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From your first lesson or clinic, you’ll not only see that we genuinely care about our clients and their animals, but you’ll also see why our clients have given us such thoughtful and raving reviews.  Call us to setup an appointment to meet with Kathe or you can check out our calendar to check for availability for one of our upcoming clinics and scheduled lessons.

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Kathe Smothers of Quiet Mind Horsemanship is one of the most gifted people I know when it comes to horses.

Kathe’s deep & compassionate understanding of horses is a true blessing.   In my on going lessons, Kathe has brought horses back to me in a way I never knew possible .  I have learned to have a connection with my horse based on mutual respect and trust.

The first time I saw Kathe work with a wild horse I was completely amazed at the entire process of gentling.  How the horse actually wanted to be touched and to connect. I wasn’t really sure at the time what was happening, this amazing dance between horse and human but what I did know was that whatever that was I just witnessed I wanted to know it!!    I always look forward to participating in riding clinics and enjoy the ease in which Kathe conducts her classes .

I am forever grateful that Quiet Mind Horsemanship came into my life!


I admire Kathe’s ability to get positive and lasting results for both the rider and horse no matter what level of training you endeavor to complete.

—Cathy Haun

By a stroke of good fortune, I found Kathe on the Internet when I was looking for someone to teach me about horses in a way that is respectful and compassionate for the horse.  I did a search for “Natural Horsemanship Training” and luckily for me, I found Kathe’s website.  I called Kathe and explained what I had in mind:  I wanted to get to know horses in humane and respectful way.  For me, horse training isn’t just about learning how to “ride a horse.”  It’s about having a great relationship with the horse, one that is built on understanding, love and respect.

Kathe listened to me carefully and explained her training methodology, which is all about treating the horse with respect, dignity and a deep understanding of their nature.  I set an appointment for Kathe’s “horse whisperer” training for the very next day.  Visiting Kathe and her wild mustangs in Anza was such a thrill!  I live near Pasadena, California, and I felt invigorated when I reached the spacious, desert landscape, a perfect place to experience the beautiful wild mustangs that Kathe and her husband, Lynn, have on their peaceful ranch.  If you haven’t hung out with horses in the desert, I highly recommend it!  It feels so natural and right.

I soaked up every minute of Kathe’s instruction.  She taught me how horses relate to each other and to humans, and how to handle horses in a way that works best for horse and human!  Every time I’m with Kathe and the mustangs, I feel as though I’ve stepped into the truth and magic that Kathe experiences every day with her horse friends.  I’m so glad I started my horse training with someone who possesses such an extraordinary skill with horses in every sense.  But most of all, I’m glad I met Kathe Smothers, a strong, wise woman who has a huge heart for animals, especially horses!

—Suzy Bennitt

I was looking to strengthen my connection with my horses and to be able to enjoy riding more and to have horses that are responsive, happy, focused, and healthy. I found Kathe through a personal recommendation from my hoof care professional and have been enjoying training with her immensely, on a regular basis. The successes I continue to gain with my horses are incredible, and I feel empowered with Kathe’s teachings and techniques. Kathe has taught me to be safe and assertive using a kind approach, and to teach my horses about boundaries in a respectful way. She has taught me how to show my horses to use their bodies properly in order to have better conformation, and so that they can remain sound and healthy. My riding form and function have greatly improved and my confidence is soaring. I feel that Kathe’s training has helped me become happier, physically and emotionally, and the tools she is giving me are invaluable in bonding with my horses. My horses and I are much happier and our connection has definitely improved and continues to grow. I consider Kathe to be an excellent trainer with a wealth of knowledge, a wonderful source of support and she is my mentor. I will always continue to train with Kathe as she has worked wonders for my horses and for me!

—Lynn Marie

“A horse comes into our life for a reason,” Kathe Smothers told me soon after meeting me and my troubled seven-year-old Morgan mare, Choteau. “They each have something to teach us.” In my case, the lesson was courage, and it was a lesson that both my horse and I needed to learn. I was a fifty-eight-year-old novice rider with a “hot” horse. (Choteau had been grossly mishandled by an insensitive owner/trainer for the first six years of her life.) Thanks to Kathe, I did not give up and try to find an “easier” horse. Today, Choteau and I are a team, and my lifelong dream of riding the trails on my very own horse has come true. Thanks, Kathe!

