free to decide if it wants to be with us or not, we really have to try hard to fullfill the need for connection in us and the horse.

Our Philosophy

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man” - Winston Churchill

But being around humans is not always easy for the horse, which is a prey animal. So we have the obligation to learn to communicate with our equine partners in a non-threatening, responsible way.

“A horse without a rider is still a horse, while a rider without a horse is just a person.” Horses were not created to be ridden. If we want them to have long and happy lives, we need to make sure that we do our best to keep them physically fit. This does not just mean veterinary care, but rather as much free time on the pasture as possible and good riding to keep the horse fit.

Since 2011, we have been working to create a space for horses and people to live in harmony on our beautiful piece of land on the South-Western coast of Portugal. Our herd is a mixed group in terms of age and sex and they live outside all day every day, drinking from the river, grazing and generally behaving in a natural way.

For our human guests, we try to provide a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, because we believe that only a relaxed mind can learn. The unspoiled nature around the ranch, the comfortable guest house and our attentive staff help make our guests feel at ease. And once people and horses are equally at ease, Sandra can do what she does best and show you how wonderful it feels to be truly in harmony with your horse.