From Our Clients
“There are barns where you get on a horse, ride and go home. Then there’s Santa Barbara Stables where everyone knows your name and loves your horse almost as much as you do. I get on my horse and let the worries of the day fade away. For those moments in time I’m in paradise. Private trails, private arenas, and a top-notch trainer, I couldn’t want more. It’s my time to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Rebecca does everything she can to make sure I have the best ride and I am happy. She is like a happiness coach for my horse and me.”
— Lilly Tam
“Dedicated, safe, and professional, Rebecca Atwater always strives to make each lesson a constructive and positive experience. Her ability to take on different approaches in teaching means that I spend less time getting stuck, and more time improving my riding. This flexibility, coupled with the energy and passion Rebecca consistently brings to each lesson yields an environment where I can both learn effectively, and have fun. These same principles apply to her horsemanship - her attention to detail, patience, and most importantly, love and care of horses means that I rest easy knowing my horse is in good hands when I’m not there. Evidence of Rebecca’s skill in training horses is clear to me, as each time I get on my horse I notice him getting calmer, his movements smoother, and happier!”
— Craig Lau
“I have ridden and trained at many barns, and have had many wonderful experiences with each. However, none can compare to the atmosphere and stable that Rebecca has created at Santa Barbara Stables. You walk into the barn and immediately feel at peace. While also being excited to ride, knowing you will get off with a smile. This is all thanks to Rebecca. She keeps everyone’s needs in mind, and most importantly the horses, facilitating a harmonious place to learn and grow. I could not have asked for a better place and trainer to help me get back into shape, and fall back in love with riding. ”
— Ursula Nelson
“Rebecca is a super sweet and talented trainer. I know many ladies that have ridden with her and couldn’t say enough nice things about her and her horses, not to mention the beautiful facility!”
— Kelli Windsor-Vilchis
“Happy riders and of course happy horses are Rebecca’s main interests! She continues to build my confidence and improves my equestrian skills in show jumping. The lessons are challenging but we still have a lot of fun. Her positive energy and her excellent understanding for every horses needs makes Rebecca an excellent trainer for every rider and horse. Thanks to her, every lesson is special and after getting off the horse I am already looking forward to my next lesson. With three arenas, possibilities for trail rides, an ocean view, plenty of beautiful blooming flowers and fruit trees you just never want to leave the ranch.”
— Sarah Aurhammer
“Rebecca Atwater is a truly outstanding horsewoman and riding instructor. Whether you are a beginner, or someone who has been riding for years and looking to improve their standard of riding, her training and style of teaching is absolutely fantastic.
Rebecca’s love and passion for horses as well as her extensive knowledge for riding is apparent from the start. Having ridden both in America and Europe for many years, It was a relief to feel completely on the same page right from the start. Rebecca easily picked up some of the habits and techniques I was using from my training in England, and having trained in France herself for many years, she was able to help me make the adjustments I needed to improve the way I rode within the first few lessons alone.
Rebecca is clear upon arrival that safety comes first for both horse and rider, because of that, you really get a sense of calm, care and wellbeing as soon as you enter the barn. Apart from being a warm and friendly person herself, her positive nature and professionalism really sets the standard for the energy and overall experience at the stables, which has always felt very enjoyable, uplifting and the perfect environment for both horse and rider.
Rebecca really is a fantastic teacher, patient, encouraging and passionate about getting the best out of the horses and riders. I am so happy to have found this place and I highly recommend to anyone looking to fall in love with riding all over again.”
— Jade Hawkins
“Santa Barbara Stables gave me something I will always have: a love for horses. It started as an after school activity, then summer camp, and now my career. Right from the beginning I learned the importance of horsemanship. We took care of our own ponies, made their buckets after our lessons, and even at a young age learned to become all around horsemen, not just riders. As a professional I have started to teach more, and always have Rebecca’s strategy in the back of my mind. She made our learning environment so fun, safe, and positive. It is for that reason that I developed the confidence in my ability that led me to accomplish my goals, even the scarier ones. Thanks to her, I never believed that there was something that I couldn’t do.”
