I came to Cassie for riding lessons but what I received was so much more! I had little to no experience with horses when I started and was overwhelmed with everything I needed to learn. Cassie is kind, patient, and extremely knowledgeable. She answered my hundreds of questions and always treated me with respect. I felt she was invested in my success and helped me identify and meet my goals. Her facility is inviting and her horses are well cared for, expertly trained, and a pleasure to be around. I always felt I had 100% of Cassie’s attention which created a safe and supportive learning environment. Lessons are challenging and her techniques are effective. I leave every session feeling more confident and excited to move forward. Her passion for horses is contagious and I am lucky to have found such a versatile trainer!
Honestly, I can't say enough about the lessons I'm receiving at South Mountain Horsemanship. After searching for someone to teach me the correct way to ride, and being disappointed by trainers who didn't show up, or going to facilities that were dirty and didn't seem to take care of their horses, I found Cassandra and her facility. She is a true horsewoman, who knows her stuff, and knows how to convey what she knows to her students in a calm, caring manner. If you get the instruction, she is quick to praise you, if you aren't getting it, she gives you a different perspective, and for those of us who need visuals, she will get on the horse and demonstrate. She is totally committed to teaching you horsemanship skills. Additionally, she is equally good to her horses and treats them like the intelligent animals they are. She is always calm and caring with them and helps the student understand what the horse is experiencing while they are saddling up and riding. I am very pleased with this facility and will keep coming back.
Cassandra changed everything about riding for me.
I have tried to take lessons 5 different times over the course of 30 years, and never found what I was looking for, never progressed, never felt any closer to my goals…until I met Cassandra. From the very first lesson, she was able to facilitate a connection between me and the horses that no one had been able to help me with. She has helped me develop confidence, assertiveness, and horsemanship skills that have always been right out of my grasp.
She has an intuitiveness that allows her to pinpoint exactly where the hiccup is with each different skill, and she does it in a way that makes it feel like a Huge victory every time I finally “get” something that was causing me frustration!
She also has taken the time to teach me all about the details of caring for a horse outside the arena. She is talented and extremely professional. You can see that she loves what she does, has NO ego, and she wants to teach you what YOU want to learn…whatever that is, and wherever you are in that process.
I will forever be grateful for the gift that Cassandra has given me, to be able to truly enjoy the process of riding and improving and spending time with horses.
Thank you so much for my lesson Cassandra! I had the most amazing time and it felt great to get back on a horse again. Your facility and horses are just beautiful!! Looking forward to my next time out there!
- Rachel Hulpke
Cassandra is amazing. She teaches the true fundamentals to riding. She treats her horses with true respect and in return her horses respect and do what she asks of them. I am always amazed how much I get out of an hour lesson with her. She is passionate about what she does and is an amazing person all the way through. I would recommend her to beginners all the way through advanced riders!
- Jenna Pfeiff
What I received from cassandra and her horses is absolutely amazing not only is she a awesome teacher but she is a honest down to earth wonderful young lady who truly cares for both horses and her students, I can't say enough about her as a teacher, and her horses I can see why are such wonderful animals themselves she puts so much hard work Into the business she has and it truly shows if it wasn't for a personal hit I took a couple weeks ago I would be with her program for the rest of my life but definitly will I be back when I get bck on my feet.
- Kristie Haray
I can't say enough wonderful things about Cassandra and her amazing lesson horses! Her lessons are challenging, diverse and always fun. And today she helped me with my new mare. Can't wait to try out all my new found horse knowledge and tools. Thanks Cassandra!
- Laura Schaack
I highly recommend South Mountain School of Horsemanship! Cassie is simply wonderful as a horsemanship teacher. Her unending patience puts the novice rider, like myself, completely at ease. She doesnt just instruct me in what to do, but also why I'm doing it and how it affects the horse. I am constantly impressed by the depth and level of her knowledge in all aspects of horsemanship. A big plus for me is that she always includes proper grooming and saddling techniques in her lessons. It's a rarity to take a class where you learn so much and yet have such a good time that you don't want it to end! Cassie makes learning fun, fun, fun!
- Diane Flynn
Cassandra is amazing! I just finished Horsemanship I and I learned so much, I will continue to grow and learn with Cassandra. I can't stop bragging about South Mountain School of Horsemanship! I have found my forever barn!!!
- Michelle Mutert
I've been riding at SMSH for just under a year and there are not enough words to one, express how far I've come as a rider and two, how well Cassandra runs this school. She is incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and well organized. She provides all the tools needed to learn how to understand and care for horses and in turn, become a confident rider. If you're serious about riding and horsemanship, this is the place for you!
