Our Team

A small, dedicated team takes care of our horses and our guests.
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SANDRA

Sandra was born in Germany, where she started riding at six and moved to Portugal thirty years ago. She brings almost fifty years of horse experience to the table, with a diversity of qualifications, from Monty Roberts to JCD Riding Academy. Sandra regularly brushes up her riding skills at the Triple-D-Ranch, Germany, and for the last five years has been studying Freedom Based Training with Elsa Sinclair. Her three big passions are practicing Freedom Based Training, riding her mule and teaching everything she knows to her guests.

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LIESBETH

Born in Belgium, Liesbeth rode for five years from the age of nine. She then took a big break training and working as an illustrator, finally coming back to horses at the age of 26. She then got her mare Maggie and took a horsemanship instructors course before joining us at Sundance, where she helps Sandra with teaching and Lysette with horses in training. She prefers just being with horses and helping them live a balanced happy life using good horsemanship over competitions. Her favorite things are her mare Maggie and her dog Freckles!

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NINA

Since her childhood a rider, Nina worked for an English stable in the Algarve when she first moved to Portugal. After her move to Alentejo, she discovered Sundance Ranch and how happy and relaxed riding horses can be. Since she lives close to the ranch, she often helps guests arrive at the ranch and she also helps with trail rides and lessons. Her strength is her patience and soft hand when teaching new things to our horses. Other than horses, her heart beats for cats, cake and comics.

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LYSETTE

Lysette was born in the UK where she started riding at seven and moved to Portugal in 2020. She has 25 years of experience working with horses in thoroughbred racing, endurance racing, reining, show jumping and dressage. She developed a niche working with problem horses and helping clients with their horses in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Greece and the USA before settling in Portugal, where she starts all of our horses as well as outside horses. Her three big loves are dogs, chocolate and her personal horses Bruno and Branco.

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JOÃO

Born in the Alentejo, João grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where he did an apprenticeship as a horse caretaker. In Portugal, he worked as a riding instructor for three years in Sandra’s riding school near Lisbon. Since 2011, he has been the heart and soul of her ranch, taking care of the horses since the first day, building fences, making hay and much more.

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TATIANA

Tatiana takes care of cooking, cleaning and shopping. Like her husband João, she is also from the Alentejo: She really enjoys cooking vegetarian food but also hearty regional fare. Of course she can adapt the food to specific dietary needs. Every day we look forward to her varied, colorful, healthy and tasty lunch, such as the chickpea falafel with oven-roasted vegetables you see her with in the photo. For our breakfast and dinner, she fills our refrigerator with anything our guests would enjoy.