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“Private horseback ride with unparalled views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sabine's Smiling Horses

Sabine's Smiling Horses
1 km oeste del cementerio de Sta. Elena | follow road sign from cemetary to us, Costa Rica
+506 8385 2424
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sabine who speaks English, French, Spanish and German and offers a variety of horse treks, from $ 22 US per hour to day trips to specialty tours including a Full Moon Ride. Several multi-day treks are also on offer. Sabine's Smiling Horses is a true destination in Costa Rica.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Private horseback ride with unparalled views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

We got lucky, had one day left in Costa Rica and no plans. We called Sabine at the last minute to see if she had any openings and the next morning we were horseback riding, just the two of us, and our guide for a 3hr tour including a water fall. Stunning views. Well trained horses and a very kind guide. Wish we would have known more Spanish to interact. Be prepared for a sore butt. It was worth it though. Very private experience, unlikely to be replicated.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TreeTopHouseCostaRic, Owner at Sabine's Smiling Horses, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Yes you were lucky to get a private tour last minute... We enjoyed very much having you here at our stable and are happy you had such great views.
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    96
    17
    2
    1
    2
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Waterloo, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“great mountain ride and private lessons!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

Our family went for a 2 hour ride in February, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sabine takes good care of her horses, and Alonso, our guide, was attentive, full of smiles, and kind. We loved the view from the top of the hill! The pace was perfect for beginning riders.
We had the opportunity to return to Monteverde this past week, and our daughters (age 7 and 10) went on a ride with their my mother. My mother, who had riding experience, wanted to ride a bit faster (as did the girls), and Alonso was very accommodating in getting the horses to speed up at various points. It was a wonderful ride!
Sabine even accommodated my daughters' wish to learn more about horses. She gave them 3 private lessons during the week, and they loved it. It's obvious that the horses respond well to Sabine - and our daughters did too! It was amazing to see how well they were riding, and how comfortable they were with their horses, after this short time. Thank you, Sabine! We'd love to return!

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TreeTopHouseCostaRic, Owner at Sabine's Smiling Horses, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
We would love to have you back here to ride one day. In fact I would love to teach your girls every week. It was amazing to see their skills improve by their interest in horses. I enjoyed them so much that I will remember these special moments for a long time to come. I am glad to hear that you and them enjoyed their time as well.
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Neenah, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Enjoyed the views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

The views were great, but I don't know that I would do this again. I felt bad for the horses walking the entire time on steep grades on large stone paths. The two guides were nice -- an English speaking volunteer and a Spanish speaking gentleman who was really nice. I was with a couple with a 2 year old, and while the young girl was incredibly brave and well-behaved, we did ride much slower than I had expected. The two guides did allow me to go a little faster once in awhile. The best part -- the views at the top!

Visited March 2014
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TreeTopHouseCostaRic, Owner at Sabine's Smiling Horses, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Sorry you felt bad for the horses. There is no need to. These horses grow up here in the mountains and run already as babies up and down the fields and have fun doing that. You are right, this terrain isn't for every breed but for Criollos it is their home. They are amongst the most resistant horse breeds amongst horses like Mustangs and Arabians on the planet.
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Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Stunning views, happy, well kept horses, good service and the smell of Monte Verde”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

In Santa Elena, Monte Verde, taking in the sights from horseback is a must: Breathing the smell of the mountains, the wind, the sun and the rain from a horse brings you into that unique Costa Rican equestrian culture. Rides from ‘Sabines Smiling Horses’ pass through little villages and by local farms, coffee and banana plantations. All offers a unique glimpse of local life. During the rides you are surrounded by those magnificent Monte Verde Mountains. You will also take in superb views of the Nicoya Peninsula; scenes of ocean and mountains meeting the coast. The terrain is varied, and the well trained horses take steep passages with confidence. You may just stop for a break at a local coffee shop. Here you can drink coffee brewed on locally grown beans (perhaps Sabines own) and delicious fresh fruit punches. The highlight is numerous humming-birds of different species that flutter and fly to and fro on the outside terrace.
The more experience you have - and the longer you go - the better it gets.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TreeTopHouseCostaRic, Owner at Sabine's Smiling Horses, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
This is the ideal, you truly got what we want to pass on to all of our guests at Smiling Horses. The sunny and the rainy, the wet and the dry, this is what the magical Monteverde Cloud Forest is about. We hope that everyone who goes through our stable perceives the experience on our horses the way you did... We would love to have you back Katinka
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Oakland, California
1 review
“Highly recommend!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014 via mobile

I guess it was a slow morning...We got lucky and basically got a private tour. Initially I was a bit nervous about a 3 hour waterfall ride since I've never been on a horse but it turned out to be one of my best experiences. Though I didn't see a monkey and had a sore bum, I highly recommend it! Our guide was awesome, and the coffee at the "pit stop" was fantastic along with the view.

Visited February 2014
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TreeTopHouseCostaRic, Owner at Sabine's Smiling Horses, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Thank you for riding with us. We are specialized in going with few people at the time to make our riding guests a higher quality of riding experience and we can individually fulfill the wishes of our riders with different levels of experience. We are glad you enjoyed the waterfall ride.
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