—Gayle Marie of Ojai, CA

As a brand new rider, I adopted Oskar, a neglected and troubled horse. It was a risky, if not foolish thing to do. But Kathe offered to train the both us, and I am thrilled to say that we are doing great. Kathe was the definitely the key to our success.
What distiguishes Kathe as an instructor is her ability to perceive a rider wholistically and tailor her lessons accordingly. Depending on a student’s needs, she might give instruction on technical riding skills, or emotional support to develop self-confidence, or natural horsemanship theory to improve understanding. She does it all with humor and great kindness. Her group classes have a devoted following because of the supportive but challenging environment she creates for riders at all different skill levels.

Kathe’s training has been a priceless gift to me. I had no idea how rewarding it could be to have a connection to a horse, and I am deeply grateful to Kathe for showing me the way.

—Marcy Maxwell of Ventura, California

Two years ago, a little shy of my 61st birthday, I decided I wanted to learn to ride. After searching the Ojai Valley for an instructor I found Kathe. The only thing I knew about horses was that I liked them; I had never ridden before and as I quickly learned didn’t even possess the basic skill of lifting myself into the saddle. Kathe never blinked, she set about teaming me with the right horse and teaching me not just to ride but to understand and be responsible for my horse’s behavior.

“Confidence is knowing you are prepared”. Just one of Kathe’s core values that not only translates into my daily life but has made it possible for me to keep myself and my horse safe and moving forward. Horses are a gift in my life that Kathe has made possible. Today, not only am I riding safely, I have an adopted Mustang and a group of friends that are invaluable to me.

Thanks to Kathe I look forward to a retirement of continued learning and joy with my friends and the horses. Thanks Kathe!

—Lyn Luxmore of Ojai, Ca

Five years ago I adopted a five year old Arabian mare. She was a troubled, neglected and a depressed little horse. After working with her for six months, and before I ever got on her back, I was becoming frustrated and ready to give up. Then I hooked up with Kathe who quickly taught me not to get rid of the horse but how to solve the problems – both mine and the horse’s. With Kathe’s help, it didn’t take long to understand my mare’s needs and to learn how to gain my horse’s trust. I’ve worked with Kathe and my horse, Getta, now for four years and although she still has her little moments she’s a happy little horse. Thanks to Kathe, both me and Getta have both leaned to listen to one and other and enjoy the ride.

—Ron Price of Ojai, CA

I’ll admit that my opinion may be sem-biased, as Kathe is my mom. However, I’ll also admit that back in High School I thought I knew everything I needed to know about riding. Once Kathe started giving me pointers I realized how wrong I was. Nowadays I don’t get to ride, but once every few years.

The last time I went riding was the day after Thanksgiving 2009. It had been about 5 or 6 years since my previous ride, so I definitely needed a refresher course (which Mom insisted on). She gave me a quick refresher course and also worked with me throughout the 3 hour trail ride we took. I was actually worried that the assistance was going to ruin my enjoyment of the ride, but safety is more important so I went along with it. As it turned out, I enjoyed the entire ride and learned some new things on top of the quick refresher course. I’m thankful and lucky to have a mother that can give me this guidance. I love riding, and will definitely have to start riding much more often. Thanks mom.

—Kevin Smothers of Las Vegas, NV

I decided to take horseback riding lessons a little over a year ago, at the age of 57. I “shopped around” for a good teacher for a couple of months and thankfully finally found Kathe. She’s an amazing teacher. She has a rare gift for understanding how different people and different horses learn and for finding the teaching approach that best works for each individual. She creates an environment where through her guidance and perception, we each have the opportunity to become the best we can be.

I can’t begin to express how much this experience has brought to my life over the past year: the joy of really communicating with a horse…not just riding a horse; the fulfillment that comes from facing and overcoming obstacles and fears; the insight I’ve gained about my own behavior and approach to life; and the friendships and support I’ve found with my fellow students. Kathe, thank you so much!

—Linda Silbert of Oak View, CA

I’ve seen Kathe work with horses with all types of personalities and behavioral issues. Her skills and her deep compassion for each horse allow her to bring out the best in each individual. Kathe sees each of her horses and human students through to completion—she takes seriously the responsibility of creating good communication between each horse and their human rider/owner—with the goal of forming a great partnership and mutual respect between them. The horses she has trained are a pleasure to ride and to work with.

—Patty Cho-Zahorecz, DVM of Prescott, Arizona

When I retired, my show jumper retired with me. Unfortunately as good as he had been in the show ring, in retirement he did not become the pleasure horse I wanted and expected. Instead of daily relaxing rides we had fight after fight for who was in control. He tested me every day, and tried to intimidate frequently. Just when I was about to give up, Kathe came to our barn and gave a clinic. The change in Sterling and the change in myself was amazing. I learned to listen to my horse and he learned to listen to me–and we both listened to Kathe! I am so grateful.

—Barbara Forenti of The Sea Ranch, CA