Client Reviews

There is no better way to describe the special atmosphere at Horse Haven at Bear Creek than to hear it straight from the horse’s (or human’s)mouth.

However, since we haven’t  yet perfected the equine-voice-interpreter in order to get direct quotes from our four-legged friends, we will have to rely on their owners and caregivers to dish the scoop.


Kathryn & Hobbit

My daughter, Kathryn, and I have been taking lessons from Robyn for four years in July. She helped each of us acquire our own horse partner. Robyn teaches great leadership skills, applicable to all parts of life, as well as how to focus and balance. We’ve been at Horse Haven at Bear Creek since it opened and it is absolutely the cleanest, most well maintained place we’ve ever boarded. Great people.

Susan Equestrian


Mary & Blue

Since moving to Horse Haven at Bear Creek, I feel that both my horse and I have the best world possible for us in this area! We have the best trainer in Robyn Smith who has helped us and continues to help us to have the best of partnership’s. Horse Haven at Bear Creek had taken the time to get the best talent possible to make sure that Blue is Safe and Happy with the best of care! We couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to count ourselves as one of the privileged to be able to have a great trainer and a great stable family to be a part of!

Mary Equestrian

My favorite day of the week is going to Horse Haven‎ – ‎ 4/5/10  by, Karen H.

I started riding a couple years ago at 40, I love animals but have always had a little fear of horses so I tried a few lesson stables in the area, and let me tell you, Horse Haven is the best there is! Robyn and her staff are wonderful and so knowledgeable. Robyn’s love, knowledge and deep respect for the horses was what I was looking for. She has never made her students feel awk ward or inadequate no matter what our skill levels are. She offers a deep wealth of Natural Horsemanship knowledge and beyond. The staff is always ready to help, and the stables and arena are so beautiful and always kept spotless. I have grown to know and love some of the horses there with their unique personalities. (My faves are Sugar and Sammy) I highly recommend Horse Haven to anyone at any level!
by ponygirl12354


Having lost self-confidence after being thrown from a horse and sustaining injuries, finding Robyn Smith as a trainer has been the most healing and informative experience. She understands the horse-human relationship deeply and translates this in her teaching/coaching which produces graceful, healthy and aware riding in both horse and rider- the latter especially. I highly recommend her for training in dressage or all-around training if you are serious about horses and becoming the best horseperson you can be.

Review of Horse Haven at Bear Creek, March 28, 2010

This is a Gem of a Place!  Lyn H. (Seattle)

This is a gem in on the outskirts of Seattle!  It is clean, the people are nice , the horses are wonderful!  It is all around a great place to learn to ride and be with horses!  Robyn and her crew treat the horses with respect and care and they pass this on from the beginning.  Each and every person is committed to making the relationship between animal and human a positive experience.
I recommend HHABC to anyone who wants to experience horses and learn their language – it is fabulous!

“Much more positive than I expected”      AnnD

Review of Horse Haven at Bear Creek, March 27, 2010

I have been taking lessons from Robyn, at Horse Haven At Bear Creek for only a few months.

When I started, it was to prepare for a trail ride from Utah to Arizona.

I thought my expectations were rather high; to find a place to teach me about how to work WITH horses; learn to ride gently, without torturing the horse.

Robyn has more than exceeded each and every one of my expctations. Even after my trail riding trip, I see myself involved with horses, and their care for the rest of my life.

Still a beginner, this experience has been better than can be described in words.

The only thing I’m sorry about, at this point, are rating any ‘Cons’; maybe, as I progress, I’ll find something that can be improved. :o)

  • Pros:
    • Helpful, Engaging, Encouraging, Smart, Patient, Funny, Fun, Good communicator
    • How was this location?:
    • Awesome
    • How was the price?:
    • Great value

Review of Horse Haven at Bear Creek, January 15, 2009  (AD)

I want to thank the owners and staff of Horse Haven at Bear Creek. As a child growing up in Seattle, I was a little horse nut trapped in the big city. As an adult, I’d all but forgotten the magic of horses. In my 40s I decided to take up riding again and stumbled upon Horse Haven and their wonderful instructor Robyn Smith. As soon as I met Robyn and she walked me through the barn introducing the horses one by one, describing their unique personalities, I knew I was in the right place. The animals here are given the utmost respect and kindness, and it shows. Robyn is a wonderful teacher. She has a bottomless well of patience and makes learning fun. Horse Haven is exactly the kind of place I would have spent all my spare time as a twelve-year-old. In fact, I feel like a kid every time I visit! That in itself is priceless. Thank you!

I am a beginning rider with a life long dream to be able to ride a horse safely, and to truly understand what I am doing. Robyn has been fantastic in taking the basics and showing me step by step how to ride. With her great sense of humor and her tremendous knowledge of riding / horsemanship she makes every lesson an incredibly fun experience.

