Hi Jane! We rode horses -- lots of horses. What fun! We went on a crazy, all-day trail ride through forests and bogs to get to a high valley where the reindeer herders have their camp. We stayed with them for a few days, and rode horses each day.

Also, as we left camp, our mares called across the steppe to their stallion. Wanting to regain them and restore his herd, he came towards us at a gallop, his white mane flying. Magnificent! Thankfully one of our wranglers managed to head him off, but we had to canter to the tree line -- beyond which the cover of the forest would protect us from him. It was epic! We joked about his love and jealousy the whole trip after that.

I seriously doubt I would have been able to handle this trip without your help -- and Smiley's, too. I am so thankful for everything you taught me. Our time together, especially that afternoon you and I spent meandering the trails of the ranch together, was invaluable. Thank you, SO much, Jane. Your help has been such a gift to me during my time in Mongolia!

Big hugs,


Article from US Equestrian Federation 1-10-11:

"For some children, the world of horses not only introduces them to a new 1,200-pound furry friend but also opens up the door to an entire lifetime of physical and recreational exercise. 

Time spent riding—especially while trotting and galloping—helps improve coordination, balance, and core strength. And even when they are not riding, children tend to be active around the barn area, helping out with chores such as grooming and feeding.Getting children involved with horses is easy—because riding horses is fun. Horseback riding often brings kids outdoors into the world of nature. And as a child’s riding progresses, he or she develops increasing confidence. Even just the process of “tacking” (putting the saddle on, sliding the reins over the horse's head and putting the bit in the horse’s mouth) can be an initial challenge that grows into a confidence booster. That self-assurance continues to grow as the rider learns the intricacies of walking, jogging, loping, turning, and stopping the horse.

Just as importantly, children learn responsibility. Grooming, feeding, and exercising along with maintaining the stall and sometimes caring for a sick or injured horse is a great responsibility.

Horseback riding also can be a great way for a child to make new friends. Many children take riding lessons together; in fact, some barns cater to youth riders. 

Horseback riding, according to the Department of Disability and Human Development, provides these physical benefits and opportunities for social and emotional growth: Improved balance and muscle strength

    Improved coordination, faster reflexes and increased motor planning

    Stretching of tight or spastic muscles

    Increased range of motion of joints 

    Improved respiration and circulation

    Improved visual spatial perception

    Improved eye-hand coordination

    Improved self-confidence

    Improved risk-taking abilities

    Development of patience 

    Emotional control and self-discipline

    Development of respect and care for animals."

PLUS it's sooo much FUN!!


I knew from my first contact with Jane that Jane’s Good Horses was going to be just the right place for my daughter to begin her riding lessons. Jane is passionate about horses and about sharing her knowledge with her students. She has a way of explaining and teaching unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. My daughter is 14 and she hasn’t been excited about much since hitting the teenage years but she’s always eager to be at the ranch. I love to see that giddiness in her when I pick her up and she’s done something new like loped her horse or ridden bareback! I’ve never seen her beam in the same way that she does about the ranch and the horses. Jane, thank you for being such an amazing woman!

Stephanie Glaze

My husband and I have been riding on and off all our lives, but not until our first lesson with Jane have we encountered teaching that goes to the heart of the horse. What a difference! I can honestly say in an hour on the ground with Jane I learned more about what makes a horse move than I had learned in months of conventional arena lessons. The mounted experience that followed not only allowed us to put our new insights to work in the saddle, but we began to build a working partnership with the horse. Jane's horses really are superior -- intelligent, responsive, and superbly trained. The setting is beautiful and the staff friendly and knowledgeable. I highly recommend Jane's Good Horses to any beginner or experienced rider serious about improving their horsemanship. Emily Randall, Concord CA

Hi Jane,

I can’t thank you enough for making today so very special for us!! The girls had the best time ever! Who would have thought 8-9 year old girls could speak so highly about shoveling manure. When moms & dads picked up their daughters they all couldn’t wait to tell them about the ranch and horses - oh, the excitement on their faces!

