“YOU CAN FEEL AND LISTEN TO THE HORSE. tHE EXPERIENCE OF THE RESULTS OF HIS RESPONSE HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND FOR NEXT TIME.”
Ranch Manager & Horse Trainer
Hi, I’m Tanja,
I was born in Switzerland and moved to Massachusetts at a young age, where my stepdad had horses. That was the moment horses became an integral part of my life.
I grew up taking riding lessons at Mt. Holyoke and Smith College and remember begging my parents to leave me at the barn on the weekends so I could muck stalls just to be around the horses. Shortly after, we moved to Idaho and then Fresno California, where I had a long hiatus from horses as we were not in a financial position to enable my passion.
In the early 1990s, I came to San Diego to attend college at UCSD where I received my Bachelors Degree in phychology, and then to SDSU for a Masters in Education. During college I saw an ad in the school paper to give pony rides. I jumped at the chance and started working to earn money to get back in the saddle. I was able to start taking lessons and then became a working student for numerous hunter-jumper trainers in San Diego. I competed in the hunter-jumper circuit for many years until about five years ago. During this time, the opportunity arose for me to manage Carmel Creek Ranch. I took them from a small 12-horse ranch to housing over 80 happy, thriving horses. And even more importantly, I was introduced to natural horsemanship, and a new level of skill and understanding began to blossom.
Now I have three incredible horses that live with us on our property in Alpine, just a very short distance from Olivewood Acres. When I am not working with horses, I can be found at home with my husband Vince, at my kid’s lacrosse games, or with our plethora of other animals.
I love my work