MissoulaHoney (2008)

Horse Haven and New Beginnings

I had the opportunity to participate in one of Robyn’s Natural Horsemanship weekend clinics and it changed the way I viewed the relationship between horse and human. Robyn is high energy and has the amazing ability to compress valuable horse and life lessons in to a short amount of time. With all of that energy, this petite woman can move huge horses with just a quiet hand gesture and a deep breath! Robyn fosters a safe and friendly environment where even a newbie, like myself, feels comfortable learning to speak horse.
Robyn was willing to put together an accelerated training program with the foundational requirements I would need to find a good horse match, as well as the education I would need to be its qualified keeper. In our short training time together, I fell in love with one of her school horses, a little Haflinger named Honey, and made the commitment to purchase and cherish her forever more. We are now happily living on 5 acres outside of Missoula where Honey and do groundwork daily, ride, and just hang out! She even lies down on command, enjoys a massage, and listens to me as I tell her how great she is! Robyn’s vast knowledge, Natural Horsemanship training, and willingness to design a program to meet my needs will be eternally appreciated!

  “I love Horse Haven at Bear Creek!”

Review of Horse Haven at Bear Creek, April 02, 2010

I’ve been taking lessons at HHBC since the summer of 09. Robyn teaches you so much more than just how to get on a horse, she teaches you how to be a good partner with your horse, how to communicate with your horse and how easy it is to confuse your horse when you as the rider don’t know what you are doing! Robyn really wants you to think about every aspect of your riding from how you put on the bridle to how you sit in the saddle to how you hold your reins. She has a genuine love of horses and of this amazing relationship that develops between rider and horse.

  • Pros:
  • Helpful, Encouraging, Smart, Funny, Good communicator
  • How was this location?:
  • How was the price?:
  • Great value

“What a great experience !!!”

Horse Haven , Robyn and all the staff are incredible!!!. They have created an environment that is fun, exciting, full of learning, clean and always safe. For two years now I have been riding at horse haven. At the beginning I was lacking confidence, knowledge and balance during riding. Through the excellent instruction of Robyn and her horses I have gained all of those things and so much more. Horse Haven’s riding program is based in natural horsemanship. They really focus on building a deep connection with the horses that is full of respect and appreciation.

Through Horse Havens leadership I have gained confidence in myself. This has allowed me to better communicate to and feel the horses, which in the end has greatly improved my balance and overall riding.. I have gained a better understanding of how my body and its muscles work. As well as how my mind processes information.

A Review of Horse Haven at Bear Creek by, Elaine R (Seattle)

I’ve been taking riding lessons at HHBC since the summer of 09.  I’m a novice, adult rider.  I LOVE everything about HHBC.  I love that Robyn Smith, the riding instructor, clearly loves the horses and wants us as riders to have a real partnership with our horse companions. I love that she has shared her passion for teaching with Michelle who at her young age is a remarkable teacher in her own right. I love the facility–it’s amazingly clean and organized-and the indoor arena is great for those not so sunny NW days. And perhaps most of all I love the horses, each one is different, with her or his own quirks, but they are patient and kind teachers.

  • Awesome

A Review of Horse Haven at Bear Creek by, Kim B.  4/5/2010

I started this venture when I was 53.  It’s been a dream of mine to ride my whole life.  Robyn has been amazingly patient with me and knows exactly how fast I’m able to go.  It’s been a slow journey but a safe one; I’ve never been hurt. I’m balanced now on a bareback pad, am posting, and by next year I will be on the trail, riding with my horse, not on her.  I’m sure there are other places where I may have been galloping off into the sunset by now, but I would never want another trainer.   She is helping me achieve my dream safely, and I am so thankful to her!

This was supposed to be a riding adventure for me and my husband, and  I envisioned us galloping off into the sunset together on our horses.  The problem was that on my first lesson, when Robyn asked us to go and stand next to our horses, the closest I was comfortable was ten feet away.  The fear of these majestic, powerful animals was overwhelming!  Now I go and catch my horse, get her ready to ride, and am learning how to ride with the horse, not on the horse.  I’m slowly learning how to move with the horse and am really learning another language.  Movement is so slight and the response is there!  One of my favorite things to do is to watch Robyn train after my lesson.  She is an artist.  She speaks the horses’ language, and with the horse on a line she barely has to move her body and they will do exactly as she asks.  A walk becomes a trot, a trot a canter, and I’ve hardly seen the communication, but the horse responds.   All the time she is talking us through exactly what the horse is thinking and saying.  I’ve seen her take a horse who is running about the arena, and gently calms her down to where the animal is transformed and will closely follow Robyn.  It’s beautiful and mesmerizing to watch.