- Caitlin Fine
Just finished Horsemanship I and will begin H2 next week. The school is well organized, professional, and Cassandra is an impressive business owner. She is respectful of all of her students & the horses, and she places the utmost importance on first teaching the fundamentals of horses, tack and safety before ever getting on to ride. This is exactly what I've been looking for, and I am excited to move on to the next class. The environment is comfortable, and the school is surrounded by one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the southern valley--especially at sunset! If you are thinking about ultimately owning horses, or you just want to ride, this is THE place to start.
- Susan Macaluso
As a beginner to horsemanship and riding, I had no idea what to expect or how to choose an instructor. All I can say is that I am so happy and elated that I found Cassandra and her beautiful horses. In just a few short months, Cassandra has taught me more about riding and the care of horses, then I could have ever imagined. Cassandra has such a great attitude, encouraging spirit and her love of horses and teaching others shines through. I not only learn and experience what I need to know, but have so much "fun" and gain more "confidence" at each lesson. From day one Cassandra "inspires you". Cassandra has such a well-rounded and exciting program. One other bonus it meeting the other students, as well, who are all so kind and welcoming. Thanks, Cassandra for your patience and smile!
- Cathy Italia
Cassandra is an extremely knowledgeable trainer. She is friendly and patient, and works hard to make sure her students are learning all that they can. I particularly like how she uses natural horsemanship methods, and does not push competition or showing, allowing the lessons to be about having fun and truly learning about the fundamentals of horsemanship. Cassandra has helped me grow as an equestrian more than any other trainer! She has helped me get over lots of confidence issues, and feel more comfortable on the ground and in the saddle. Cassandra's horses are very well-cared for, and are valued members of her family...not just money makers! I would recommend SMSH to anyone from beginners to seasoned riders looking to refine their skills or try something new.
- Lauren Hyre
We started with semi-private mother/daughter lessons and then progressed to group lessons for our respective levels and have had just the best experience! Cassandra is fantastic - her ability to not only adapt lessons to the age and skill level but also to the individual is truly amazing. Whether your first time on a horse, expert rider looking to fine tune some skills or anywhere in between, SMSH is the place to go!!
- Karen Callahan
Cassie has been nothing short of a phenomenal instructor. I have always wanted to learn how to ride horses, and her patience and clarity are helping me get there. I am so grateful I found South Mountain School of Horsemanship.
- Sarah Purcell
South Mountain School of Horsemanship is the best. Cassandra and her herd of amazing horses have taught me so much and my horsemanship skills have increased exponentially since joining last year. Cassandra is patient, friendly and so knowledgeable; she is a wonderful trainer. I've ridden at other barns, but this place is just so special, definitely the best riding experience I've ever had.
- Andria Cerrone
I absolutely loved my time at South Mountain School of Horsemanship! I learned so much about riding and taking care of horses, much more so than any other stable I've ridden at! Cassandra is an amazing coach who is always encouraging. Definitely recommend this place!!
- Lisa Lyons
Best horses, school, and trail rides in the valley! Cassandra Smith is a master teacher and guide. Besides lessons, I highly recommend the South Mountain "adventure" trail ride. Our group of four uniquely experienced the beauty of Arizona's desert—with a spectacular sunset and coyote posing by the cactus as a bonus. Thank you Cassie for facilitating this extraordinary opportunity!
- Pegge Vissicaro
I've learned more from Cassandra about horsemanship, training and riding in my 2 and a half years of taking lessons with her than I have from 13+ years of lessons past. She's got a special gift for horsemanship and truly enjoys teaching others not just how to ride but about the trade in general which is so unique to find! I always learn something!
- Kayla Tarantino
Cassandra is a great teacher. She is super patient and understanding while still knowing when to push her students so we ride our best. Her teaching style allows for us to learn a specific skill and then apply the knowledge in a game or activity and the lessons are always fun. Cant say enough good things about taking lessons here!
- Lily Walsh
Words cannot fully express how much I love and appreciate Cassandra and South Mountain School of Horsemanship. The horses are lovable and full of personality, the lessons leave you feeling confident and uplifted as a rider, and Cassandra has such knowledge and patience that her students become not only better riders, but better horse owners. It's the best kind of place for a horse lover to grow. Did I mention that I love this place yet???? 10 out of 10 would recommend!
- Jessica Boyer
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