The parent volunteers just raved about you, the helpers, and the beauty of the landscape and ranch. They were all grateful and amazed by how well you ran all the activities. Also, please relay a big ‘thank you’ to all your helpers. They were all extraordinary! Thank you again! Warmly, Nora & Troop 631, Benicia

I’m a 58 year old woman with no previous riding experience. Jane did an excellent job of sizing up my abilities, skills and confidence. She is a very wise and caring teacher who wants her students to learn to think like a horse with the result being that the experience is a deep and safe one. I loved every minute and learned so much. I highly recommend Jane to anyone wanting to learn the thrill of riding and working with horses. Kathleen E., Napa


One of the BEST days of my life and MORE than what I thought my first day would be like. THANK YOU!! Can’t wait to see you again! Jessica Abenojar

Hi Jane,

I just wanted to let you know again how much I enjoyed this morning's lesson! You could probably tell I was scared spitless deep down inside! But it was sooo cool to get to know Miss Cattysmoke (Grandma), she's such a sweetheart and so patient with a nervous Nellie! I can't wait until next Sunday! See you then! Marie C.

Dear Alternatives Counseling & Coaching, (Jane, Dee, Karen) Thanks again for the great team building session that you held for us today.

Shane McAfee, General Manager

Greater Vallejo Recreation District

Dear Jane, Nolan had such a wonderful time at Horse Days last weekend I just had to write to you and thank you for taking such special care of him. You have a natural teaching ability and we both enjoyed your enthusiasm and dedication. As a child I romanticized horseback riding and took 'city girl' lessons for many years in the South Bay Area. I learned more about horses and their behavior in one hour from you, then I did in all the years of 'lessons' my parents paid for. I hope in the future his father and I will find room in our budget for further 'life lessons through horsemanship' from you for our son, Nolan. I took many pictures that day and promise to send them on. Sincerely, Dia Cornell  

Jane's Good Horses & Jane Mitchell are the best kept secret in Vallejo. My daughter has been with Jane for a little over two years. She has Auditory Processing Delay and has problems understanding multiple directions. Because of this, her self-esteem was a major issue and her grades were slipping. Jane has helped my daughter to keep focused and has brought up her self-esteem AND her grades tremendously. Jane is very patient and is the best horsemanship trainer! All her horses are such a pleasure to watch as they interact with the kids. Jane is a great advocate of treating your horses as you would want to be treated. One of the best lessons we can teach our kids. Gonzalez Family

Jane’s Good Horses are a pleasure to ride and Ms. Mitchell herself is a wonderful teacher. It’s Just a couple of months of Jane’s instruction and I’m confidently loping a horse! I've learned so much. She is clearly a caring horse lover; gives supportive, hands-on instruction; takes pride in the success’s of her students and she makes it easy for the rider to understand! I really appreciate her patience and understanding of my concerns. Jane … You’ve helped me fulfill a childhood dream!! Annie Mendoza, Vallejo, CA

Ms. Mitchell is gifted in keeping groups of students engaged, alert and busy, often answering students' questions with questions designed to encourage independent thinking. In group lessons students work together building a team spirit, supporting each other in their learning and watching out for everyone's safety, all under Ms. Mitchell's guidance and watchful eye. Students and horses alike are obviously having a great time! Susan Shuepbach

Well Jane, I must say, yesterday went beyond my wildest expectations!!! Even as tired as she was, Nicole was in tears when we left because she wanted to STAY! That pretty much says it right there! I can't thank you enough for fitting us into your schedule and allowing us to be a part of your week. You have definitely made a little girl very happy!! Looking forward to next week. Rhonda, Benicia, CA

Hey Jane, Thank you for giving me the confidence to move on with my mare, Bella, and make her that great horse that she used to be! Gina Rangel, Martinez, CA

In the last few years of getting back into horses, I have met and hired other horse professionals. Some were good with people, others good with horses. Jane is one of those rare individuals that uses her natural ability as a teacher equally well with horses and with people. I have always felt that my training dollars were well spent; as if I got double bang for the buck, as she works to train both the horse and the rider. Dee Davis, Vallejo

Jane has provided me with training that focuses on both my horse and I as a team. Her programs are always stimulating for both horse and rider, in and outside of the arena or show ring. I highly recommend her for all of your horsemanship needs. Kristen Kay Doyle, Alamo, CA 

I highly recommend Jane and commend her and her effort to help others with her knowledge in horsemanship. Jane's dedication and determination to bring our children and equine together in a safe and controlled environment and to teach our children this discipline and commitment comes from her heart. The Johnson County Crisis Response Team is proud to endorse this program.

Sincerely, Fire Chaplain Danny Moon