Our Team

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



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.



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.


We do accept volunteers for longer stays of at least a month. Please email us for more info at info@sundanceranchportugal.com and tell us a little about yourself (a bit of horse experience is of advantage obviously). You should know that we do plan these stays many months ahead of time and very rarely have space to take in volunteers spontaneously. More importantly, we like to get to know you personally first, so taking a course with us is the one best first step to be able to become a volunteer for a longer stay.