— Halie Robinson
“I had known ‘of’ and heard of Rebecca Atwater for years as a highly respected trainer and was so excited when the stars aligned and she had room for me in her program!
She found me the perfect horse and we are both in “a little slice of heaven” at Santa Barbara Stables. Rebecca truly is a horse whisperer and it shows as well as her ability to customize a program for each individual and above all to have fun! Thank you Rebecca!”
— Audrey Johnson
“Rebecca is like no other trainer I have worked with. One of the things I like the most about Rebecca is that she is a trainer of remarkable versatility. She is knowledgeable in show jumping, dressage, starting young horses and pleasure riding. She can go from teaching a young child to ride a horse for the very first time, to coaching an advanced rider over a course of jumps. Rebecca taught me to be a stronger rider by reverting back to the basics, focusing on mainly tedious dressage work, as well as tons of riding with “no irons”.
In addition to this, I applaud Rebecca’s ability to build trust and confidence with her riders. I have witnessed this while she was coaching myself, as well as many of her beginner riders. She does this by spending quality time with each client, making sure they are comfortable with their horse and their surroundings before getting in the saddle. I have enjoyed watching how she has transformed a once timid and inexperienced rider into one that is both confident in themselves and their horse.
Aside from her outstanding recognition in the horse world, I found riding with Rebecca to be therapeutic. She always has something positive and uplifting to say, whether it is about riding or life in general. Rebecca is my trainer, a mentor and of course a friend.”
— Niki Kalisch
“Rebecca is a rare find in the horse world. She has a deep knowledge of horses, riding and training, and puts the horse’s well-being and the rider’s safety first. The barn is a peaceful, zen place where riders connect with their horses, and the horses feel safe, loved and well cared for. As an instructor, Rebecca is encouraging, patient and has great instincts for what horse and rider need to progress. The riders and horses are happy at Santa Barbara Stables.”
— Kitty Bateman
“My experience training with Rebecca Atwater has always been a positive one since I started training with her in 2002. She has always been organized and professional in her training approach, while maintaining her positive and optimistic attitude.
Goals and horse show schedules are planned out at the beginning of the season, and under her training, horses and riders are well prepared to reach their goals. Lessons are structured so that they benefit the wellness and happiness of both horse and rider.
Her critique is always constructive, well explained, and positive. Horse shows are not stressful, since Rebecca explains to all her riders that horse shows provide learning experiences and that they are not about always winning the blue ribbon.
Rebecca spends equal amounts of time with all of her riders, ensuring that they receive the individualized attention and critique that they need. Rebecca is an amazing trainer and role model. She has supported, challenged, and given me the opportunity to be the best rider and horse owner that I could possibly be.”
— Hilary Langlois
“I have worked along side Rebecca Atwater over the past 17 years, and have had the privilege of witnessing her ability to train and instruct both horses and people with great success.
She is kind and fair and I was always amazed how she would keep her cool in even the most stressful situations. I have on more than one occasion looked to Rebecca for advise as I always knew I could count on her expertise. She is a great trainer as well as a great human being and I will give her my highest recommendations.”
— Nina Svele
“I had the opportunity to train with Rebecca when my mare was 4 years old. I believe it was in 1998 when she started to work with her. Green rider/green horse not the best match but from day one Rebecca was up for the challenge.
Rebecca and my horse Evita formed a wonderful bond and Rebecca was extremely patient and kind with her.
Throughout the years we went to earn may blue ribbons together and championships.
My horse had a tragic accident in 2009 and Rebecca was the one with her when she took her last breath. Words cannot describe the gratitude I have for Rebecca. I believe Rebecca would be an asset to any barn who is looking for a caring responsible trainer.”
— Coleen Fitzgerald